Chatsworth get ready to welcome your new Nano Brewery!
Meet Anthony Castaneda and Brian Hand, two charismatic beer advocates looking to develop the beer scene in the West Valley with their brewery Hand Brewed Beer. Like many new brewers, this roommate duo is looking to start small at the nano-scale and organically grow their vision and the surrounding beer community. With funding in hand and Kickstarter nearing to a close, Brian and Tony are quickly approaching the opening of their own pro operation and are looking towards other successful nanos like Enegren and Hess as inspiration.
The Guys Behind the Beer
We had the opportunity to talk with the guys at Hand Brewed Beer, this last weekend along with a small gathering of LA Beer Bloggers. Anthony (Tony) and Brian are down to earth, passionate, and driven. Anthony is an engineer a devoted cyclist, quickly apparent by the large collection of bikes in the garage, which included a penny farthing, tucked away behind the brew system. Brian is a theater major and currently works as a bartender in the area. Their beer journey started together about 9 years ago with a semi-successful Mr. Beer Kit. Things became more serious a few years ago and recently took a successful turn when they were the featured beer at a Dreamworks charity fundraiser.
Piloting a modest 1.5 BBL brewing system, Brian and Anthony make everything from Serrano Chile IPAs to American Brown Ales. From classic styles to more experimental varieties, Hand-Brewed aims to incorporate the local flora as well as historical references into each one of their brews. The beers were tasty, well balanced, and clean. They incorporate interesting spices and aim to deviate from the classic side of the beer scale, which makes their offerings very unique.
Check out this list of offerings:
Incident Isotope IPA – 7.6% ABV, ~80 IBU
What happens when our brewmaster creates a recipe and hands it off to his assistant? Brilliance apparently! Originally intended to be a strong imperial IPA, but a little extra water and a little miscalculation on boil time made Incident Isotope IPA a refreshing, dry-hopped ale that we have craftly refined and recreated into one of our favorite beers.
El Chubasco IPA – 7.4% ABV, 76 IBU
Inspired by a trip through the Sonoran desert, this brew gets it inventiveness from the swirling chaos of an offshore storm (Chubasco) that I observed over the Sea of Cortez. El Chubasco is a boldly hopped, serrano pepper infused IPA with spicy fruit aroma and a hot kick.
Deez Nuts Brown Ale – 5.8% – 6.0% ABV, 45 IBU
A beer so nutty, it could only have been brewed up by a couple of real squirrels. Brewed with Biscuit and Special Roast malts, Hand-Brewed Beer has crafted an American Brown Ale that balances its hop and malt profile with a burly bite worthy of the often injurious aficionado, common referred to as a nut.
Erudite Wit – 5.2% ABV, 25 IBU
This beer is brewed with pilsner malts and flaked wheat. Hopped with Cascade and liberty hops. Spices include coriander seeds, sweet and bitter orange peels, and white pepper
Smoking Coaster Pale – 5.7% ABV, 50 IBU
Smoking, burning and flying by the seat of your pants. The Coaster Break Challenge is as unique as it gets. Where else in the world would anyone fathom the idea of racing vintage cruiser bicycles through the mountains? Wait, you say these bikes only have a Coaster break? Atomic Cycles puts this series on twice a year. We decided to commemorate it with a beer that’s just as unique.
Chai Stout – 7.5% ABV, 45-50 IBU
Worldly popular, chai tea has become a staple of coffee and tea houses everywhere. Combining our love of both stouts and tea, this full-bodied ale strikes a nice balance between the robustly-roasted and coffee flavors of stouts with the sweet spice of Masala Chai. Our western chai-inspired brew features Rooibos, cinnamon and vanilla lightly sweetened with lactose.
The VRB Porter – 10% ABV, 40 IBU
Early on, Hand and I used to have wild ideas, brew um’ and share um’. I do not think either one of us was ready for this. On a Business trip to the East coast I had a layover in Chicago, it just so happens that I was drinking Irish coffee, also it was 6 am and Rod Blagojevich was being sent to prison that day. I had the Idea I wanted to brew a Vanilla raspberry Porter. I shot the idea to Hand…It was 4 am his time. He responded “it should have bourbon too”. Great minds.
So where can you get their beer?
Well right now, Anthony and Brian are rocking a kickstarter to raise funds for their new home. They already have the money in place for the brewery, but they are looking for an extra push to help them score merchandise as build out their tap room. But you’ll need to act fast if you want to get involved. At the time of this article, they only have 6 days to go to reach their $10,000 goal. Pledge at any level to help these guys bring their fantastic beer to a wider audience!
Kip is the founder of Bierkast and co-founder of Los Angeles Ale Works. Picking up home brewing after college, he has since become an accomplished award winning home brewer, LA Beer Blogger, and author of the Beer Lover's Guide to Southern California. Kip is a graduate of the University of Southern California's School of Cinema Television. He lives in Inglewood, CA with his sciency wife Katie. Follow him @bierkast or #FollowTheLAAW @laaleworks