The Complete Winter Lineup

winter-seasonals-2016

Longstanding members of this most prestigious group of blog readers may be able to harken back to a time before our quest to complete our lineup of twelve seasonal beers. Each of the last three seasons saw the completion of their own individual lineups, leading us to the finish line this winter: returning favorite Mammoth will this year be joined by our new winter pale ale, Kaizen, and ultra-creamy coffee milk stout, Deep Breakfast.

Named for the philosophy of perpetual improvement, Kaizen aims to winterize our normally soft, juicy pales with a resinous blend of Pacific Northwest hops and biscuity malt. A character of pine, resin and grapefruit lend balance to a base of fresh-baked bread.

A long-forgotten one-off reenters the astral plane as Deep Breakfast joins the winter lineup. This silken, creamy milk stout features an exceptionally high coffee content, making for an experience more akin to cold brew than beer.

The ground trembles once again with the return of Mammoth, the behemoth heavyweight of our seasonal double IPA family. With intense mandarin orange, pineapple and mango flavors and a lightly resinous finish, Mammoth remains a formidable opponent in its eternal battle against the leviathan octopus, Akamai.

Mammoth will be available on draft in the taproom tomorrow, with Kaizen and Deep Breakfast following suit on December 7th.

BG Hackathon v2.0

hackathon-logo-bannerWith our sights set on creating a few useful tech upgrades, we attacked the past weekend’s Hackathon with some serious nerd fervor and indeed delivered. Our second annual 24-hour project blitz – the follow-up to last year’s inaugural event – yielded three deliverables: a major overhaul to our digital menu platforma brand new tablet-based guestbook system, and a whimsical pair of ‘brewery tours’ using a mix of drone, steadicam, and VR footage.

hackathon-menu-board-final

Project #1: Upgrade the Menu Board

The menu board upgrade began by analyzing our current menu board, with which there were some glaring issues: it was easy to get lost in all the lines and numbers, and there was no differentiation between groups or categories of beers. And when the draft list became slim (which has occurred more often than not in recent months), the landscape became barren.

The new design is cleaner, simpler, and more adaptable. It retains the general aesthetic of the previous draft list, while increasing legibility and impact. Catch the new setup in a few weeks once we implement the changes and iron out the kinks.

Project #2: Tablet-based Guestbook

Given that our weekly newsletter is our primary form of communication for alerting you all of brewery goings-on, having an easy way for taproom guests to sign up in person is a critical addition. To achieve this, we designed and built a BG Guestbook web app (and a handy iPad stand) where patrons are able to create guestbook entries, snap a photo, and peruse previous checkins. We’ll be debuting the BG Guestbook this Saturday at the Beers of the Burgh festival.

Project #3: Drone / Steadicam / VR Brewery Tour

This project was more about trying some new things, using some cool tech, and generally goofing off. We procured a cheap Google Cardboard VR headset, brought our drone pilot / video whiz friend Cory in on the action, and quickly whipped up together some new media. See the video Cory put together above, and check out the 360° VR shot of the brewhouse here.

After a successful second iteration, we look forward to building upon the BG Hackathon model in coming years. After all, while brewing beer will always be our most obvious function as a brewery, experiences like these make us who we are. We’d like to extend a huge thank you to everyone that participated and provided feedback – we’ll be back at it next fall.

A Simpler Brew Gentlemen

newlogo

As a company that exists to provide meaningful experiences, the creation of an impactful brand has always been a priority. This creative process requires a huge amount of time, thought, strategy, and resources – brands are dynamic and require constant tweaks and updates.

After putting in a consistent effort to solidify an identity, making a more substantial shift becomes an all-encompassing undertaking. Everything the former brand  has been incorporated into – any object, product or piece of media that’s been put out into the world, be it physical or digital – is immediately rendered obsolete. There’s also the risk of sacrificing recognizability, something that’s taken hard work to establish with customers. And, with so many internet lists of high-profile trainwreck rebranding projects available for our collective amusement, it’s clearly a gambit capable of being royally botched by organizations of any shape and size.

All challenges aside, rebranding is a breath of fresh air and introduces a new toolset with which to work. This revision replaces the logo we’ve used since we opened in 2014. As Creative Director, this is a pretty big milestone. Building a dependable brand is a necessity as we prepare for continued growth.


Over the past year, our visual style outpaced our former logo. The logo required a drastic update, but needed to maintain enough similarity to the previous design to stay recognizable. It also had to be versatile enough for a wide variety of applications: displayed on screens of all sizes, printed on merchandise and packaging, incorporated into our physical location, and more.

We set out to revise our logo with three major goals in mind:

Create a standalone emblem, an asset we’ve desired from day one but were never able to figure out.

Update our wordmark, maintaining the feel of our previous typography and more clearly asserting our company colors of orange and charcoal gray.

Simplify our name from The Brew Gentlemen Beer Company to Brew Gentlemen.

logo-old-new

bg emblem color-01The BG emblem, created for use as both a standalone icon and alongside the wordmark as part of the overall logo, incorporates a number of our design standards: symmetry, center alignment, uniform line weights and spacing, and a heavy use of horizontal and vertical elements.

True Gentlemen spreadOur new wordmark is based around the font True Gentlemen, which I created as a bolder, more geometric alternative to our former logo’s Libel Suit typeface. True Gentlemen contains an iconic B and G that could be used for the adjoining emblem, and incorporates a cleaner and more structured look that falls more within our existing visual style.

As for simplifying our name to Brew Gentlemen, that just seemed like a prudent maneuver. It’s cleaner.

new-signage-wordpress

Since our initial decision to start a brewery, Matt and I were never able to settle upon a logo that fit our overall brand identity. The issue resurfaced time and time again, but nothing ever felt complete. A lot of imagery seemed too forced. Ideas never seemed to resonate. After two years of operation under our belts, however, we’ve learned a lot about the visual elements that make us who we are. By simplifying and expanding upon these qualities, we’ve finally found our logo.

As we grow into our new look, we hope that it enables us to better represent the experiences that we built this company to provide.

Cheers,

     signature-asa-super-casual

Asa Foster
Co-founder & Creative Director, Brew Gentlemen

The Complete Fall Lineup

fall seasonals 2016

In order to both a.) keep things simple and b.) continue our focus on hop-forward beers while leaving ourselves some room to play around, we’ve standardized each season’s lineup to include a pale ale, a double IPA, and a wild card. With the wild card slot firmly taken by returning seasonal favorite Mexican Coffee, newcomers Tree Star and Kabuto arrive this year to complete the fall seasonal trio.

Mexican Coffee is our answer to the cooler temperatures and shorter days of fall. A creamy and full-bodied oatmeal stout aged on coffee beans, cinnamon, and vanilla, Mexican Coffee has been the subject of oh-so-many inquiries – the two most frequent being “Why can’t I taste the peppers?” and “when does it come back?”, and the respective answers being “because there aren’t any peppers in it” and “right now.”

Tree Star is the newest addition to the pale ale column, joining predecessors Overgrowth (spring) and Shoshin (summer). It has a more pronounced malt base, adding a light nuttiness to complement a lush hop character of watermelon candy and Asian pear.

Our powerhouse quadrumvirate of seasonal juice-nukes is now complete: Mammoth (winter), Albatross (spring), Akamai (summer), and now, Kabuto. It’s a dank and resinous yet bright and tropical double IPA solely featuring the hop varietal formerly known as Equinox. It has an aroma like a freshly-popped ziplock of sticky-icky that gives way to a fruit-forward burst of guava, apple, and papaya. Kabuto – the Japanese word for the characteristic horned helmets worn by samurai – lends its name to the  kabutomushi, or Japanese rhinoceros beetle, featured in its logo.

Mexican Coffee and Kabuto will be released on draft in the taproom tomorrow, with Tree Star following suit on September 14th.

With three out of four seasonal lineups now complete, here’s our newly updated production calendar:

product-calendar-fall-2016

The Roundup Wrap-up

After a year and a half of hosting our monthly Food Truck Roundups, we’ve made the decision to bring the series to a close.

Our mission at The Brew Gentlemen Beer Co. is to provide elegant and meaningful experiences through exceptional beer, thoughtful hospitality, and attention to detail. Our continued collaboration with food trucks and mobile vendors is a significant aspect of that overall experience.

Our monthly Food Truck Roundups, which began in December 2014 and ran until June of this year, started with the intention of being a recurring celebration of mobile food in Braddock.

However, roundups are a complex undertaking that require a substantial degree of planning and and all hands on deck in order to run smoothly. To manage this added complexity, we made concessions to our regular service. Proper glassware for our beer, sharp attire for our staff, and a pleasant atmosphere for our customers, to name a few – things that detract from the thoughtful hospitality and attention to detail that we’ve outlined in our mission and continue to strive toward. Reducing this complexity allows our team more bandwidth to focus on growth.

Furthermore, following the borough’s 2016 policy shift disallowing outdoor drinking, we have found that these circumstances (and the resulting logistical hurdles) hinder our ability to provide the best possible experience. Food truck roundups draw a hell of a crowd, and are now frequently hosted by other local businesses and venues that are better suited to accommodate those crowds. As a result, our focus remains set on the impact that mobile food can have on Braddock – a census-designated ‘food desert’ – through consistent availability and high-quality service. We are continuing to work with the borough to be respectful to our neighbors and find a solution that will allow us to have events in the future.

While we will no longer be hosting monthly roundups, our core lineup of mobile food vendors will continue to serve at the taproom during regular hours. Through the hard work and commitment of these small businesses, we will continue to provide food options for our customers and the rest of the Braddock community.

The most up-to-date information regarding mobile food service is available via our taproom Twitter account and our website.

Lou: Ales for ALS 2016

Lou 2016 square

When we were selected as one of 80 breweries in the country to participate in last year’s Ales for ALS program, we were obviously rather geeked. It was an opportunity to support a cause that we had a direct personal connection to, and the end result was one of the most well-received beers we’ve ever released.

A quick refresher on Ales for ALS: Participating breweries receive a proprietary hop blend (consisting mostly of unreleased, experimental hop varietals) with which to make a beer of their choice. A portion of sales from these beers are in turn donated to the ALS Therapy Development Institute. We decided on a double IPA, because that’s what we do here, and named it Lou.

We’re pleased to announce that the 2016 edition of Lou will be returning to the taproom this week, with $1 from each draft sold going towards the fight against ALS. It’s quite a bit more resinous and herbal than last year’s version, with an intense character of tropical fruit, citrus zest, and pine. Thank you in advance for helping us, yet again, to support a good cause through an awesome program.

Zen Cucumber Octopus.

summer seasonals 2016

The quarterly changing of the guard is upon us once again, with a newly-complete trio of summer seasonals here to fill the void left by the unfortunate but necessary departure of AlbatrossOvergrowth, and Loose Seal. And similarly to this past spring’s lineup, we’ve got two returning favorites accompanied by one new addition to the squad.

In our recent blog post about our second anniversary, we mentioned shoshin, a Zen Buddhist concept meaning “a beginner’s mind” – “having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would,”  as Wikipedia so eloquently puts it. After deciding to start a brewery as college students with zero industry experience, we learned very quickly that the only way we’d succeed would be through keeping an open mind and maintaining an insatiable thirst for knowledge.

Named to honor that which has guided us since the very beginning, Shoshin is a floral and balanced summer pale ale made with Hallertau Blanc hops. Built to be a bit lighter and more refreshing than Overgrowth, its springtime cousin, Shoshin has a lush character of pineapple and white grape rounding out a dry, cracker-malt backbone.

Garden Party, the first-ever BG seasonal and the subject of oh-so-many taproom inquiries, returns for its third summer. This clean and crisp American wheat beer made with fresh cucumbers is the perfect companion to porch swings, nine o’clock sunsets, and Paul Simon’s Graceland. Serve with a slice of lime for a light touch of refreshing acidity.

Also making a return appearance will be Akamai (Hawaiian Pidgin for “cleverness” or “street smarts”), the double IPA that kicked off a quarterly rotation of juice-nukes that now featuresMammoth and Albatross. This year’s batch of Akamai looks to be even brighter and more tropical than its previous incarnation, dry-hopped with huge amounts of Citra, Simcoe, and Chinook hops.

Garden Party will be released on draft in the taproom tonight, with Akamai following suit on June 15th and Shoshin on June 22nd.

And thus, with the beginning of Shoshin’s rookie year on the Team Summer, we achieve the completion of two out of our four seasonal lineups. Here’s where our production calendar currently stands:

 

Product Calendar (public)

Enjoy the summer, family.

2nd Anniversary Week

anniversary teaser square

In the PBS Parents Child Development Tracker’s section on two-year-olds, it notes that “two-year-olds enjoy using their senses and motor skills to explore the world and are highly curious about unfamiliar objects, events and phenomena”.

I think it’s safe to say that we’ve weathered our fair share of unfamiliar objects, events, and phenomena over the past two years. We attribute a lot of the successes we’ve had thus far to what the Japanese call shoshin – facing all of these new and unfamiliar things with the mindset of a student and a thirst for new skills and knowledge. We’ve got a long way still to go, but thanks to all of our friends, family, and supporters, we’ve made some pretty crazy progress in two short years. Now it’s time to celebrate, and we’ve got a full lineup of new beers and events.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 18th – HAZY PALES

We’re kicking off our 2nd Anniversary Week with the release of three new hazy pales:

– A new batch of Albatross, our all-Galaxy spring double IPA
Foshomo, an amped-up double IPA version of Momo, our Mosaic pale ale
Foggy Mountain, a new American pale ale with Azacca, Amarillo and Simcoe hops

All three beers will be available on draft and in growlers. Bottles of Foshomo will be released during our Anniversary Bottle Release on Saturday, May 21st.

THURSDAY, MAY 19th – BEER + YOGA

We’ve got a special, slightly-more-energetic-than-usual session of Beer + Yoga for you with a bumping night class complete with DJ.

FRIDAY, MAY 20th – LET’S DO BRISKET

We’re teaming up with Blowfish BBQ and Dirty Dog Cigar Shoppe for an evening of brisket and cigars to celebrate the eve of our anniversary.

SATURDAY, MAY 21st – ANNIVERSARY PARTY & BOTTLE RELEASE

BOTTLE RELEASE • 12PM
At noon, we’ll be releasing three new beers in bottles, as well as a limited number of 2nd Anniversary glassware and t-shirts.

II: 2nd Anniversary Old Ale Aged in Oak Barrels ($15/bottle, limit 4 per person)
Foshomo: Mosaic Double IPA ($10/bottle, limit 4 per person)
The Unknown Unknown: Farmhouse Ale ($10/bottle, limit 4 per person) *
2nd Anniversary Glassware ($15)
2nd Anniversary T-Shirt ($20)

*EDIT: Unfortunately, The Unknown Unknown will not be released until after the 21st.

ANNIVERSARY PARTY • 5PM
Details TBA.

SUNDAY, MAY 22nd – BEER + YOGA

Two Beer + Yoga classes to help you recover from the week’s festivities.

The Sprout, The Seal, and The Seabird

spring seasonals 2016

Our quest to nail down each quarter’s rotating seasonal brands has been a long-running and tricky process. It began when we released Garden Party, our first official seasonal, in summer 2014, the list growing and solidifying with the arrival of each season. When we published our 2016 release schedule a couple of months ago, we had solved only part of that puzzle – spring and summer each with two seasonal brands, and fall and winter with only one.

Since then, we’ve decided upon a goal of three seasonals per quarter. And given the continued success of both Akamai and Mammoth (our summer and winter double IPAs), we’ve carved out one of those three spots for a rotating double IPA.

So with all of that in mind, we’re proud to present the official Brew Gentlemen Spring 2016 Lineup: the return of newly tweaked and upgraded versions of Overgrowth and Loose Seal, as well as the debut of Albatross.

Overgrowth, a lush and juicy pale wheat ale, will be hitting the taproom next week. It was first released last year alongside Loose Seal, its spring saison counterpart, which has already found its way back onto the draft list upon the departure of Mammoth. And as sorrowful as that departure may be, its absence provides the opportunity to introduce its successor: Albatross, a double IPA made exclusively with Galaxy hops – a uniquely flavorful Australian varietal that lends a huge, tropical passionfruit and pineapple character and a firm bitterness (as well as a higher-than-average content of resins and oils than make Albatross even hazier than our usual fare).

And now, with the spring lineup complete, here is the updated 2016 release schedule:

Product Calendar (public)

Happy springtime, family.

Overgrowth, Loose Seal, and Albatross will be available on draft in the taproom and at select accounts throughout the spring.

The 2016 Release Schedule

While we spend a lot of time and energy on creating new beers in the name of R&D and continuous self-improvement, a special few that we hold close to our hearts have made it onto the colorful linear calendar known as the release schedule. Here’s the breakdown:

2016 Product Calendar

Our two flagships, White Sky and General Braddock’s IPA, are produced year-round and are permanently available in our taproom (with limited exception).

Our seasonal beers rotate quarterly, with Mammoth during the Winter (December – March), Loose Seal and Overgrowth during the Spring (March – June), Garden Party and Akamai during the Summer (June – September), and Mexican Coffee available in the Fall (September – December). Much like the flagships, they are available during their respective seasons with as little exception as possible.

The bulk of our production is made up of Special Releases, an ambitious variety of traditional styles, science experiments, and – given the degree to which we’re left to our own devices on this one – a good number of soft, juicy, hop-forward beers. While most of these beers are one-offs that come and go at will, a few standouts necessitate semi-regular production and reappear every now and again, like an old friend you haven’t talked to in far too long stopping by to catch up. I’m looking at you, CPA.

Our House Saison Series, one of our favorite projects, is our line of modern farmhouse ales. Because of both their inherent longevity and their affinity for being paired with food, these dry and complex saisons are one of the few products that are consistently available in 750mL bottles (released intermittently throughout the year).

Every now and again, we get the notion to make something that’s a bit too avant-garde or cost-prohibitive to produce in quantity. These experiments find their way onto the draft list under the banner of the Prototype Series, an ultra-limited, taproom-only line of beers made on our pilot system.

While we can’t make any guarantees that the aforementioned beers will be consistently available throughout for the entirety of their allotted tenure, we’ll do our best to stick to the timeline. Carpe annum, fam.