Behind the Scenes @ CBC (part 1)

Welcome to Behind the Scenes @ CBC! This is the first of many blog posts providing our fans a sneak peek at what’s brewing at the pub, the tasting room, the brewhouse and more.

Don’t come here expecting corporate jargon, mission statements and marketing-geared prose—I’m a terrible writer with no grammar skills to speak of (I even misspelled grammar before this got edited). These will be brief, raw, up-to-the-minute posts that, starting next time, will be heavier on images than words. A picture says a thousand words, so this approach should save me tons of work!

Here goes nothing…

We recently brewed a new beer called Thai-One-On Pale Ale. Motivated by his time on our rooftop garden, CBC chef Kasey Chapman asked our pub brewers, Pete Falletta (Playboy Pete) and Dan Drayne (Boardshorts Dan), if they’d like to brew a specialty beer using fresh basil from the garden.

Kasey Chapman trimming basil on CBC’s roof top garden.

Amazingly, we had a 10-barrel tank free (a rarity) and the brewers jumped at the chance to do something creative! The trio tossed around a few ideas before falling in love with the concept for a Thai spice-inspired pale utilizing the basil along with ginger, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves from Suzie’s Organic Farm in nearby Imperial Beach. Two-Row, Munich and Cara malts, and Chinook and Simcoe hops rounded out the recipe.

We introduced the specialty herbs and spices at the end of the boil with our last hop addition and steeped them for five minutes,we also made a five-gallon “tea” by boiling the basil, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves in hot water.

(left down) Herbs and spices steeping in the boil. Lemon grass was smashed to release extra aroma and flavors. Boiling lemon grass. (right) 5 pounds of fresh basil simmering for the “tea”.

The tea was then transferred into a sixth-barrel and blasted with CO2 through the racking arm into the fermenting tank for additional aroma and flavor.

“Board Shorts” Dan Drayne CO2 blasting the tea into the fermentor post fermentation.

Right now, we’re in the midst of the waiting game while the beer carbonates, but look for Thai-One-On to start flowing from the taps at the brewpub sometime next week. It will be available in very limited quantities, so keep your eyes on CBC’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts so you can stop by and get a pint or growler fill before it’s nothing more than a fond, herbaceous memory.