Tuesday, November 11, 2008

News from Lucky Bucket Brewing

I had recently gotten a request for an update on Lucky Bucket Brewing Company and when we could expect to try their beer. I shot off an email to Zac T. and asked him if he could provide some details to further wet your appetites. He did more than that he gave me a call and we talked for a bit about what is currently going on with Lucky Bucket, Solas Distillery and Upstream. He was very gracious and loaded me up and now I am going to download it to you.

First things first, I want to clarify some confusion on my part and probably on some of yours. Lucky Bucket is in no way a branch, subsidiary or in any way related to Upstream Brewing Company. Zac, Jason Payne a few other business partners have started a completely different company called Quaff that is the parent of Lucky Bucket Brewing Company and Solas Distillery.
Zac and Upstream will continue to have a symbiotic relationship; however, Upstream is in no way financially involved. That was a big revelation to me. This is all Zac, his dream, his risk and money, so let's be sure to support him with the same effort.

So who is brewing for Upstream now if Zac is on his own, well, Zac has been training his replacement, Mike Hall, who came from Oskar Blues in Colorado and comes with great potential and proven success. He was the creator of Ten Fiddy, the latest canned beer from Oskar blues, a Russian Imperial Stout. So he should fit in just fine.

Zac is almost on his own now and has been brewing test batches of beer for his first release. So what and when will that beer be released? He indicated to me that it should be released at a tasting at Whole Foods around Dec. 20th, but could be delayed. Some delays in getting the bottling line have pushed the release date back as well as licensing. Once licensing is done, label approval and some other minor approvals he can brew it and get it ready for release. So what kind of beer are we talking about? Zac told me he is going to release a Pre-Prohibition Lager right out of the gate. He said he wanted to make an American Lager like it was when it had flavor. I applaud that effort and a good solid American Lager is a great thing and a great gateway beer for the non-geeks. It should be available at Whole Foods and Beertopia mid to late December.

His brewing operations are going to be at the Schilling Bridge Brewery and Winery. So the question is, is this a contract brewing deal? No it is not. Zac will be the brewer and will manage his beer all the way through the process. Schilling had excess capacity and Zac has worked out an arrangement to take advantage of that until he can build his own place.

After the Lager is released we will have to wait until Spring 2009 for the release of an IPA that Zac told me will blow our minds. I personally can't wait for that! Then a few other beers will follow that are aging as we speak. His collaboration brew, Concentrated Evil, will have been aged over a year on oak and should be released in the Fall of 2009. He also wanted to remind everyone that an Ebenezer, that has been Oak aged in Cabernet barrels, will be released this month, so be on the lookout for that.

So it looks like we have a lot to look forward too. Websites for the companies will be up in the near future and I will let you know when. Solas Distillery should start up in March he hopes, delays on the construction of his still have set him back, and they should release Vodka in June 2009 and Rum in the Fall/Winter of 2009. Needless to say Zac unloaded on me and his enthusiasm was high and he can't wait to get it going. Let's go out and support a new Brewery like we have with our current ones.

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