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December 1st, 2011

Beer lineup news, new stuff for December, and 3 beer dinners!

First, a little bit of bad news: we have decided to stop brewing (at least for a while) the Belgian Pale. Unfortunately it just wasn’t selling fast enough to make sure that the beer stayed fresh. Ok now on to the good news: the Vanilla Tree Dubbel will be taking its place as a semi-year round offering. Right now the plan is to brew the Vanilla Tree during the cooler months (October – March) and switch it up with another beer for the warmer months (April – September). We also hope to introduce an additional year-round beer soon. Leaning towards some sort of stout or brown ale, but we’re open to suggestions!

In other news, we have a lot of good stuff coming your way this month! First up will be our first bottle releases – Dark Helmet 22oz bombers and barrel-aged Tripel 750ml bottles. We know a lot of you have been waiting patiently (or not so patiently) for the first beers to come out of the barrel room, so we’re very happy to announce that there will be not 1, but 3 (three!) different versions of the wine barrel-aged Tripel released simultaneously at the brewery on Dec. 15th! Each of the beers was aged for 8 months in a different type of red wine barrel to explore the effects that the various types of wood and wine would have on the beer. The barrels were: 2008 Whetstone Bella Vigna Pinot Noir (French oak), Rombauer single-vineyard Cabernet (French & American oak), and Tiger Mountain Malbec (American oak). These beers are different than anything we have tasted before and very limited, so don’t miss out!

As if that’s not enough, we’ll also be releasing our 1st Anniversary beer on December 20th! To mark this auspicious occasion we have brewed the Mexican Cake, a massive Imperial stout aged on Ecuadorian and Ghanaian cocoa nibs, cinnamon, vanilla, and habanero peppers. Some of you may have tasted the test batch we had in the tasting room a while back – imagine that beer turned up to 11 and you have the Mexican Cake!

There are lots of great events coming up in December! First up is a joint Westbrook/Allagash beer dinner at The Boathouse on Breach Inlet on December 5th. The menu looks amazing and we’re honored to be featured alongside a fantastic brewery like Allagash. $45/person + tax & gratuity. Call 843-886-8000 for reservations.

Next we’ll be at The Macintosh on Dec.14th for their very first beer dinner! To celebrate we’ll be bringing some special beers – there is another barrel aged beer (in addition to the Tripels) that we kegged especially for this dinner. Details, including pricing and the menu, are still being finalized so stay tuned. Seating for this event will be very limited!

And finally to cap it off, we’ll be hosting our 1st Anniversary Celebration and beer dinner at the brewery on December 20th! More details to come, but there will definitely be some very special and rare beers as well as a 5-course dinner. Hope to see you there!

Cheers!

Edward & Morgan Westbrook

November 7th, 2011

Cans are here!

IPA and White Thai cans are going out today and tomorrow to retailers all over South Carolina! Here’s a list (in somewhat alphabetical order) of all the places you can find them:

Baan Sawan
Bottles Mt. P
Charleston Beer Exchange
Cellar on Greene
Community Tap
Earthfare- Columbia
Earthfare- Folly Beach
Earthfare- Greenville
Earthfare- Rock Hill
Greenville Beer Exchange
Grapevine
Greens- Assembly
Greens- Greenville
Greens- Myrtle Beach
Greens- Piney Grove
Micky Finns #1
Micky Finns #2
Morganelli’s
Mr. Friendly’s
Nose Dive
Piggly Wiggly # 26
Piggly Wiggly #103
Piggly Wiggly #14
Piggly Wiggly #1
Piggly Wiggly #10
Piggly Wiggly #42
Piggly Wiggly #134
Piggly Wiggly #20
Piggly Wiggly #54
Piggly Wiggly #22
Piggly Wiggly #40
Piggly Wiggly #43
Piggly Wiggly #101
Piggly Wiggly Bluffton #23
Piggly Wiggly #47
Rollers Total Bev
Sam’s Fine Wine and Spirits
Solstice
Total Wine-Columbia
Total Wine-Charleston
Total Wine-Greenville
Vintage of Hartsville
Whole Foods- Greenville
Whole Foods- Mt. P

September 17th, 2011

A duo of lagers for Sept/Oct and a collaboration announcement!

We’re excited to present our very first lagers for your drinking pleasure! Many craft brewers tend to brew only ales since they are easier and quicker to produce. Lagers, with their cooler fermentation temperatures and longer maturation requirements, need more tank time and attention to brew – but here at Westbrook we think the results are worth the wait! The Zwickelbier, a rarely seen German lager style, gets it name from the sampling valve on a fermentation tank (“Zwickel” in German). It is unfiltered, relatively low in alcohol, and served very soon after fermentation is complete. For this reason, Zwickelbiers usually don’t make it very far from the brewery where they are produced. Our version is brewed with 100% German Pils and Vienna malts and Czech Saaz hops. A cold fermentation with a classic Bavarian lager yeast lets the pure flavors of the malt and hops shine through. Look for it on tap very soon! The Maerzen (or Octoberfest as they are more commonly called in the US) is a smooth amber lager brewed with Vienna, Munich, and Caramunich malts. Again, the Bavarian lager yeast creates a clean, malt focused beer perfect for drinking by the liter outside in the cool fall weather. In fact, the Marzenbier will be making its debut at just such an occasion – the 2nd annual Octoberfest at Closed for Business this Friday, 9/23! If you can wait a few more days, it will be hitting the taps around SC the following week.

We’re also thrilled to announce the upcoming release of our first collaboration beer!

Earlier this summer we brewed two beers with the guys from The Charleston Beer Exchange – the first is now sleeping soundly in our barrel room and won’t be ready for 18 months, but the second beer is ready to drink now! It’s a single-hopped Cascade double IPA brewed with approximately 50 lbs of fresh grapefruit, and then dry-hopped 4 times(!!) in the fermentor. We have dubbed this beer the Citrus _____ Exchange and it will be released sometime the week of the 26th at the Charleston and Greenville Beer Exchange stores. It will also be on sale at the brewery for tasting and growler fills, and a small amount should be making an appearance at some of our best draft accounts around town.

Here’s a few photos from the brewing sessions:

Pre-brew breakfast. It was the only place open before 6am on Sunday!

Brandon Plyler (aka "Old Time") adds some sugar to the boil

Rich gets the grain out of the lauter tun. Intern George assists.

And then Rich gets weird with the barrels

While the wort boils, a fierce match of badminton breaks out

Cheers to a successful brew!

That’s all for now – we’ll be back soon with an update on our canning line and more new beers for this fall/winter.

Cheers,

Edward & Morgan

August 12th, 2011

August Update – New beers and more

We’re excited to announce that we have not just one, but two new beers hitting the taps around town very soon! The first, the American Bitter, is the inaugural beer fermented in our new 15 bbl tank. If you’ve been to the brewery before, you might know that we normally brew 30 bbls per batch – equal to (60) 15.5 gallon kegs or 1653 six-packs of beer, which equals….a lot of beer! This 15 bbl tank lets us brew some smaller batches of different, experimental beers without taking up space in our larger tanks. These beers are limited release one-offs and may never be brewed again, so be sure to get your hands (or mouths) on them quickly! The American Bitter is an Americanized (i.e. hopped up) version of a traditional English bitter. Bitters are low alcohol (3 to 4.5% abv) pale ales that are often dry hopped and served on cask. Our take on the style is suitably sessionable at a modest 4% abv, but we wanted to turn it up a notch in the hop department – so instead of using the mellower English hop varieties we blasted it with a blend of Centennial and Chinook in the kettle, followed by a hefty dry hop with more Centennial. Since cask ale hasn’t gone mainstream in South Carolina yet, this beer is kegged and fully carbonated (which actually helps the hop aroma jump out of the glass better). The result? A great beer to get your hop fix with and still be able to drive home!

Our other new beer, the SaisonAle, is our August/September seasonal. French for “season,” Saisons were traditionally brewed in Belgian farmhouses in autumn to be consumed in the late summer during the harvest. Our version of this classic Belgian ale is pale gold, with an intense fruity and peppery aroma from the Saison yeast strain. It’s light bodied and crisp on the palate with a very dry finish that makes this the perfect beer for hot weather!

In other news, we’re going to start canning the White Thai and IPA in about 4 weeks! Why cans instead of bottles? Cans are a better package for beer since they don’t let in any light – even brown glass bottles allow some light through which can result in skunky beer. Cans are also much lighter and won’t shatter like glass bottles will, so they’re portable and safe for the beach, boat, pool, etc. Follow us on Facebook for photos and updates on our canning progress! We’re also working on bottling some of our upcoming seasonals and barrel-aged beers in 750ml and 22oz bottles. As far as new beers for the fall/winter, yes, we have been listening to your requests for some darker & stronger stuff….

Cheers,

Edward & Morgan

February 2nd, 2011

Tasting Room is open!

The tasting room is open for tours/tastings starting today from 4 until 7 pm! Normal operating hours are posted on the Tasting Room page along with the beer list and SC beer tasting/sale regulations. This week we’re featuring 2 beers from our pilot batch collection – A single hopped Citra Rye Pale Ale and an Oatmeal Stout. These beers are brewed on our 15 gallon pilot brewing system and are only available at the brewery. Our goal is to always have at least one of our pilot batches on for every tasting, just to keep things interesting. Every beer on the list is available for growler fills. Come see us!

NOTE: We can only accept cash right now, but our merchant account for credit/debit cards should be set up soon.