San Diego, CA
Remember our series about best damn home brew contest winner Isaac Caballero? This past week we bought him a pint of his own beer. By own beer we mean his own beer. We returned to The Beer Company to talk to Isaac and GABF 2012 Gold Medal winner Kirk Roberts about Isaac’s award winning Dark IPA, which is now on draft.
As it turns out, they have continued brewing since then! No, Isaac hasn’t been given the green light to keep brewing his IPA, or any other of his recipes for that matter. Nor has Kirk hung up his work boots. No. Instead Kirk has allowed Isaac in the brewhouse to learn more about the system, the process, and how to make recipes work on a 15bbl system! Though Isaac’a Dark IPA is on draft now at the Beer Co., you will soon be tasting beers that he helped bring to life. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though. Instead, let’s learn more about Isaac’a IPA.
Originally intended to be a Black IPA, a changing of the grain bill (due to the fact it went from a small scale homebrew to a large scale craft brew) made it more Brown than Black, but that name was taken already Isaac’s beer’s production name was different, but you will find it as Dark IPA on the tap list. This beer starts off like it wants to be a nut Brown, then it gets gamey venison-like, or a beef jerkey with a meaty spiciness that tapers off with a clean hop finish. This beer is complex, and substantial, and totally on par with any professional offering!
I asked Kirk about the selection and he shared that though there were many entries Isaac’s was by far the best. Some beers didn’t pass the smell test. Others tasted infected. Others were good, but not great. Isaac’s was a clear winner.
I asked Isaac for his thoughts on the beer and he had a lot to say.
The process isn’t too different from homebrewing itself. Aside from the fact that it’s a little more automated. It was still a fun and worthwhile experiance. I am about 85% happy with the final product. I would probably go a little heavier in the 5 min and flame out hops. Plus more for dry hopping. I would also add a little more chocolate malt. Minor tweeks here and there, but its pretty darn close to the original. Working with Kirk has been great. I’ve had the good luck of being invited back for other brew days. I’ve been trying observe and absorb as much as I can.
As for what’s next? I’m going to continue working on my craft. Enter more competitions. I want to continue to learn from Kirk and any other people who are willing to share their knowledge. I pretty much just want to feed and grow my passion.
It is great to see how humble Isaac is while simultaneously speaking matter of factly about the beer, the process, and the future. I, for one, am looking forward to Isaac’s next creation: a pale ale with mosaic hops and an interesting grain bill. Word on the streets it will be a Craft Beer Tasters collabo
Dr. Q x Jerry
words x pics