As the Brewery World Turns

OC Brewer Moves Bring Questions

astheworldturnsSurely you’ve seen recent news of brewers moving around to different breweries. While this drama is fascinating, the role of OCBeerBlog isn’t to report on this as news. While I do find it newsworthy on some level, sites like The Full Pint do a fantastic job getting scoops and reporting accurate stories within a few hours. My time is much more wisely spent sharing their stories via social media.

OCBeerBlog will only chime in if the personnel changes have an impact on beer quality. For instance, when brewer Evan Price moved from TAPS to Noble Ale Works. He left behind a talented bunch: Victor Novak, Dave Hulls and Kyle Manns. Noble’s beer quality improved greatly with the change and TAPS continued to win medals at GABF and WBC from 2012-13.

photo - @jessicajrice

Kyle Manns photo – @jessicajrice BeerandBaking.com

Where the story gets interesting: The rest of the tenured brewing team left TAPS throughout 2014. Kyle Manns to Bottle Logic, Dave Hulls to Barley Forge and Victor Novak to Golden Road; leaving a skeleton crew of two assistant brewers to keep TAPS’ taps flowing.

Following Victor’s departure up to L.A., Dave Hulls hopped back to TAPS having never brewed a batch of beer on the system he helped forge in the new Costa Mesa brewery. Kyle Manns, who also helped Bottle Logic build the brewery and win gold at GABF, moved back to TAPS.

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Dave Hulls and Victor Novak at GABF 2013 with medals for Helles and Schwarzbier.

Certainly the moves bring up many questions. While we all assume Kyle and Dave left TAPS to pursue independent careers following Evan’s success with Noble, the move back is more than baffling. Did Joe Manzella give the brewers carte blanche to brew the beers they want to make with a fat raise? Will they still craft classic lagers and Remy? Does Bottle Logic have too many cooks in the kitchen? Will Golden Road nail some GABF medals with Victors tried and true lager techniques?

I guess the point I’m trying to make is brewer moves are indeed fun gossip, but at the end of the day, it’s all about what’s in the glass that matters. Although Bottle Logic has big brew-boots to fill, I’d be shocked to see their quality dip. As for TAPS, keep an eye out for new styles. Golden Road? I hear their Schwarzbier is delish.

this is a whole different story

This is a whole different story.

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