(San Francisco, CA) – Homebrewing celebrity, Jamil Zainasheff, made a big announcement this week.
[11/8 Update: Well, my analysis below about 30 barrel brewhouses went out the window. This will be an alternating proprietorship. See comment below. Thanks for the detective work, Ross!]
It came on an episode of Brewing TV, posted online yesterday. Around the 16:20 mark, Zainasheff reveals that he’s starting a new brewery called Heretic Brewing. Here are the scant details thus far:
– Located in East Bay of San Francisco
– 30 barrel brewhouse
– Expected to release first beers in February or March 2011
– Will be packaged in kegs primarily to start with 750s and bombers shortly thereafter
– Should be pouring at Homebrewers Conference in June in San Diego
The absence of 4-packs or 6-packks in the plan seems pretty unusual at first glance. I polled people to see if there is a 30-barrel brewery out there that doesn’t do 4-pks or 6-pks. Port Brewing/The Lost Abbey has a 30 bbl system but brews less than 10,000 barrels a year, in part, due to low yields (kudos to Munche on Twitter). Brewpublic suggested Ninkasi Brewing, a brewery I wrote about earlier this summer that is truly in a class of its own as the only regional brewery exceeding 80% growth in 2009 (they were at 157%). Seattle Beer News mentioned that Mac and Jack‘s is in the top 50 with 100% draft sales but that they “brew around the clock” on their 20bbl system to get there.
Each one of those breweries is special for one reason or another but if anyone else can pull it off, it might just be Zainasheff. Also known as “Mr. Malty,” he is something of a legend in homebrewer circles. Over the last several years, he has built a substantial amount of goodwill with his future customer base by offering up brewing tips and expertise. Here’s the Wikipedia entry on Zainasheff:
Jamil Zainasheff has worked as a software engineer. He lives in Elk Grove, California, USA. Zainasheff started homebrewing in 1999, and was awarded the prestigious Ninkasi Award in 2004 and 2007. He hosts the internet radio show “The Jamil Show” on The Brewing Network. He co-authored Brewing Classic Styles: 80 Winning Recipes Anyone Can Brew with John J. Palmer and Yeast – A Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation with Chris White. He also has been the Style Profile columnist for Brew Your Own magazine since 2007.
Zainasheff is Assistant IT Director of the Beer Judge Certification Program, and has been the Representative of the West Region (Hawaii and California) since June 2008.