In celebration of craft beer week, we are hosting a Beer and Cheese Tasting in addition to our Strong Ale Release Party! Friday May17th 6pm at the Tasting room.
Friday May 17th
6pm at the Tasting room.
Includes a flight of samples including a pre-taste of our Strong Ale. Finger Foods and one pour of your choice.
Tickets Available Online and At the Door
Celebrate American Craft Beer Week!
Part 8 in our ongoing series of posts introducing you to the Valiant family of beers. Today’s installment: Axiom.
Malty highlights hint at graham cracker sweetness, spiced with dark sweet cherry and raisin, all swirled within rich caramel. We admit it: just writing about Axiom, our new Trappist ale, makes our mouths water!
Our friends at St. Michael’s Norbertine Abbey in Silverado Canyon inspired us to brew this beer, and it was quite an undertaking. With seven different malts, Axiom hits the profile of many different grains—plus flaked oats (5% of the grain mix), which give the brew a silky texture.
Dextrose thinned out the body to perfect drinkability, plus gave it a push on the ABV (10.5%). We added golding hops for just 60 minutes to balance out that rich malty profile (Axiom has an IBU of 28). But the thing that ties it all together is the yeast, blending all those different ingredients into one exceptional beer. The flavors hit you first, leading you right into the warm, cozy sensation you can expect from a higher ABV beer, and concluding with a mildly dry, slightly sweet finish.
We’re pouring half our first batch of Axiom in the tasting room right now, while the other half is safe in our bourbon barrels. When we tap the aged Axiom in a few months, we expect it’ll be up around 12% ABV.
Part 7 in our ongoing series of posts introducing you to the Valiant family of beers. Today’s installment: Mighty Maximus.
Don’t let the name fool you: while Mighty Maximus has a robust mouthfeel and a flavor as big as its name leads you to expect, it also has a rich toffee and roasty malt character. At 3.6% ABV it’s definitely a sessionable beer, but true to Valiant’s roots, it makes a big beer impression. And though the beer style is called bitter, bitterness is not its strongest characteristic.
Like all Valiant beers, the key to Mighty Maximus’s drinkability is balance.
The grain bill is rather simple, with classic British pale ale and a unique selection of roasted malts combining to give Mighty Maximus a little more character than beers that rely on the classic 2-row malt. Noble hops are added at different points on the late side of the boil, imparting the flavor—but with only 56 IBUs, the bitterness level is at a level even the biggest malt fan can appreciate!
With a bready-roasty-toasty aroma and just a hint of chocolate, Mighty Maximus is a totally approachable, totally drinkable beer. Watch for MM on nitro to go on tap in the tasting room soon.
Part 6 in our ongoing series of posts introducing you to the Valiant family of beers. Today’s installment: Fields Ablaze.
Traditionally brewed during the cooler months in the French-speaking region of Belgium, Saisons were stored for drinking during the summer months. In SoCal you never know when summery weather will hit, so just to stay ahead of the curve, Valiant released Fields Ablaze (6.8% ABV), a refreshing summer Saison, in the super early spring.
This light beer is perfect for people who enjoy classic American lagers; yeast provides a classic spiciness, but there’s no malt complexity weighing down the resulting brew.
What it does have is a tangy kick from a lemongrass-speckled pear “tea” that was added in the brite tank. A series of tests quickly showed which was the ideal beer-tea ratio to create a light, clean-tasting beer. For this Saison, that’s where the balance lies: it’s beer, after all, not lemongrass beer!
Relying on classic noble hops, pilsner malt and wheat, Fields Ablaze will be a comfortable fit for many beer drinkers—but the surprise addition of opal hops adds a flowery aroma, and a unique fermentation process adds more complex characteristics to the classic Saison yeast.
A big hit in the Valiant tasting room, it’s also the top-selling Valiant keg… something to keep in mind as the round of warm-weather holidays approaches (Cinco de Mayo, anyone?).
Reduce, reuse, recycle—nowadays, that’s a concept just about everyone can agree on. And one of the major behind-the-scenes benefits of operating a brewery is the opportunity it gives us to do just that: reuse and recycle our materials in unique ways.
Since the start of this year, we’ve created 24 tons—that’s no typo, guys: tons—of spent grain. For every brewery, it’s a challenge to figure out what to do with all tonnage. After all, it’s not really waste: there are still plenty of natural uses for spent grain. We know some breweries that partner with local farmers who use the grain to fertilize their crops. Other brewers use spent grain as a base for products including candles, soap, and dog biscuits.
Right now, we’re transporting our spent grain back to the homestead in Silverado. It starts with Brian and Jack sliding a series of 55-gallon drums beneath the mash tun. With the push of a button, the grain pours out into each drum. Then the guys load the drums onto the forklift and fill the trailer.
That’s the easy part.
Once Brian gets home, he has to get the grain out of the drums and into our compost piles. He backs the trailer into the compost area, shoves over the drums—each can hold about 230 pounds of grain, but remember: wet grain weighs more than dry!—and builds up the mounds of compost. (The real danger is getting splashed with some of that wet grain. The odor is intense.)
With the tractor, Brian transports about 1000 pounds of the grain into our poultry pen. We have 5 turkeys, 18 ducks, 17 chickens (including one rooster), and a mere three geese. All that grain feeds all those birds for about four days.
The rest of the grain stays in the compost pile, slowly decomposing to a state where we can use it to fertilize our vegetable beds, fruit trees, and rose bushes. We’ve always been fans of compost—so cool to put kitchen scraps and garden waste to good use!—but it took us three years to actually get our first compost pile going. (Those of you who also compost know how long it can take for all those eggshells, vegetable peelings, and grass clippings to decompose into nutrient-rich compost!)
Now that the compost pile is up and running, so to speak, decomposition happens much more quickly. When Brian first began depositing Valiant’s spent grains, he created a 20-foot swath of 4-foot-tall piles. All that grain has now decomposed into a single pile.
We’ll always take advantage of Valiant’s spent grains for our little farm—but as we continue brewing, and the number of spent-grain-tons climbs, we also hope to build relationships with local farmers. Reduce, reuse, recycle—and reach out to others. It’s the
composter’s brewer’s way.
Last weekend Valiant was excited to take part in two great beer events: the Los Angeles Beer Festival (in the Paramount Studios parking lot!) and the Slater’s 50/50 Backyard Brewfest, which raised money for pediatric cancer research (and gave everyone an awesome excuse to while away a spring afternoon enjoying great craft beer!).
While Kelly held down the fort in the tasting room, Brian trekked up to LA and Jack headed down to Lake Forest for the Brewfest, where he poured with the assistance of family friend James White. The guys got the word out about Valiant, convinced non-Saison fans to give our Fields Ablaze a try, and spent some time with our colleagues at Cismontane, Noble, Bootlegger’s, and Hangar 24 and Ritual from the Inland Empire. (Jack even met one of the Beer Chicks!)
If you missed this great time, don’t feel too bad–you can break open your Valiant growler and enjoy a cold one while looking over Brewfest photos. It’s the next best thing to being there!
Part 5 in our ongoing series of posts introducing you to the Valiant family of beers. Today’s installment: Octave.
It’s no shocker that Belgian pale ales dominate the brewing scene in Belgium—especially after you’ve tasted one. These are easy-drinking beers with a malty taste and the pleasant aroma of hops (without the bitterness).
Valiant’s Belgian pale fits that bill—but also sneaks outside the style box, so to speak.
Five different malts go into Octave, building a complex flavor profile. Octave isn’t as sweet as some Belgian pales, though—and it has a drier finish than many. With an IBU of 30, Octave offers a longer-lasting bitterness to balance out the malt profile. Opal hops are the source of a distinctive fruity, floral aroma (but without that ester hit that turns off so many beer-drinkers).
With an ABV of 6.5%, Octave not only balances the malt and hops, but a little added sugar thins out the flavor profile so it’s not quite so thick. It’s mildly carbonated and, unlike many Belgian pales, no decanting is necessary for this reddish, semi-cloudy beer.
Diversifying the lineup in the Valiant tasting room, Octave won’t be on tap year-round—so it’s a good idea to grab a glass before it’s all gone.
Plus there may be a surprise in store down the road for Octave fans. It is possible that some of the Belgian pale made its way into bourbon barrels for aging, just in time for a summer release. We can’t wait to taste how oaking impacts the flavor profile of Valiant’s newest beer!
Part 4 in our ongoing series of posts introducing you to the Valiant family of beers. Today’s installment: Hotspur.
The inspiration for our Dunkelweizen, Hotspur, comes from southern Germany, as you might have guessed. If your German beer skills are sharp, you already know that “dunkel” means “dark,” and “weizen” means “wheat.” It’s a dark version of the Hefeweizen (“yeast wheat,” for those of you playing at home), but with a more complex flavor profile as well as a darker hue, a sort of ruby brown.
Hotspur is a classic Dunkelweizen with a healthy dose of banana and clove aroma and a flavor to match: banana, clove, and a hint of nutty bread. Additional character stems from using classic noble hops like Hallertau, which provide that earthy, slightly flowery aroma—a must for this style of beer.
Part of our Common Sense series, Hotspur comes in at 5% ABV. Its drinkability is very much in keeping with the Dunkelweizen style—low in alcohol, but packed with flavor. Hotspur shares those characteristics with all the other beers in our Common Sense series (including premium bitter Mighty Maximus, 3.6% ABV, and 31 Kings IPA, 6.5% ABV).
In Germany, Dunkelweizens are known as individuals—there are dozens of brands, but each with a unique flavor profile. In that sense, Hotspur is a perfect fit. (And that’s how we chose the name: Hotspur the beer, just like Shakespeare’s Henry IV character of the same name, is an invigorating individual!)
It is best to store Hotspur upright in a dry dark area at temperatures around 50°F. We recommend serving at 53 – 59°F in goblet-type glassware. And here are some suggestions for goodies to enjoy alongside it: substantial salads, roast chicken, pork, hearty sausage, goat cheese, Gouda… and banana cream pie!
Part 3 in our ongoing series of posts introducing you to the Valiant family of beers. Today’s installment: 31 Kings.
You’ve already met our Imperial IPA (Jericho)—now we’ll introduce you to our IPA, 31 Kings.
31 Kings is part of our Common Sense Series, session beers that are low in alcohol—and are designed to be enjoyed by everyone, from beer geeks to those trying craft beer for their first time.
India Pale Ale is a beer style that dates back close to 200 years. The term “pale ale” alerted drinkers to the fact that the beer had been brewed from pale malt; it was India pale ale because it was brewed for export to India.
Tastes and techniques change over time, so it’s no surprise that the earliest pale ales were lightly hopped—completely different from what Americans expect of their IPAs today. And it’s worth noting that in the United States, East Coast and West Coast IPAs have very different characters—the East Coast brews boasting a stronger malt presence to balance the hops, the West Coast version featuring hops more in the foreground.
It is an incredibly popular beer style—the fastest-growing beer style, in fact, according to RateBeer.com—and there’s good reason for that. A great IPA cleanses the palate, refreshes the soul, and showcases the sheer range of hop aroma and flavor.
31 Kings is a very floral beer with a mixture of pine, citrus, and mango aromas. The predominant flavor profile is dry and resinous, with only a slight malt character.
As with any good IPA, the main attraction is the hops. Aggressive bitterness hits the back of the palate and gradually fades—so, of course, you want to take another sip! The color is pale straw and comes in at 11 SRM.
But 31 Kings’ strongest characteristic is its drinkability. This stems from the balance that we at Valiant Brewing are always striving to achieve in our beers (as well as in life!). While this beer is undeniably hoppy and bitter, our selection of malts and hops balance out the dominant bitter profile, making the beer more accessible to non-hopheads.
31 Kings shares some characteristics with Valiant’s Imperial IPA, Jericho—most notably, the balance of flavors—but there is a significant difference: Jericho clocks in at 10.8% ABV while 31 Kings is at 6.5%.
We’d like to take a moment to shine the spotlight on the unsung hero in any brewery: the sink.
Think about it. The mashtun gets tons of attention (excuse the pun). The brewhouse is always in the spotlight. Even kegs are constant topics of conversation.
That’s all for good reason, we admit. But consider this: without a sink in which to wash the glasses… well, you’d have to guzzle straight from a growler or a tap. And that would be so unhygienic. (And probably against myriad regulations.)
So, without further ado, we present The Tale of Valiant’s Sink.
We got good use out of the sink as soon as it was delivered–but let’s be honest: the purpose of a sink is not to support tubes and pipes and other supplies! So we went ahead and connected it to all the necessary plumbing.
But we didn’t stop there.
And, just like every other part of opening a brewery, we got the job done–one step at a time.