Gentleman Brewing in California
This is one of those stories in which the less I write, the more the quotes are allowed to breathe and the more you'll be filled with a sense of wonder (and, perhaps, other strong emotions). So let's get started.
The idea to launch a brewery and Sons Beer came organically through the trio’s close friendship.... Carlo Mondavi, Jacob Busch and Elliott Taylor are the sons of some of the most well-known names in the business. Mondavi, 37, is the son of vintner Tim Mondavi and grandson of legendary Robert Mondavi; Taylor, 27, is the son of restaurant builder Ronald Lee Taylor; and Busch, 28, is the son of Peter W. Busch and part of the legendary Budweiser brewing family.
Three scions of famous families have launched the latest craft brewery in the US. They hired a brewer. And they built this project around a profound vision.
The beer, it seems, is made according to specifications as rarely seen as the American pilsner.
“It is a very complicated brew protocol and is a thick binder worth of pages to follow the actual procedure of this brew. We have one of the longest lager pilsners on the market and our total start to finish time from batch in to rack out is just under 30 days, which is extremely long for a lager. Checking temperature throughout the day and monitoring the beer is a complicated process―we use an array of different malts and we use several different hops.”
(Binders full of beer!) (For those without an intimate knowledge of lager brewing, a month is purely standard for conditioning. Fermentation takes longer for lager beer, so a typical period of time would be closer to six weeks. Budvar takes 100 days from mash to bottle. Most styles of beers also typically use multiple malts and hops--except, interestingly, pilsners, which are the often made with just one malt and one hop variety. In other words, that whole paragraph is nonsense.)
We conclude with a comment from Jacob Busch:
“What separates us is that we narrowed in on one product when most startups create many different brands. We just wanted to create one great pilsner to sit with the world’s finest. Other beer houses want to create their light, their darker, their porters, their stouts. We wanted to focus on creating the best pilsner. Because of our last names, people thought it would be easy to take advantage of us by charging us three times more than their first bid, but we were too smart for that. The number one thing is to show people that when you are dedicated and love what you are doing, its not really work. What we have accomplished so far is pretty incredible. It’s the smallest things in life that make the biggest impact, shaking someones [sic] hand and making somebody smile, that’s what it’s all about.”
Note. Jim Dobson, who wrote the source article at Forbes, is partly to blame for its most egregious howlers--he set these guys up like some kind of brewing gods descended straight from Mount Olympus. There are grammatical quirks and typos throughout. The Sons brewing guys aren't responsible for that.