Hello 2017

Well 2017 is upon us and we are stoked to say it's off to an amazing start.  Our Alpha Dankopotamus cans were a huge success and we sold through 20bbls worth way too quickly! We will be without cans for about two weeks here but fear not, we have made arrangements to ensure we always have more canned goodness for y'all in the future. 

We are thrilled to announce that we won a gold medal for our Rockbiter Roggenbier at the Best of Craft Brewing Awards! We also picked up a bronze for our Pyro's Prost Chili Beer.  We enter a lot of contests because we like the feedback from the judges but it always feels good to take home some new hardware. 

Finally, San Francisco Beer Week is almost upon us! We have a very busy week planned.  Here is a list of the events we are participating in:

Opening Night Gala- Friday, February 10th

Bistro Double IPA Festival- Saturday, February 11th@ the Bistro in downtown Hayward

Baby Brewery Night- Wednesday, February 15th@ Pacific Standard Taproom in Berkeley

Tap Takeover - Wednesday, February 15th@ Ocean Ale House - Ocean St, San Francisco

Tap Takeover- Friday, February 17th@ The Beer Hall w/Alpha Acid & Hop Dogma, The Beer Hall, San Francisco

Tap Takeover/Food Pairing- Saturday Feb. 18th w/HMB Brewing Co@ Hop Water, San Francisco

Meet the Brewers Fest- Saturday February 18th, Hermitage Brewing Co, San Jose

 

2016 Year in Review, Alpha Dank Can Release, and more

Well looks like we completed another trip around the sun! Wow was 2016 a crazy year.  I thought it would be a good exercise for me to do a year in review, as it truly was a year to remember for us.  There was good, bad, ugly, and just about everything else.  I’ll spare you the “Bad” and “Ugly” stuff.  I’m just proud to say that we got through it, grew from it, and are in a better space today because of it.  That’s how we like to look at it. 

 

So the “Good” you ask? 2016 was full of amazing accomplishments, growth, and joy for our humble little brewery.  We won seven awards at professional beer competitions this year including a silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival and a 2nd place ribbon at the California State Fair! As brewers, we are often our own worst critics and work incredibly hard to become better at what we do.  Placing at these competitions in an increasingly competitive industry really validated our efforts and I can honestly say the GABF medal was one of the greatest days of my life. 

 

2016 saw Hop Dogma grow in every respect. From production to retail and expansion, we pushed our boundaries and worked tirelessly to expand our footprint and make our company a healthier and more sustainable business.  We gutted our garage brewery and did some simple repairs, shuffled some things around, and actually ended up being able to double our in-house fermentation capacity! So more good beer coming your way! We still can only self distribute at this time, but we were able to get our beer as far south as San Diego and Redondo Beach and up to Sacramento, Sonoma, and beyond.  On the coastside, we continue to make wonderful relationships with our fellow local business owners and our beer is popping up in more and more places all the time, which brings joy to our hearts.  It has been so gratifying to work with our friends and neighbors in such a wonderful place.

 

This year we had to make some major changes that involved some very difficult decisions.  We are saying goodbye to some core brands for a bit.  Our A-Frame IPA and Beaudacious DIPA will be retired in bottle form.  Before anyone gets too upset we will be doing draft only in-house from time to time.  We just decided that these hoppy beers that we contract (gypsy) brewed just were not holding up well enough or representing us in a way that we felt good about. The brands were suffering, tired, and we truly believe that the beers that we are designing and making right now are our best. We know that some of you love these beers so that made the decision that much harder.  All we can say is that we feel confident that we can make these beers in house at a higher quality level. As professionals we know that quality needs to always be priority number one.  If we are going to become the brewery that we aspire to be, we can’t have products out on the market that we can’t stand by.  So we have decided to cut back, expand our in-house brewing abilities as best we can, and focus on quality and the customer experience.  We will still do a small amount of contract brewing now out of E.J. Phair. They have been doing a wonderful job for us and the relationship we have built with them is really helping us expand our distribution abilities. For example, we are proud to announce our first canned product will be released January 4th! It will be our beloved Alpha Dankopotamus IPA!  The can, we truly believe is a superior option for our hoppy beers so we are making the shift.  Look out for the release information but you will be able to get it out of our taproom and many locations throughout the Bay Area. 

 

In 2017, we hope to accomplish many things.  We are still looking for a suitable production space.  We’d like to expand our retail space as well.  This is a little easier said then done but we’ll see.  Very shortly, we plan to do a little reimagining of our taproom.  We’ll be upgrading the chairs and tables, paint, bar, whole nine yards.  So that is exciting for us as we want our customers to be comfortable when enjoying our beers and each others’ company.

 

Lastly, we just want to say thank you for your love and support.  We could never be doing this without it.  Our patrons have proven time and time again that they are incredibly supportive, funny, honest, caring, and incredibly people.  Have a safe and awesome New Year and we can’t wait to do 2017 with ya!


Cheers,

Dan

Repairs, upgrades, and more

Howdy there.  I'm taking a little much appreciated moment to do a blog since there is not much else I can be doing right now. The last few days we have not spent brewing.  In fact, we've completely removed the brewing system and all fermenters, glycol chiller, sinks, etc out of our garage to do some much needed repair work.  Over the last few years we have really done a number on the poor concrete floors of this building.  It was getting so bad that we decided to remove the brewing equipment, have the concrete torn out, reset, and then will be adding epoxy afterwards to ensure this doesn't happen again. 

We will also be investing in a new garage door that will allow us to upgrade a couple of our fermenters to a bigger size. When it is all said and done we should be able to brew about 70% more beer right out of our El Granada brewhouse.  Even more exciting is that we will be starting up the barrel program again so we will be able to push some beers through a bit quicker and transfer to barrels directly after primary fermentation which should also increase our brewing speed and capacity. 

It's all very exciting but stressful.  Being down for the count and offline is terrifying.  We just hope it goes smoothly.  Pics to come soon!

Rock-Biter Takes Silver at GABF!

We are thrilled and honored to have been lucky enough to take home the silver medal in the rye beer category at the Great American Beer Festival! Our Rock-Biter Roggenbier is a beer we've always been proud of and it was so exciting to see it honored at GABF! We know that It will probably never be a top seller or rate particularly high on untapped or anything like that. However, it's a style that has nearly all but disappeared but we've always liked it and wanted to do our best to keep it relevant.  It's not an IPA. It's not a huge adjunct stout or sexy sour. It is, however, a beautiful beer with it's own unique and enjoyable character.  We love the delicate weizen yeast character and almost pumpernickel bread quality.  We love how creamy and dense the beer feels.  It is unique and beautiful in it's own special way.

When I decided to brew this beer for GABF it is because I really felt that I could do this style much better justice than in the past.  I wanted a really delicate and not overwhelming clove and banana quality so I carefully researched my yeast options and found one I thought would be best suited.  Then, I upped the rye percentage to around 54% and added loads of other specialty malts to help distinguish the flavors I wanted. Roggenbier is typically pretty cloudy, so I hardly fined the beer at all.  I did a ramp up from 128 degrees to about 158 in the mash as well. Brewing this beer is never easy.  Rye is notoriously difficult to brew with. Often "gumming" up in the mash tun and sticking.  It is a real challenge and that is truly part of the fun for me.  

Now that the dust has settled from GABF and I've had time to think a bit I just feel so proud.  I'm so proud of what we've been able to accomplish in our little garage "brewery".  We don't have any floor drains or bright tanks.  Own only a three barrel system. The list goes on and on.  We've taken a less than ideal situation and been able to make the best of it.  However, it just clarifies and motivates us.  We now know that we have to take the leap of faith and expand. We owe it to ourselves.  In order to make the best beer that we are capable of, we need to do this.  We need to do this the right way.  I'm not sure how, this stuff isn't cheap or easy to do but we are more determined than ever now.  Huge thanks to all of you who have supported us along the way.  Cheers!

Dan and the Hop Dogma Team

Welcome to the new site!

Greetings! Welcome to the new website.  We are excited to move to a new format here that makes it easier for us to keep in touch with our patrons.  2016 has been a whirlwind type of year for us as we have had some tremendous ups and downs along the way.  All in all though, we couldn't be happier about the direction we are headed.  We are still searching for the ideal future brew-house.  In the meantime, we will continue to make as much beer in house here and expand this space as we can. We will continue to "Gypsy Brew" wherever we can find the opportunity to help us keep up with demand.  Most importantly, we will continue to develop our relationships with the wonderful people in this community and profession and strive to expand our brewing knowledge along the way.  Please check back often as we plan to blog much more frequently and keep you all up to speed with the beers and projects we have going on.  Cheers!