Hopefully, you saw that we named FATE Brewing Co. our Editor’s Choice at the Great American Beer Festival (and were jealous!). Well, we were in such a rush to announce our selection, that we couldn’t wait for FATE’s answers to our questions. FATE’s answers arrived in our inbox, but the post was already up. What to do?
Then we remembered that it’s the Internet, so we can do whatever we want. Here is a new post with our quick Q&A with Hannah Lloyd at FATE Brewing.
Craft Brewing Business: Describe FATE’s brewing philosophy in a few sentences.
Hannah Lloyd: Our Head Brewer, Jeff Griffith, chooses to brew relatively rare styles, and then he adds his unique twist and the outcome is super approachable, drinkable delicious beer. For example, one of our core beers (these are our year-round brews) is a Roggenbier. This Rye Style Ale is relatively rare in the marketplace and is nearly never a year-round style for breweries. Jeff’s making a sour ale. He goes with the gose, a sour wheat ale spiced with corriander and sea salt, a style many have never heard of. Now, we want to barrel age that beer. We put it into tequila barrels rather than the typical whiskey barrels we see in breweries across the country.
Using ingredients in interesting ways is another aspect of his brew style. There are numerous coffee stouts and porters out there. We’ve all seen dark coffee beer before. What does Jeff do? He infuses organic, single origin Ethiopian cold press coffee into our IPA and our Kolsch Style ale. Plus we get the coffee from our local roaster and friends, Ozo Coffee. The subtle coffee flavors and aromas surprise and delight drinkers when they pickup their lighter colored coffee ale. The list goes on from there. Chocolate Pretzel Stout. Watermelon Kolsch. Parcae Belgian Style Pale Ale, Black and White IPA. Black Wit. Mint Julep Ale (for the Kentucky Derby). Red Wit and Blue (for 4th of July). Apollo Tsai hopped up honey wheat ale infused with Earl of Grey tea from the Tea Spot, a collaboration we did with Kyle Hollingsworth of the String Cheese Incident. His ability to think outside the box allows us to produce beer that is totally unique, delicious and drinkable.
CBB: How large is FATE, barrel/production wise?
Lloyd: Last year, FATE brewed around 900 bbls. This year, FATE brewed around 1,600 bbls, and we hope/expect to more than double that by next year!
CBB: How was the GABF? You guys seemed to be crazy busy.
Lloyd: The Great American Beer Festival was fantastic! Honestly, we couldn’t have been more thrilled to take home our first GABF Gold Medal for the Kolsch category and it definitely escalated the line on Saturday. We also brought some pretty rare and exclusive styles for the floor tasting, which thanks to word of mouth created some awesome buzz early on. No matter the size of the event, we always try to bring our specialty/seasonal/rare styles to beer festivals to give people a taste of our passion!
CBB: What are your most popular beers?
Lloyd: Each of FATE’s core style beers are popular. However, our Moirai India Pale Ale and Laimas Kolsch Style Ale continue to be the most popular styles. FATE does fun renditions with these two styles in a specialty/seasonal way. For instance, we use the Laimas Kolsch Style Ale as the base for our summer seasonal, the Watermelon Kolsch Style Ale. This beer is incredibly popular in the summer. We also produce a specialty beer which utilizes our Moirai India Pale Ale in a unique way — with coffee. The Coffee IPA is by far one of our best sellers and keeps people coming back again and again.
CBB: What’s next for FATE? Anything you can let us in on?
Lloyd: FATE Brewing Co. will be canning its core style beers in early 2015. After receiving the Gold medal at GABF in the Kolsch Style Ale category, we decided that this will probably be the first canned style we role out. FATE also plans to expand into the space next door and renovate into a private barrel aging room, retail, and private party space.