When we first visited Three Weavers Brewing Company back in December of 2014, we found a young brewery putting out great beer with an awesome attitude. Now, two years in, Three Weavers has set themselves apart in the LA market.
Their attention to beer quality, recipe evolution, community involvement, and the ability to get their beer in front of the people that want it has never been better. So, we sat down with Alexandra Nowell, head brewmaster, and talked about where Three Weavers Brewing Company is now, and more importantly, where they’re going.
How the Beer’s Made
Alex is known for her ability to get the most out of hop profiles. And if you’ve ever tried their flagship IPA, Expatriate, you know what we’re talking about. But according to Alex, when you’re dealing with agricultural products like hops and grains, a brewer needs to have flexibility and the ability to adjust.
“For me, I don’t believe in a specific recipe all the time. Hops can change, malts can change, too. Our mosaic can be completely different this year than it was last year, but we can add some Chinook to give it the same resinous profile.”
As Three Weavers increases production and packaging, there are a number of existing beers that Alex plans on tweaking, as well as new beers that will start being developed.
For example, the grain bill on their Seafarer Kölsch is being modified to improve head retention, Knotty DIPA is getting Equinox hops added to round out the hop profile, Stateside Session IPA will be getting a bigger dose in the dry hop, and a new year-round IPA using Idaho 7 hops will be in the works soon.
“We have Expatriate, it is our flagship, but we don’t have that super pale dank IPA and that’s what this one will fill in. We used Idaho-7 in Hops Need Friends and what I smelled and selected this year was way nicer than what I saw last year. Now that it’s starting to come into its own a little bit, I’m really excited for it. I think it’s a cool hop. So, we’ll be developing a bigger, more aggressive IPA for year round distribution.”
In addition to the core beer lineup, Alex has assured us that we can expect some more experimentation than we’ve seen in the past. And there’s no better time than now.
“The processes are in place, the training has happened, and it allows me to focus less on day to day brewing, and more on expansion of the brand and future projects [like] barrel aging.”
Where the Beer Goes
And after all those beers are made, they need somewhere to go, right? Up until now, it’s been almost exclusively kegs and 22oz bottles. But a couple weeks from now, Alex will be headed back home to LA from a trip to Germany to purchase a high-speed canning line. That will allow Three Weavers to package a number of their core beers like Seafarer, Stateside, Expatriate and others in 12oz bottles and cans.
We’ll also see the amazing Knotty DIPA in 22oz bottles soon, and there was even word we might see the bright and citrusy Ripple Saison in a can, which would make outdoor day drinking in LA infinitely better.
With all those bottles and cans coming, don’t think they’ll be skimping on the kegs. Their distribution is expanding as well, with several new sales reps coming on board recently to ensure our favorite local bars have that familiar Three Weavers wooden tap handle as often as possible.
In addition to bolstering the LA market, they’re continuing to show up very well in San Diego, are pushing harder in Orange County, and have just recently entered another beer market that you might have heard of.
“We just got into Portland, and I’m super excited about it. We did our first event during Killer Beer Week, and everything was received so well. And for Portland to receive our beer well was just awesome.”
Some future cities that could see Three Weavers beer in a bigger way include Sacramento, the Bay Area, and potentially Seattle.
Who’s Drinking the Beer
The LA beer scene has grown exponentially over the last two years with an influx of breweries to choose from and more retail options to grab beer on draft or take home in a bottle. It doesn’t end there. The “shiny new object” syndrome plagues the craft beer world, and we’ve starting seeing that right here in LA.
Beer trends grab control of the most enthused craft beer drinkers (and traders) and it gets difficult for a brewery to ignore the hype. Yes, we’re looking at you, hazy IPA. But just because it’s the flavor of the month, Alex isn’t buying into it.
With some breweries looking to carve out a specific niche or take hold of a certain trend, Three Weavers is looking more toward longevity and, most importantly, loyalty in the market.
“This is what I’ve said from the very beginning: I want someone to walk into a bar, see our tap handle and know that no matter what’s on tap, that they’re going to enjoy the beer. That’s the reputation that I think we’ve done a really good job of building and one that we want to continue to grow.”
Alex stressed the importance of the first impressions Three Weavers is continually making, and how that drives them to consistently make the beer the best they possibly can. In fact, pushing quality improvement in the LA market is something Alex takes great pride in and is what excites her most about being a part of the LA beer scene.
“We have some exceptional breweries in LA. Some of my favorite beers are made here. Period.”
A Celebration of Two Years
LA’s first exposure to Three Weavers was in collaboration form, and that’s how they are ringing in two years with Le Petit Fox – a tart Saison fermented with pluots that they made with Cincinnati’s Rhinegeist Brewery.
“We hand processed all California-grown organic pluots here as a family, for hours, like 300 pounds. It’s our first sour beer. It’s really good, it’s really clean. And I think it will start introducing people to the fact that we can expand outside of the kind of beers that we’ve been brewing for the past two years.”
While this first sour beer was tank-soured in the brewhouse, Alex plans on even more experimentation with more barrel-aged and barrel-soured beers in their newer warehouse space.
Two years in, six thousand barrels of beer this year, and even more to come. Three Weavers is a reason to continuously be excited about the future of LA beer. And we’ll happily be along with them for the ride.