Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Brewery Project: Saint Archer

I'm a bit bewildered by Saint Archer Brewing Co.  I tasted their Blonde Ale prior to my visit and wasn't impressed, so I was skeptical going in.  I was greeted by nice signage outside, something lacking in smaller breweries I've visited lately, and was impressed by the spacious tasting area inside.  With only 3 core beers, the aforementioned Blonde Ale, a Pale Ale, and an IPA, I was pleased to find they had a special release on tap, a Scotch Ale.  It was actually quite good.  I also tried the IPA.  I found it a good, solid representation of the style, although not the best IPA I've ever had.  With such a nice facility and surprisingly good beer, what is the cause of my bewilderment?  The focus of this brewery seems to be on its owners, an extensive group of skateboarders, surfers, and snowboarders all coming together to... make beer?  Do any of them have a background in beer?  If they do, they don't go into it at all on their website.  They've hired a head brewer and a lead brewer with some brewing chops, but they seem to be the only ones focused on the beer.  And, after all, isn't that the important thing?  When I walk into a brewery, I prefer the owner of the brewery to be the same person brewing my beer.  I know that won't always be the case, but I'd like to think that the person who started the brewery is a person who has dedicated their life to the craft, whose prime focus is craft beer, and that their desire is to share their passion through the product they offer.  Perhaps I'm too idealistic,  but the thought of a group of athletes deciding to pool their money into a project, which just happens to be a brewery, holds little interest for me.  I can see this being a great spot for fellow athletes to hang out at after a long day at the skatepark, beach, or mountains, but I just don't see myself fitting into that crowd very often.

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