From the outside, much seems the same about San Marcos’ Dos Desperados Brewery, but enter the tasting room and you’ll notice new beers intermingled with longtime flagships. Witness a brew day and you’ll see a new individual leading production. And soon there’ll be more, namely more space following acquisition of the suite next-door, plus beer in cans. These are exciting times for this small, neighborhood operation, and owner Steve Munson is excited for what’s happening and what’s to come. He’s particularly high on the fast maturation of his new head brewer, Hayden Weir.
“Hayden was an environmental studies student and baseball player at CSU San Marcos. We hired him as a part-time beertender and brewer’s assistant, and when he graduated we hired him full-time as our brewer,” says Munson. “Hayden has networked with several local brewers to hone his trade, primarily Dean Rouleau and Doug Hasker (Gordon Biersch). He worked with Dean one-on-one for almost two years, learning process techniques and recipe design, preparing him to run brewing operations.”
Rouleau brewed many years for San Diego Brewing before opening his own company, Prodigy Brewing, in the same complex as Dos Desperados. He has since closed the business. It is his space that Munson and company are taking over. Though Rouleau has moved to the East Coast, his teachings live on with Weir, who is excited to continue expanding Dos Desperados’ portfolio. In doing so, he’ll utilize an 18-gallon research-and-development fermenter in the new space. Other equipment that will be moved into that additional 1,200 square feet of real estate include a 15-barrel mash tun, 10-barrel brew kettle and five 10-barrel fermenters. Meanwhile, a trio of 10-barrel tanks will remain in the original 2,400-square-foot brewery.
Should sales dictate an increase in production capacity, 20-barrel fermenters and bright tanks will be added to the mix. Dos Desperados’ 2018 barrelage will come in at 600 barrels. Its expansion will allow the company to reach approximately 1,000 barrels next year.