Whether you’re a homebrewer looking for tips on new styles, or someone who enjoys drinking beer and wants to learn more about how it’s made, Longship Brewery’s doors are open. Each month, the Mira Mesa brewery conducts a small-batch brew day and invites anyone interested to take part. This educational event series goes by the name “Learning to Brew with Chuck,” referencing lead brewer Charles Nation, who presides over each brew day.
“We’ve been making small batches to expand our variety for a while, but our goal with the Learning to Brew with Chuck events is to connect with our brewery guests on a deeper level and give them the experience of what making beer is like if that was something they’d never gotten to be a part of before,” says Longship founder and brewmaster Dan Jachimowicz. “There’s a special feeling when you make the connection between the brewing process and the delicious finished product.”
The events have taken place on the last Sunday of each month since early last year. To date, they have spawned a dectet of beers, ranging from a trio of IPAs (black, brut, and double), two stouts (oatmeal and salted caramel), two Belgian ales (saison, tripel with acai berries), an Irish red, English-style winter warmer, and outlandish coconut-curry hefeweizen. All of the beers have made it to the taps at Longship’s tasting room. In fact, two of the beers led to more refined versions that rose to greater prominence among the brewing team and its fans.
“The beauty of these brew days is that they are happening during normal brewery hours, and anyone who walks in can step into the brewhouse and jump right in,” says Jachimowicz. “We want everyone to see the effort and care that goes into each batch we make through a hands-on approach.”
“One of the most memorable beer experiences I’ve taken part in was Learn to Brew with Chuck. Chuck’s willingness to share his knowledge and show his talent for experimentation makes for a wonderful local, cultural experience for long-time beer drinkers, and those newer to the joys of craft beer, alike,” says former participant Joe Lockridge. “Seeing the process start-to-finish while participating has given me a fuller appreciation of the flavor possibilities that can occur when art meets craft. One of the best things is going back to Longship to drink a fresh pint from the last brew day while he brews up the next batch!'”
The next Learning to Brew with Chuck event will take place from 3 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, January 26. In addition to the brew day, Longship will release the winter warmer produced during December’s event. The style du jour will be a chocolate cherry stout. Future events will take place February 23 (extra special bitter), March 29 (coffee IPA) and April 26 (Maibock). There is no charge to participate and hands-on activities include adding hops and other ingredients, stirring during the mash, and pitching yeast. There is no charge to participate and all are welcome. Longship Brewery is located at 10320 Camino Santa Fe, Suite C.