A great look at an even greater regional brewery, via KCET and yours truly.
Just last year, Hangar 24 Brewery in Redlands took a leap — from “microbrewery” to “regional craft brewery,” that is. While the distinction may seem small to most, in the beer world, it’s a pretty big deal. The subtle change in nomenclature has to do with the popular Inland Empire brewery’s production increase, which rolled them over the all-important threshold of 15,000 barrels per year. That’s some serious brewing. But with a small crew dedicated to the craft, a commitment to local farmers and an award or two hanging on the walls, this is the type of seriousness that comes with a smile.
Head Brewer Kevin Wright is a young man, by nearly anyone’s measure. Sturdy, with thick arms and the full facial scruff of a lumberjack in training, the Milwaukee native leads brewing operations for Hangar 24. He comes to this unassuming strip of Redlands across from the airport by way of UC Davis, where he enrolled in and completed their master brewers program. One of only a few dedicated programs to focus entirely on preparing students for certification with the UK’s Institute of Brewing and Distilling, the 18-week schedule covers everything from beer theory to brew practice. The final test is a brutal, nine-hour slog, with written portions covering brewing science and pure engineering. It’s sort of the equivalent of disassembling your rifle in under a minute while blindfolded, but for guys who like beer.
Read more here.
Farley wrote this story about Hanger 24 Brewery, and I took photos!