Anderson Valley Brewing head brewer Fal Allen is back on Brew Ha Ha today. Pete Foppiano is sitting in for Steve Jaxon, and Mark Carpenter and Herlinda Heras are also in. Anderson Valley Brewing is located up in Mendocino County. Fal was last on Brew Ha Ha in August of 2018, here is the podcast page of that episode. Don Winkle is also here, he is a local attorney and expert in alcohol law. He prefers the term “cold beer attorney.”
Fal Allen has brought his new Brut IPA, the Boonville Gold, a super light easy-drinking beer, and for extreme contrast, the Treble Kern, which is their triple wort fermented brew with a house mixed culture, which is then soured and they add currants to it. It takes about 18 months to make and is barrel fermented. It is available year-round.
Don Winkle explains some alcohol laws
There are over 7000 breweries in America now, which provide demand for legal services like Don Winkle’s because the liquor laws are complex. Herlinda asked Don to come on the show to discuss some legal issues. For example, Herlinda sometimes has to try to get beer for charity events. There are a lot of laws that non-profits or anyone needs to be aware of if you are selling beer at a fund-raiser. There are a lot of these events throughout the coming Summer season.
You should think of a non-profit as a vendor and a brewer can only sell to a licensed retailer or wholesaler, Don explains. If a non-profit is pouring beer they become a retail licensee for that day. This allows the manufacturer to donate or sell beer to them. There are a lot of details and obligations to get the documentation right.
Boontling, the Mendocino argot
Thribble is a Boontling word that means “three times.” Fal Allen tells about Bootling, the local Mendocino argot that was invented among the residents there in the 1890s. (A dialect is actually a different thing. Linguists call this cant or argot.)
Fal Allen heard about the Brut IPA style and he liked it, so he decided to make one too. He got all the information from all the people who were developing it. He didn’t have to do a lot of experimentation himself. It uses an enzyme that breaks down a lot of the more complex sugars into simpler ones, so the yeast consumes more of it, making a dryer beer that features the hops more than other beers. It is very dry, accessible and drinkable and comes in at about 7% alcohol. Mark hears that they do late-addition hopping.
Herlinda mentions Boston Beer Company, makers of Sam Adams, and Dogfish Head Brewers, have announced a very surprising merger, and Fal Allen thinks it is a good idea. Dogfish has strengths in marketing and Sam Adams is strong in distribution so they should make a compatible combination. Now with 7,000 breweries in America, shelf space is at a premium.