taylor lane russian river

Taylor Lane, Head Lab Tech at Russian River B. C.

Taylor Lane, Russian River Brewing Company‘s head lab tech, joins Steve Jaxon and Herlinda Heras on the Brew Ha Ha podcast today. She was in graduate school in Microbiology at Cal Poly Pomona, working as a lab technician and manager and researching her thesis subject of probiotic bacteria, when she found that they had a culinary program. She thought there could be good professional opportunities for her in the brewing field. She worked for Ritual Brewing company while in school and then for Innovation Brew Works, where she set up their entire lab operation. Three years ago the joined Russian River Brewing Company as head lab tech. The lab is at the center of the production process, as Taylor Lane describes it. Day to day, they test the tanks that are in process and perform various analytics. They look for sugar, color, turbidity or […]

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wolf house brewing

Wolf House Brewing Master Brewer Kevin Lovett

Michelle Marquez is filling in for Steve Jaxon today on the Brew Ha Ha podcast, Herlinda Heras has brought guests from Wolf House Brewing in Cloverdale, Kevin Lovett and Dwayne Moran. Kevin Lovett grew up around craft beer. His father was one of the founders of Mendocino Brewing Co. He and Don Barkley took the equipment from New Albion and started Hopland which became Mendocino.  When Barkley founded Napa Smith, Kevin asked for a job and started on the bottling line. Then Brian Hunt, who also worked at New Albion, gave him a job at Moonlight Brewing Co. After that he was head brewer at Stumptown, and then master brewer at Cloverdale Ale. Now he is running Wolf House with his partner Dwayne. He describes the challenges of opening a brewery and brewpub in these times. They were open for about three weeks before precautions. They […]

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sipsong spirits

Sipsong Spirits founder Tara Jasper

Sipsong Spirits founder Tara Jasper joins Michelle Marquez (sitting in for Steve Jaxon) and Herlinda Heras on Brew Ha Ha today. Sipsong Spirits has recently won a double gold medal at the San Francisco World’s Fair for its Indira Gin. Tara Jasper says she never thought she would be distilling gin. She began her career working for other people and then heard the wisdom that people should do what they love. So she enrolled at Santa Rosa Junior College in the culinary program. She experimented with making flavored liqueurs. In order to make liqueurs better, she had to become a distiller. Indira Gin also supports a good cause. Tara is a breast cancer survivor and she supports “Fight like a Girl” which is a breast cancer support community. Herlinda has made a cocktail with Sipsong Spirits’ Indira Gin (using a shaker that we hear […]

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anderson valley

Fal Allen from Anderson Valley Brewing Co.

Fal Allen from Anderson Valley Brewing Co. and Gabe Jackson from The Beverage People are both on Brew Ha Ha to talk to Steve Jaxon and Herlinda Heras. Fal Allen was on this show two years ago, in August of 2018, talking about his Gose beer. The Beverage People sells kits for brewing specific types of beer, including one that uses Anderson Valley Brewing’s recipe for Gose style beer. This is a German style that AVB has been making and now its recipe is available to home brewers. The Beverage People has been supplying Sonoma County home brewers since 1980 with equipment, ingredients and expertise, for making beer and wine at home but also mead, kombucha, cheese, olives, and more. During the pandemic a lot of people have started baking bread, and they all agree that these folks should also try brewing beer. Gose […]

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spirit works distillery

Spirit Works Distillery 2020 Distillery of the Year

Spirit Works Distillery’s co-owners Ashby and Timo Marshall are our guests today on the Brew Ha Ha podcast with Steve Jaxon and Herlinda Heras. They have just been named the 2020 American Distillery of the Year. Gabe from the Beverage People and Fal Allen from Anderson Valley Brewing are also in. Herlinda has just fixed up a cocktail with some of their Bourbon and Sloe Gin, Campari and orange bitters from Bitter Girl. They founded the distillery in 2013. His family has made Sloe Gin for a long time, in England. They wanted to bring their traditional recipe to California. They have a retail location in The Barlow, they are open Wednesday through Sunday 10-4. They can also ship within California. They have been awarded Best Distillery in the USA by the American Distillers Institute, which they are very proud of, Timo says it’s the biggest […]

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russian river news

Black Is Beautiful and Pliny for President 2020

Black is Beautiful is the cooperative fund raising recipe from Marcus Baskerville of Weathered Soul Brewing in Austin, Texas. Natalie Cilurzo calls in to talk to Steve Jaxon and Herlinda Heras today on Brew Ha Ha. Black is Beautiful now has over 1000 participants and they will taste and describe Russian River Brewing Co.‘s version of it today. Natalie describes how the city of Santa Rosa has closed five blocks of 4th Street downtown, from now until October 15, so that restaurants, including the Russian River Brewing Co. downtown Santa Rosa location, can provide additional outdoor seating with social distancing. There is a little parklet in front of their place. Bayside Church donated their time and materials to build parklets for the restaurants that wanted them. Natalie really appreciates that effort. In Windsor, Russian River Brewing Co. is closed for dining and open for beer […]

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ace cider

Ace Cider’s Ed McGrath and Jeffery House

Ace Cider’s brand ambassador Ed McGrath and founder Jeffery House join Steve Jaxon and Herlinda Heras today on the Brew Ha Ha podcast. Ed McGrath says he became a cider ambassador by loving cider. He started drinking cider when there was a beer strike in Canada, many years ago. His family had a little vineyard in St. Helena and he felt more comfortable working with cider than in the wine business. Jeffery House is on his way to the studio and will join the show soon. In England, cider is a drink for every social class. It is also very popular in Normandy, France, the north-west region. Cider is the number one drink in that region of France and there are many brands and small local productions. This one they are drinking comes from Isigney-sur-Mer, which is reputed to be the town that Walt Disney’s family […]

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Tara Nurin

Today’s Beer Market with Tara Nurin

Today’s beer market is the subject of today’s Brew Ha Ha with Steve Jaxon. He and Herlinda Heras talk with Tara Nurin, Forbes magazine correspondent who writes about the beverage and spirits markets. Her June 30 article in Forbes magazine is called “Alcohol Sales Are Not Spiking or Even Stabilizing, Here’s Why the Misconception Matters. She says she has heard reports in the media saying that alcohol sales are supposedly booming during the Coronavirus crisis, but she knows well, that is not the case, which her article explains in great detail. People have been buying more from liquor stores, but overall sales are down. So much revenue comes from public sales in restaurants and lots of other public locations, which have been closed. The retail sales increase does not make up for the losses. Alcohol sales have only spiked in to-go sales, like everything […]

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earle baum center

The Earle Baum Center

Our guests from the Earle Baum Center of the Blind this week we are Bob Sonnenberg and Dr. Hoby Wedler, who join Steve Jaxon and Herlinda Heras. Dr. Hoby Wedler has been on Brew Ha Ha twice before. The first time was in September of 2018, when he brought blindfolds and they conducted a truly blind taste test. The second time was in May of 2019. Bob Sonnenberg and Dr. Hoby Wedler are both members of the board of directors of the Earle Baum Center of the Blind, which is a non-profit regional community center in Santa Rosa serving people with sight loss in Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino and Lake Counties. Hoby Wedler grew up in Petaluma and attended UC Davis for undergraduate and got his PhD in Chemistry in 2016. Hoby Wedler is a co-founder of Senspoint Design, a creative strategy firm that designs and builds […]

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brian hunt

Moonlight Brewing founder Brian Hunt

Brian Hunt, founder of Moonlight Brewing Co is back on Brew Ha Ha with Steve Jaxon. Herlinda Heras in also in the studio today. Steve asks how Brian is surviving the Coronavirus challenges and he says it has pushed them to put more beer in cans and less in kegs, because kegs to to restaurants which are all closed and so beer drinking has shifted to cans. He opened Moonlight Brewing in 1992 producing beer on a small scale, putting it in kegs and distributing it around the Bay Area. In 2002 he moved near Graton then in about 2012 moved to Coffey Ln in Santa Rosa. They make different styles of beer. They are drinking a Moonlight Brewing Reality Check, which is a Pilsner. They only started canning since December 2019. They have bought a canning line. Previously they used a mobile canning line. […]

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