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Winning Silver

I remember the first year we poured our handbuilt ales at the Great American Beer Festival in 2012.  It came just a few months after getting a few of our beers on tap at local restaurants, which had been a thrill in itself. But here this small 3 barrel nano-brewery brewing beer out of its garage was serving beer to 50,000 people in three days.  This was the big game, the real deal.  We could feel the excitement and energy in the hall when we first walked in.  The anticipation as we rushed to setup our booth and make sure everything was just perfect.  My wife and I worked every session and told our story to every person that would listen.  We were exhausted and our voices were hoarse, but we were thrilled to see people smile and come back to taste our beers again.  

Now on our third year we were just as nervous and excited.  The morning of the awards ceremony I was whistling the bagpipe tune as we got dressed to try and calm my nerves.  Every year as I go to the awards ceremony, or the "beer Oscars" as my wife likes to call it, I get this feeling in my stomach.  I tell myself that I can't win, that my beers are too different, coming at a beer from a chef's perspective and trying to build flavors can create a very different interpretation of a style of beer.  But that morning, things ended different.  

We sat through the ceremony, beer after beer being called off.  Impatiently waiting for the three categories we entered.  After the first two had passed we waited as another 50 categories went by, chatting, sipping on delicious craft beer, and waiting some more.  Then, it was time.  The Scotch Ale category popped up and then LOCH week heavy scotch ale came across the screen.  My jaw dropped.  We had won silver.  

--Ian Clark, beer chef / founder


2 Years of Ales, 1 Year of Eats

For me an Anniversary is a time to reflect, not only on the past but also on the future.  Thinking back, it's hard to believe that just two years ago I was brewing off a ½ barrel system in my garage.  Every weekend was spent with my wife and her parents brewing, bottling, and labeling.  The funny thing is, not that much has changed.  We still bottle one bottle at a time, and label one label at a time.  Our system is just a little bigger than those first few months; we have a lot more kegs and a few more fermentors.  But, my garage has gone back to doing what most garages do best, storing cars and garden tools.  And most importnatly, we now have one of my favorite things on earth, food.  Anyone that knows me knows that I’m just as passionate about food as I am beer.  I started cooking when I was 14 and have never gone a day without making sure to enjoy every meal, whether I’m cooking it or not.  The beers I make have always reflected my food-focused background, whether it be adding roasted dates and caramelized sugar to Obitus or zesting fresh lemons for Citrum.  Being able to bring those two worlds of well-crafted, thoughtful food and beer together has been a dream come true. 

The road to today hasn’t always been smooth.  We’ve had some bumps, some bruises, and have learned a lot, but without the driven, passionate, and humble people that I work with every day BRU could never be where it is today.  And tomorrow, tomorrow we look forward to continuing to have the opportunity to share the world of food and beer with everyone that walks through our doors.  We hope you can join us on June 22nd for our Anniversary party, celebrating our roots, but also our growth.  


For more details on our Anniversary events, click here.

--Ian Clark, beer chef / founder 


Introducing LOCH

I'm excited to introduce our sixth handbuilt bomber release, LOCH wee heavy.   I built this Scottish Ale in a very traditional sense.  It has a rich mouthfeel, a bit chewy, sweet, malty, with a slight smoky characteristic.  It's the perfect beer for sipping in front of the fire or enjoying on a cold day.  You can find LOCH at all of the great local liquor stores that carry BRU (find BRU here).  Cheers!


--Ian Clark, beer chef / founder 


Great American Beer Festival 2013

The Great American Beer Festival is just around the corner and we are thrilled to be a part of it again.  This year we will be sharing five beers with the thirsty crowds including our Obitus American Brown Ale handbuilt with dates & caramelized sugar, Citrum IPA handbuilt with lemon zest and juniper, Beezel Belgian Style Golden Ale handbuilt with honey, black pepper and bitter orange peel, Belux Belgian Style Pale Ale handbuilt with lemongrass and black pepper, and our Rigley Red IPA.  The GABF is one of my favorite events of the year and I always look forward to talking to so many avid beer enthusiasts that are just as passionate about beer as I am. Stop by booth E3 to say hello or join us at BRU handbuilt ales & eats.  We will be counting down with nightly events including unusual beer tapings, a beer dinner on October 8th celebrating all things beer and food, and a special tasting night on October 9th where I will share each of the five beers that will be available at the GABF paired with small bites from the kitchen and a tour of the brewery.  Looking forward to sharing a BRU with you in the coming week and don't forget to wear your BRU gear*!  For all the details on upcoming events click here.

--Ian Clark, beer chef / founder

*Wear your BRU t-shirt or hat to the GABF, take a picture of yourself while sporting it, social media it with the hashtag #BRUatGABF then stop by our booth (E3) for a complimentary beer card to use on your next visit to BRU handbuilt ales & eats. 



Coming Up for Air

Life goes fast, especially when you are busy building your dream. The last three months were spent pouring concrete, welding, sanding, painting, lifting, sweating, laughing, oh and of course a little yelling.   We built just about everything you can see or touch at BRU.  From the barn door, to the concrete bars.  It is the work of both my chefs, Jason and Josh, my wife with the design vision, plus her talents at painting, tiling, etc etc, my parents-in-law who spent endless hours helping paint, clean, tile, sew pillows, and dig through their antiques for our tap handles (next time you are in ask about the story behind some of our tap handles)…  It was a group effort to say the least.


And after all those months it came together, just like that.  I have never been so excited, proud, or nervous about how each person will receive BRU’s new home.  We hope to see you soon!

 --Ian Clark, beer chef / founder