Tuesday, September 1, 2009

It Starts with a Dream

I've lived a blessed life. For several years now I've worked alongside the craft beer industry as a freelance drinks writer before moving on to become the Beer Director for the world's largest beer publication. In this time I've maintained that it would take something, or someone, extraordinary for me to put down the pen and jump into the beer world completely. Well, as fate would have it, I found someone extraordinary and am pleased - no, excited - to announce that I am partnering with a truly world-class brewer to start Odonata Beer Company.

Peter Hoey is one of the most brilliant brewers I know. In his young career the man has worked through the American Brewers Guild, as a production brewer at Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Brewmaster at Bison Brewing and back to where he began - Sacramento Brewing. In addition, he's also taught courses at the American Brewers Guild and at UC Davis' brewing program. The guy has an impressive resume - but that doesn't begin to tell his story.

I first met Peter some years back when he worked at Bison. I was among a handful of BJCP judges invited to his house for a blind tasting of organic beers. In his living room we jotted notes, critiqued a handful of beers of varying styles and then talked openly to Peter about what we liked and didn't like about the mystery beers. Among the brews was some of Peter's creations. We were never told which were his, but the point of this exercise was for Peter to adjust his recipes in order to make a better, more accurate-to-style brew. Did this pay off? I won't say it was related to this day, but Peter went on to win the Gold Medal in the Saison category at the Great American Beer Fest the following year, beating out some impressive competition.

Since then Peter has also won the prized Golden Bear, the Best of Show prize awarded at the California State Fair, as well as medals at the World Beer Cup and additional Great American Beer Festival awards. All this and he's not even 30 years old.

Over the years Peter has become one of my closest friends. His personality and passions are enormous, full of color and ambition. For some time I've told people his name will be a household name in the beer community, his beers are too good not to be. I just didn't know I would be involved in getting this name out there. It's an honor really to be involved in realizing a long-time dream of Peter's. I know his beers will blow you away and have no doubt you'll appreciate the years of work Peter has put into mastering his craft in brewing.

We're a ways away yet from getting beer into your hands. A few lucky people have already found our beers in Northern California - Rorie's Ale is the barrel aged wonder matured for more than a year. For the rest of you, please come back here from time to time and see how we're progressing. Between the Federal, State and local paperwork we're not exactly sure when we'll be official. We are certain you'll see our beers in Northern California sometime this winter, however, hopefully in December.

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