Episode 14: Listener Submission – Hermitage Brewing Company

Matt brings us some California love from Hermitage Brewery. The gents discuss why the cool kids use grist, refrigerator demolition and how to bring the funk.

December 22, 2016 47:48
Download (MP3)

Matt brings us some California love from Hermitage Brewery. The gents discuss why the cool kids use grist, refrigerator demolition and how to bring the funk.

Related Stuff

Hermitage Videos:

Hermitage Brewing Company

1627 S 7th Street, San Jose, CA 95112

Founded by Louis Jemison and Ron Manabe in 1987, one of the first half dozen in the Golden State, and is still open today. You may not have heard of Hermitage, but we have been busy brewing for many other Bay Area breweries’ brands since we opened our production facility in San Jose opened in 2008.

Once you are here, seek out our select American sour beers, a mix of traditional Belgium fermentation techniques and today’s modern, local foodie culture. Since 2008, we’ve pioneered sour brews where nuanced flavors present themselves from a lovely mix of wild yeast, bacteria, toasted oak barrels, herbs, spices, and seasonal fruits.

Cellarmaster Greg blends each batch from 50-120 oak barrels, aged between one and three years for a depth and complexity you can’t achieve with “kettle sours” or small batches. Your palate will enjoy both dry and sweet, delicious and tart, and crisp and funky. No one note overpowers the symphony.

Beer #1: Maltopia

Style: Scotch Style Ale
ABV: 9%
IBU: 25
Flavor Text: Our CA State Fair Gold Medal winning Wee – Heavy has a deep red hue, toffee notes, nice hops and a warming finish”.  Made of a “Perfect malt blend of toasty munich, sweet crystal and dark chocolate malts.”

Our Scotch Ale, also known as a Wee Heavy, pours out a reddish-brown color with amber highlights, and a beige colored head. The aroma is malty, with toasted grain notes and a slightly nutty character. Maltopia‘s flavor is true to its name: malt forward, with a deep toasted flavor, slight caramel character, a hint of plum-like fruitiness, and a hop bitterness enough for balance. Moderately full bodied with medium-high carbonation, Maltopia has a dry finish that makes it surprisingly easy drinking.

– 2016 Bronze Medal Winner from the World Beer Cup


  • Mark: Bomber
  • Kevin: Bomber
  • Justin: Bomber

Beer #2: Strawberry Rhubarb American Sour

Style: American Sour
ABV: 6.5%
Flavor Text: Summer 2016 Series No. 4 “We paired sweet strawberries and tart rhubarb to joyfully marry them in California wine barrels.”

The beer pours a very hazy amber color, with a rosy, pinkish hue from the pureed strawberry floating in suspension. You may see a small amount of pink sediment in the bottom of some bottles if they manage to stand in one place long enough. We searched for only the sweetest strawberries to add to this one, and the juicy aroma of those delicious fruits wafts commandingly off the glass. The lovely essence of California wine barrels mingles with the strawberry, highlighted by hints of barrel-aged funkiness. The first sip is a bit of a surprise, as the super-tart Rhubarb jumps to the front of your taste buds to make itself known. Next comes the tannic character of the barrels and a moderate dose of Brett- and Lacto- induced funk. The beer is definitely sour but not puckering, and as it warms in your hand the strawberries move closer and closer to the front of the stage. The finish is tart and dry, with hints of strawberry lingering between sips. Smooth and refreshing, great for a summer day.


  • Mark: Pint
  • Kevin: Taster
  • Justin: Pint

Beer #3: Sour Cherry Sour

Style: Sour Ale
ABV: 6.5%
Flavor Text: “Sour Cherry Sour is blended from  more than 30 American wine barrels that lived in the cellar from six months to two and a half years. Winter 15-16 release  Sour Ale aged in American Oak Barrels with Sour Cherries Added.

Gold Medal Winner, 2016 California State Fair
– 2016 Bronze Medal Winner, LA International Beer Festival


  • Mark: Growler
  • Kevin: Bomber
  • Justin: Growler