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What’s Brewing in Eagle Rock? Beer and More

February 28, 2011  
Filed under Profiles / Interviews

eagle rock beer brewery

Cocktails may have been the longstanding drink of LA, but it’s time for them to move over and say hello to the new guy in town—beer. Filling a void to the beer scene in LA, Eagle Rock Brewery emerged a little over a year ago and just celebrated their anniversary back in January. They’ve settled in, became the talk of the town and are quickly attracting a fan base of both beer lovers and curious drinkers alike with their unique artisanal beers. They don’t serve food, but you’re welcome to BYOF or buy from the various food trucks that swing by.

The brewery is run by Jeremy Raub (the head brewer) and his wife Ting, who spoke with us about their exciting venture that grew out of the must-have ingredients of passion, dedication and hard work.

owners of the beer brewery CM: How was Eagle Rock Brewery born? Was it an idea that came overnight or an idea that has been in the works for a long time?

EB: All told, the brewery was about five years in the making. The planning and start-up phase took what seemed an eternity, and is actually all documented in our blog. It was an incredibly difficult process and truly defined for us what people meant by “blood, sweat, and tears”. I’m pretty certain that all of those have gone into the making of this brewery!

CM: What type of crowd flocks to your brewery? When is it the busiest and quietest?

EB: We’ve got a really eclectic crowd that goes into the brewery. There are the “beer geeks” who love all things craft beer, inspired homebrewers, the yuppies, the hipsters, the foodies that are looking for the next best flavors, the food truck hunters that come for the food trucks and then stay for the beer, the locals who live nearby who appreciate a good beer, friends, family and people from all different walks of life. The crowd really is as eclectic as NE LA itself. But the one connection that everyone has is that they appreciate good beer.

CM: What do you think contributed to your success?

EB: A lot of luck and hard work. I think that we filled a void that LA has been looking for. LA has historically been more of a cocktail town, and only recently have good, high-quality, flavorful craft beers started gaining a following. We started at the right time and have worked really hard on providing the best-quality, best-tasting beers that we can. Our entire team truly is obsessed with seeing the brewery grow and succeed and are constantly looking for ways to improve as an organization and to make some positive contribution to the beer community.

CM: Did you have any business background before this?

EB: In short… no. Ha ha ha. Kind of indirectly. Jeremy (my husband, and our head brewer) got his start with making beers with his dad when he was in high school. Over time, it became a passion and they (he and his dad) were making some great beers, so it became a bit of an obsession and the next step was to do it professionally. As for the business end of it, I grew up in a restaurant family so have always worked at the restaurant in all roles including managing it while my parents weren’t available. Although, I’d been a bit out of practice after working in healthcare for the past 11 years, it’s a bit like riding a bike… just much much scarier, and the falls are a lot harder.

CM: What is the most difficult part of having your own brewery?

EB: To answer your question with a question… what’s not difficult? Aside from the obvious answer of capital (which start-up doesn’t have this issue though?), I think it’s primarily time management. If we only had way more hours in the day and the manpower to do the things that we need to do, life would be grand. Jer and I get very little sleep, and I don’t know that there’s ever more than 5 minutes that we’re together where we’re not talking about the brewery.

CM: What’s the most rewarding part?

EB: To see new faces in the taproom, and over time, watch them become regulars at the brewery. We get lots of great feedback about our products. And when we see that people enjoy what we’re doing enough that they come back on a regular basis, it’s a true testament that we’ve managed to do at least something right.

CM: How much beer do you drink? Do you limit yourself?

EB: Ha ha ha! I should plead the fifth on this… I taste products constantly. We taste test our own products for quality control, as well as other craft beers all the time. We need to do it to stay on top of what else is out there. It gives great insight on trends in craft beers, and hones our palates. Not to mention that we actually enjoy drinking beers quite a bit – it’s one of the perks of the industry.

CM: Could you describe to the readers the process in how beer is made?

EB: Brief summary: Malted barley (and occasionally other grains like wheat, rye, oats, etc.) are steeped in hot water to create “wort” (almost like a strong barley tea). The wort is drained off the spent grains and boiled to concentrate it, and to break down some of the sugars. The hops are added near the end of the boil to add flavor, and they also serve as a natural preservative. The liquid is cooled and put into a fermentation tank where the yeast is added. The yeast turns the wort into beer as they consume the fermentable sugars released from the grains, and convert it to CO2 and alcohol. After primary fermentation, the beer is transferred off the yeast and into a secondary fermenter, where it finishes the fermentation process without picking up additional yeast byproducts. The beer is then transferred into a conditioning/carbonation tank where it is carbonated and then kegged.

CM: What are some good food pairings with the kinds of beer you make?

EB: Our beers are good with all different types of foods, particularly since we the styles and flavor profiles of each of our beers is so unique. Manifesto, our Belgian-style witbier, is great with salads, ceviches, and curried dishes. Solidarity, an English black mild, is great with beef stews, meat pies, sausages, and sweets. Revolution, extra pale ale, is perfect for fried foods and burgers. Populist, IPA, is great with very rich and full flavored spicy foods. We also have various seasonal beers that are released that pair well with a variety of foods. We’ll often make recommendations for pairings on our beer lists when we have local artisanal food vendors in the taproom, selling their products.

CM: What makes your beer unique and how many types do you serve?

EB: The premise of our year-round beers is that they are all very approachable, in that they are well-balanced and very drinkable. West coast beers have historically been very bold in flavors and at times a bit too heavy, making it difficult to have more than one beer without numbing your palate or getting a bit tipsy. We tried to make the focus of our main beers the drinkability and great flavors, so that it would appeal to both the beer connoisseur and the people who are just starting to appreciate craft beers. In our first year in production, we produced 12 different beers. We were really surprised when we actually stopped to think about it, and were pleased that each of the styles of beer had developed a fan base.

CM: Any tips or advice for readers who want to open up their own business?

EB: Depending on the type of business that you decide to start, be ready for the most difficult couple years of your life…at least it has been the case for us. You can never have too much funding or be too prepared to start the venture. There are all sorts of things that come up during the start-up process that you couldn’t possibly anticipate, but you just have to keep on working through it and hope for the best.

CM: Who or what inspires you, motivates you, and/or makes you want to live life to the fullest?

EB: My M.O. has always been to work hard and play harder. I grew up in a restaurant family and had seen how the business ran my parents’ lives, and had always told myself that I would try to have more fun… Fast forward 15 years, and my partners and I have started a business that has taken over our lives. It’s hard to find a balance, but experiencing the loss of family and friends throughout my life has always served to remind me that life is too short, and that there’s too much to do to be stagnant. I sacrifice a lot of sleep to try to make time to do things that I enjoy as well as working. Most days it’s a price I’m willing to pay…

CM: Anything else you’d like to say or add for the readers?

EB: Drink more beer and support local businesses!

For more info, visit

3056 Roswell Street
Los Angeles, Ca 90065

Regular Taproom Hours:

Thursday–Saturday 4-10pm
Sunday 12-6pm
Brewhouse tours on Sundays only.
No reservations needed.

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