All for one and one for all, Brewer’s Cabinet chef series builds food and beer relationships
The Brewer’s Cabinet brewed its first lager, collaborating with SouthCreek Pizza Co. to create Cripple Creek Kiwi Pilsner. This beer marks the fourth in a series of chef-inspired collaboration beers Brewer’s Cabinet started back in Oct. 2013. Cripple Creek is already on tap at Brewer’s Cabinet and will go on at SouthCreek Pizza Tuesday, July 15.
“Up until this one, En Garde was my favorite (chef-series beer),” said Charlie Johnson, brewmaster at Brewer’s Cabinet.
Chris Shanks, owner of Louis Basque Corner, worked with Charlie to create En Garde in May. Brewer’s Cabinet owner, Michael Connolly, started the chef series because he wanted to invent creative beers and promote the food and drink business in Reno.
“We’re all trying to make money but we’re also trying to build a community,” said Ian Madan, pizziaolo and owner of SouthCreek Pizza. “It’s about building relationships.”
Ian started working at Campo under Mark Estee and wanted to open a wood-fired pizzeria, after all, he learned to make pizza from his father as a teenager. Ian and his parents opened SouthCreek Pizza Co. in south Reno and now Ian manages the kitchen.
“I get to work with artisans who have the same drive and passion,” Charlie said. “It’s a good way for us to bond and learn from each other.”
Sitting together the three of them started to sound like the Three Musketeers — all for one. one for all — it’s just too bad none of them wear ironic handlebar mustaches. They all want to share but at the same time don’t want to give away all their secrets. Ian shared an idea to add an induction heating element in the brewery but Charlie wouldn’t say what he used it for or how it worked — people are welcome to come over and use it though.
“Now (Ian) might put our beer in his store,” Michael said. “It’s better to be friends than enemies.”
Tahoe Mountain Brewery’s passion fruit pal ale inspired Ian to make the Cripple Creek pilsner. Passion fruit is too expensive so Ian suggested kiwi instead. They used 80 pounds of kiwi and juiced them to produce 5 gallons of concentrated kiwi juice. But the beer doesn’t taste like kiwi, instead the fermentable sugars offer more of a silky mouthfeel with a touch of tropical summer taste.
“I wanted a light summer drinking beer and didn’t want it too fruity flavored,” Ian said.
Charlie lagered the pilsner in Fat Joe, a bright tank in the brewery walk-in fridge, giving it a clean finish and making it exceptionally clear. He also transferred some to a barrel to make into a sour version that will be ready in another year. Ian might pair Cripple Creek with a special pizza or at least give pairing suggestions to customers — perhaps the Pear-A-Dice or the Linda would be a good fit, they said.
SouthCreek Pizza Company
Tues-Friday 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday 12:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org — 775-622-1620
Address: 45 Foothill Rd, Reno, NV 89551
Corrections and clarifications Sunday, July 13, 2014 at 11:40 a.m.: The name of SouthCreek Pizza Company was changed to eliminate a space between South and Creek. The business was started by the Madan family not just Ian and his father. Fat Joe is in the walk-in fridge, not the kitchen. Tahoe Mountain Brewery’s beer inspired Ian and Charlie helped it fit into BC’s styles.
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