A new brewery softly opened up north in Palmdale over the holiday break and will be grand opening on January 23. I e-mailed questions to Sarah Luker from Transplants Brewing to learn more about the brewery.
Sean Inman: Where did the name Transplants come from?
Sarah Luker: Just as Los Angeles attracts collects random people from all over the world (our team originally hails from Chicago, New York and Arkansas), our specialty beer recipes draw from diverse, worldly and ethnic influences which often blur the lines between culinary and brewing sensibilities. In both senses, Transplants Brewing Company truly is “Ales for the Unrooted.” Please note that our logo “hop beast” character has also given himself a brain transplant and replaced it with it hops.
SI: Could you give us a rundown of the beers on tap now?
· Palmdale Poppies, our answer to “what’s the lightest thing you have?” is our light house beer, which focuses on poppy leaves instead of hops for its unique flavor.
· Filbert (another name for a hazelnut) is our brown ale with chocolate and hazelnut, this is the homebrew recipe we’ve brewed most over the years and the first big batch turned out even better than before.
· Cream Cycle is might remind you of a certain childhood ice cream bar that’s grown up now. This pale ale is brewed with lots of orange zest and vanilla.
· Black Bayou is our New Orleans coffee inspired stout, made with Groundworks coffee beans and chicory.
SI: What beer or brewery is a current inspiration for you?
SL: We really have a passion and respect for out of the box thinking. Ironfire Brewing in Temecula’s specialty board has consistently surprised us, and Greg Webb’s fresh and creative ideas always deliver and get us thinking. One of our favorite L.A. breweries is Highland Park Brewery. We are always awed by both the great hoppy beers as well as all the unique funky creations that Bob Kunz is somehow able to make better than anyone else… in a parking lot.
SI: What was it like to open the taps for the first time?
SL: Finishing our first successful night with very few issues was a victory we were quite happy to attain after working basically every waking minute for months to try and get to this point. It was encouraging to hear all the positive feedback on the beer, and everyone seemed to have a different favorite.
SI: Why are some of the tanks named?
SL: We named our fermenters so we can refer to them as the characters they are who contribute to the brewing process, as well as pay homage to significant people in our lives. They are named for/after siblings (Chris, Hellfire), grandchildren (Krew) and friends (Hoe Hoe, Vegan, Audrey 2). Oh, and then there’s Beefcastle.
SI: What was the most recent beer brewed and what was the inspiration behind brewing it?
SL: The most recent beer brewed is our alcoholic Ginger beer, which was initially driven by the idea that there needs to be a craft beer draught pour option for making Moscow Mules and other mixed drinks. Our version nods towards the ginger snap cookie and has the strong spice of ginger backed up with a touch of cayenne heat.
Obviously the Beer of the Week has to come from Transplants: “SumNug IPA is our assertive, flavorfully dank and earthy IPA brewed with Summit and Nugget hops.” In this IPA-centric world, it is usually a brewery’s calling card so add it to the taster tray when you visit this new brewery.
Your Homework is to test out the latest Nitrogenated beer to hit the market. Firestone Walker Brewing Co. has jumped into the Nitro fray with Nitro Merlin. They have taken their famed Oatmeal Stout and added one little extra twist, Lactose Sugar (aka milk sugar), making an Oatmeal milk stout. You can also pair this beer with Central Coast cookies from Brown Butter Cookie Company at Eureka! Burger’s Tasting Kitchen in Hawthorne next Wednesday, January 20. Brewmaster Matt Brynildson has noted that this beer is “about the theater of the pour.” So make sure you watch this pretty beer a bit before drinking.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.