Franz Solo here, I sat down with Sobremesa’s Director of Brewing/part owner David Facey this past Tuesday afternoon to talk about their anniversary celebrations this Friday thru Sunday. While we talked all things anniversary and caught up (It had been a long time since we had seen one another, too long. – Solo) I also got a little preview of their delicious anniversary beer, Odd Yiere.
Solo: So, you’ve got your anniversary weekend coming up. Watcha got going on?
Facey: So we’ve got the barrel aged beer (Odd Yiere Biere de Garde), we will have it on tap so people can buy it by the glass, they can get it in a single 16 oz can and we are going to do 4 packs though maybe not by this weekend. Update: They are indeed available this weekend – Solo. We’ve also got a couple of new food items coming on. There’s grilled salmon, also a really nice sautéed brussels sprouts and bacon dish, it’s kind of like an appetizer. One of our chefs is actually a really good pastry chef and is going to make us a sheet cake. He’s also going to make a blackberry compote using the blackberry puree that we use in the beer. We are going to be giving it out as a thank you for keeping the lights on. So kind of a regular old anniversary.
Solo: Live music and that sort of thing too?
Facey: We’ve got live music coming in throughout the weekend. Friday, Saturday and Sunday we will have a bunch of festivities, probably impromptu brewery tours and all of that sort of thing. To us it’s more of a big thank you not only to the people that have supported us but to the staff too.
Solo: Yeah, sticking it out in the most trying of times. That’s definitely worth celebrating.
Facey: They didn’t have it easy at all. We opened in September and we pivoted (our business) almost every week. Whether it was open, closed, only patio in December, curbside, delivery. So we pivoted quite a lot and the whole team said “alright, whatever we’ve got to do”. The year wasn’t the easiest year but for me, you’ve got two choices; you can tighten up your bootstraps and move on, or you don’t. And the latter is not an option, really you’ve just got to do it. It wasn’t easy, it wasn’t fun at some points, but we’re here and I think it’s made us stronger.
Solo: Certainly. Adversity lends itself to having some people drop off but for those that remain you end up building a stronger family than you would’ve otherwise. Iron sharpens iron.
Facey: I hate the term, the cream rises to the top, but it really does. Super blessed, super fortunate. I think we, at the least, had 10 people running the whole place including the full kitchen. I think for four months I was making tacos. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.
We then meandered our way on to the topic of Odd Yiere.
Facey: I really love this anniversary beer (I’m quite fond of it as well from my tasting while we talked, quite a unique and delicious fall beer – Solo). The barrels were provided by Sheehan Winery, that’s also the wine that we carry. We aged the beer on wood for 8 months, and on steel for 1 month for a total of 9, and then canned it today (Tuesday). Opening up in September was a risk, but we really didn’t have any choice, we had beer in the tanks, we had people hired and ready to work, we built a whole building. So we had to open and then we knew that the pandemic was going to throw us some curveballs but sometimes you take ’em and sometimes you swing, and that’s it.
Odd Yiere is a delight to my palate. Quite unique in the melding of malts and hops with the wine barrel character, it’s a refreshing variation from some of the styles which have become synonymous with anniversary beers in recent years and I applaud the courage it takes to do something like this. As Facey put it, “it’s not a barrel aged imperial Porter or a stout or a crazy sour, it’s a Biere De Garde!” The beer itself comes in at a (Brew Crew) sessionable 9.5% AVB with 47 IBU’s balancing with the sweetness taken on from the barrels.
So head out this weekend and celebrate with Sobremesa. Opening a business and surviving a year in the midst of so much uncertainty, difficulty, and constant change is well worth raising a glass or two in celebration. While we’re on the topic of successes, Sobremesa were awarded their first two medals as a brewery from the 2021 NABA International Beer Awards. They ended up taking home a Silver for I&D Lager (American Amber Lager, also Ian and David are the brewers making this even sweeter – Solo), and Bronze for North Valley Brown ale. My thanks to David for taking the time to visit with me, and I wish him and the entire Sobremesa staff a safe and prosperous year 2 ahead.
Until next time, enjoy the weekend, stay safe out there, and support local.