The Method Brewing Blog

Brewflood returns

April 22nd, 2017 by ryan 2 Comments

2016 was a year of challenges for Method. Permitting, building, and retrofitting kept us slammed with only the least-fun of the brewery tasks, and kept us from the things we really enjoy about this work. 2017 promises a lift from the fog, and with our pocket astrolabes we’ve already plotted a course to include more outreach, more experimentation, and, most importantly, more beer. We’ve spent the last 6 weeks brewing new beers and improving on some old favorites, and are preparing for a Brewflood. Here’s the taplist:


  • Jalapeno IIPA: ~7% ABV. A malty IPA with fresh jalapenos added, for a strong vegetal aroma and a spicy finish.
  • Toasted oat India red ale: ~6% ABV. Smooth, soft mouthfeel with a roasty aroma and a delicate hop bill.
  • Toasted oat India red ale with jalapeno: the above, with fresh jalapenos added.
  • Black tea and chamomile saison: ~5% ABV. A traditional farmhouse ale, loaded with wheat and pilsner malt and fermented hot for a balance between crisp freshness and funk. Tea and chamomile spiked in to bring out the funk.
  • Single-malt IPA 1: ~6.5% ABV. Made to showcase a test blend of savory Sorachi Ace and fragrant Citra hops.
  • Single-malt IPA 2: ~6.5% ABV. Made to showcase a test blend of Sorachi Ace and dank Australian Mosaic hops.
  • Traditional kolsch: ~5% ABV. A light and refreshing German ale.
  • Grapefruit shandy: ~4.5% ABV. Part kolsch, part fruit juice. To keep the ABV and flavor high, we used super-concentrated, clarified grapefruit juice.
  • Passionfruit shandy: ~4.5% ABV. Same as above, but with concentrated, clarified passionfruit juice.
  • Blood orange black kolsch: ~6% ABV. The crisp and refreshing kolsch, with a finish heavy on sweet fruit and chocolate. Fresh blood orange peel from Brokaw Ranch in Santa Paula, CA.
  • Barrel-aged black kolsch: ~6% ABV. Same as above, but aged in a barrel from Seven Stills in SF.
  • Imperial nut brown ale with English ale yeast: ~10% ABV. Strong nutty flavor and a huge malty backbone.
  • Imperial nut brown ale with San Diego superyeast: ~10% ABV. Same beer as above, but with a different malt profile from the use of a highly-attenuating strain of yeast from San Diego.

Barley terroir

August 18th, 2015 by ryan No Comments

Just as grape growers and wine lovers obsess over the differences in crops due to geographical location, soil composition, microclimate, etc. (collectively referred to as ‘terroir’), beer makers have long known that hops and barley from specific growers can be very different. We’ve been anxious to explore this idea for quite some time and have finally had the opportunity to, with some friends from Riverbend Malt House in Asheville, North Carolina and Copper Fox Distillery in Sperryville, Virginia sending us a few sacks of grain to play with. We brewed up five one-off beers and have a number of others in the pipeline. Here are the standouts so far:

Virginia Special IPA: A single malt (Virginia Special Pale Malt from Copper Fox Distillery, Sperryville, VA), single hop (Citra) IPA coming in at 40IBU and 7%ABV. While this beer was relatively low IBU, we hop bursted at 180F for 10 minutes with 8oz Citra pellets per 5 gallons and the resulting hop profile was outstanding. More interesting (because at the moment we’re all such huge Citra fans that anything you put it in we will probably like) was the malt backbone. The malt used is essentially two-row from a different source, but the flavor was outstanding, lending strong nutty flavors to the beer that you might associate with Munich or Vienna malts.

Rauchkolsch: our classic kolsch, brewed with 10% applewood/cherrywood-smoked malt from Copper Fox. We landed three smoked malts from Copper Fox (mesquite, apple/cherry, and peachwood-smoked), and the applewood/cherrywood was by far the most interesting, having a light and fragrant and very delicate smokiness with very little biting or savory quality. For a couple of us, the aroma of the beer had the pleasantly evocative aroma of a jacket worn at some beachside campfire.

In short, we loved the smoked malt and want to put it in everything. Next up to brew is a set of three saisons and three kolsches, one each with our three different types of smoked malt for a real A/B/C comparison. Cheers to Charley Wise of Copper Fox for sending this malt, and if anyone out there gets a chance, swing by Magnolia, where they’re pouring a pale ale brewed with the applewood/cherrywood smoked barley.

TTB approval and New Beers by the Millions

August 1st, 2015 by ryan No Comments

Great news to report! We have received our TTB approval (TTB is the federal body that monitors alcohol taxation and compliance). This is a big deal, as getting TTB approval can take forever, during which time you’re paying rent and twiddling your thumbs. We still need our state (ABC) approval and will post updates on that once we have them.

In the meantime, we’ve been brewing like crazy and have a number of new projects going. The most interesting set of beers were brewed with barley, rye, and wheat that we got from Riverbend Malts in Asheville, NC. We love the idea of using strange ingredients, and it seemed only fitting to take that approach to the base of the beer, the grain. Using this grain we’ve brewed-

Virginia Special IPA, a single-malt (Virginia Special Pale malt), single hop (citra) IPA. After the boil we dropped the temperature to 180F and then hop bursted with 1/2# of citra hops per 5 gallons of brew. The final product has huge dank and citrusy notes with a clean, slightly toasty and nutty malt backdrop.

Red wheat saison, a Belgian saison brewed with 10% Riverbend rye and 20% Riverbend red wheat, then fermented at 80F. We love fermenting saisons hot- the funk really comes out. This beer is a pretty typical saison with some nice added rye spice to complement the funk.

Rauchkolsch, a recipe we would love to revive and bring to all of you. This is no typical kolsch- the mash was supplemented with 10% Riverbend applewood and cherrywood-smoked barley. The result is a delicate and savory smoky nose and a fruity and smoky aftertaste following the crisp kolsch finish.


Planning Approval!

May 18th, 2015 by ryan No Comments

We’ve just received planning approval, another major milestone and one that symbolizes that our brewery design, in broad strokes, is complete. This basic design covers bathrooms, entrances and exits, movement through the space, placement of heavy equipment, etc. Most exciting, we’re approved for our rooftop deck! Below are the blueprints for the second floor and rooftop and a link for a higher-res version.




Things are moving quickly…

April 23rd, 2015 by ryan No Comments

It’s hard to believe how much ground we’ve covered since the last post. First and foremost, our brew rig has arrived. The rig was manufactured near Shanghai by a bay-area based company, PBST. Due to our low ceiling height and somewhat cramped (creative!) space, everything had to be manufactured custom. After manufacture, the rig couldn’t ship right away because of a stevedore strike at the port of Oakland. Once that lifted, it was Chinese New Years, during which (speaking from experience) not much gets done in China (other than blowing up pretty much everything), and our spirits sagged as delivery was once again delayed. The rig finally was loaded into a shipping container and arrived in Oakland on National Beer Day, April 7. On April 11, the shipping container arrived at Methodology.

Along with our adept forklift operator Clarence and a couple helpers, we unloaded the mash tun, kettle, three fermenters, and a double-brite tank onto 1st Street and then moved them into the building. In order to not have to destroy our doorway with an eagerly waiting jackhammer, we had to take off every piece of hardware attached to the equipment, from temperature probes to piping. Everything just barely fit through the doors, with the mash tun probably having less than 1/4″ clearance on the sides, and so little clearance on the top that it took some talented pallet jack pumping to get it through. Incredibly, everything is now inside of the brewery space.

With each step in the process of opening our brewery- fundraising, finding a space, becoming a business, the reality of what we’re doing and the excitement that brings have seemed at a crescendo. But this tops it all. We were all immediately and deeply attached to the rig, and unsurprisingly its arrival came with a burst of creative energy, channeled into the creation of a new series of recipes. Most exciting among these, in my opinion, came from the Hops for Housing event we did during SF Beer Week. At some point a patron called our 51% oat stout a ‘cookie beer’, and for the rest of the night this is how people ordered it. Out of this grew a number of other ‘cookie beers’, and at the top of the list is an oatmeal raisin stout, to be brewed this weekend with added candi syrup for raisiny flavor, as well as heaps of toasted oats and cinnamon.

Back to Work!

February 16th, 2015 by ryan No Comments

BrewFlood VII may be behind us, but our work is far from over. The next couple months will see the delivery of our brew rig, the bulk of the construction on our space at 326 First St., and a navigation through the permitting process. These items aside, we’re also excited to set up a new series of iteration brews, brewing our favorite beers side-by-side with maximum control over input while changing one parameter. We were recently asked whether we use the scientific method in brewing our beer, and if so, how? This is how. Here’s our to-do list:

1. Jalapeño IIPA: now that we have the spice level dialed in via our tincture, it’s time to get to a steady %ABV and final gravity. This has varied widely, giving us anything from a 6% to a 9% beer, with a final gravity anywhere from 1010 to 1025, the latter probably due to poor attenuation. Prior to fermentation we’ll be standardizing the OG to get this beer to ~7.5%, still big enough to carry the spice.

2. 51% Oat stout, Noyaux brown, Coconut brown: we all agree that these beers would benefit from a bit more body, so we’ll be experimenting with new mash temperatures. Currently they’re being mashed at 152F for 1 hour, but we’ll try up to 157F.

3. G and T PA, Chipotle mole stout: These beers were introduced at BrewFlood VI, and were great starts. We need to get more careful with the spices. We’ll post the spice blends when we brew them.

4. New Beers! On this list for this cycle are a session milk stout, a 100% wheat red ale, beers brewed with Sake fungus or the exciting Kveik yeast, an alcoholic root beer and a gruit beer with vermouth spices for bittering.


February 14th, 2015 by ryan No Comments

BrewFlood was incredible! Thanks to everyone who came out to support us and our co-hosts, Walk Oakland Bike Oakland. We were at maximum capacity by 5:30pm, and appreciate the patience of our friends who waited to get in. When things got especially hairy, Jessica Morales, Kat Russell, Ben Kallman, Kalie Patterson and others saved the day, running pitchers of beer to the ever-growing line and helping pour behind the bar. You guys were the heroes of the night. Below are some photos by our friend Matthias Jordan.

method_brewflood_web_150211_19 method_brewflood_web_150211_18 method_brewflood_web_150211_10 method_brewflood_web_150211_2 method_brewflood_web_150211_16



The brewrig is under construction!

January 30th, 2015 by ryan No Comments

As I write this, Kenton and Rob are at the factory inspecting welds and ports and gushing over our new brew rig. We’ve landed on a 7bbl custom-built rig that will snugly fit on the second floor of our building. We’ve decided to go with three 7bbl fermenters and a 2x7bbl stacked brite tank. Here are some pictures of the build. Once the construction on the fermenters is complete, they’ll be jacketed in copper.261-7bbl double Stack Brite Tank #261-7BBL Fermenters


January 29th, 2015 by ryan No Comments

BrewFlood will be held from 4-11:30pm on Wednesday, 2/11. Not only is this our first appearance during SF beer week, it will be held in our future brewery at 326 First Street! This space is still under construction but we’re excited to show our friends and fans what the future holds. All proceeds will go to a great cause- Walk Oakland Bike Oakland. Tokens for tastings will be on sale at the door- 2 for $5, 6 for $12.


January 23rd, 2015 by ryan No Comments

At long last, a brewflood is nearly upon us, with invites to be sent out any moment now. We’ve been focused on honing our flagship recipes through iteration brews in which we brew the same beer, side-by-side, varying only a single parameter. This could be mash temperature, hop addition, the grain bill, yeast, etc. This is true experimentation. And so thirsty San Franciscans should expect to see mostly our flagships at our party, with a couple of new experiments. We’ll pour at least two kegs of each. Here’s the preliminary tap list:

Jalapeño IIPA, now made with 100% fresh Columbus hops for big juicy flavor, and with our jalapeño tincture added after brewing to dial in the heat.

We Seek Christians And Spices, our flagship saison with Tellicherry black peppercorns, coriander, and bitter orange

Toasted Oat India Red Ale

Grapefruit Shandy Cream Ale, three kegs worth so that we can stay refreshed all night.

The Hoppit, an experimental IPA debuted at brewflood VI, brewed with Motueka, Citra, and Galaxy hops

Cafe au Lait Stout, a milk stout brewed with cold-brewed New Orleans coffee and chicory

51% Oat Stout, infused with incredibly fragrant cold-brewed Vietnamese coffee

51% Oat Stout, infused with traditionally-prepared Turkish coffee with cardamom and cinnamon

Pinot Kolschio, a traditional kolsch fermented with added fresh-pressed Pinot Grigio grape must

Jealousy, a new Belgian dark ale recipe with loads of special B malt for dark raisiny flavors, fermented with fresh-pressed Syrah grape must

Black Kolsch, brewed to imperial strength based on taste tests conducted on brews made to various ABVs

Noyaux Nut Brown, a bold English brown ale with added Noyaux extracted in brandy

Tiniest Green Wolf, our signature microIPA with oats

Toasted Coconut Brown with Gunpowder Guayusa, infused with cold-brewed Gunpowder Guayusa tea from Santa Monica



Sadly, our brews can only be enjoyed if you're at least 21 years old.