It’s interesting to talk to people who do a job they are passionate about. Joe Nascenzi of Enegren Brewing Company does just that – brewing great tasting beer with brothers Chris and Matt Enegren. I had the chance to talk to Joe about how they got started, what kind of beers they’re making, and what you’ll have to do to get them if you don’t live in the Los Angeles area.
How did Enegren Brewing Company get started?
Chris started brewing back in the dorm rooms at Loyola Marymount university on a stove top with extract batches. The following year he designed and built an all grain system and moved into an off campus house where he started all-grain brewing. His brother Matt started LMU that year as a Freshman and began brewing with him.
The following year, Chris was moving out of his house and needed a garage to put the brewery in. I played lacrosse with Chris and when he asked if anyone had a garage, i quickly volunteered. I’ve been brewing with him and Matt ever since.
After Chris and I graduated, Chris moved home and built an automated homebrew system in his parents garage in Moorpark. We spent the next 3-4 years brewing nearly every weekend – challenging ourselves to learn something new each day. It eventually got out of hand, we’d have to throw parties because we had too much beer.
So we spent nearly a year planning everything – nailing down how much it would cost to build everything, how much money we’d need, what we needed to buy, etc. Our lease started back in October 2010, and after months of building the brewery we’ve now been open for 7 weeks.
How many beers do you currently offer?
We currently offer two beers regularly – Protector our Imperial IPA and Valkyire our California Altbier. We also have a 3rd rotating tap of a seasonal brew. We just finished off our summer ale, which was a crisp, lightly hopped blonde ale. We just brewed our fall seasonal this past Sunday – kinda a cross between a Marzen and an American Pale Ale.
What brews do you plan to add in the future?
We’re not sure exactly what our future brews hold for us. A Belgian tripel, stout and barley wine are currently tops on our list – but we’re not sure when we’ll be able to get to them.
I’m always interested in seeing the process that breweries use to create their tasty beer. Do you do tours?
Oh yeah. Since we’re a really small brewery, anyone that comes in can get an in depth tour of the place. We go through the process from start to finish giving as much detail as we can. I’ve been on many brewery tours, and I think ours is one of the best. We get really excited to share the process with everyone – sometimes we get carried away.
Where can people find Enegren beers?
Currently we’re only local to the Ventura County area. We’re on tap at a few local bars: The Dugout, Corrigans Irish Pub, Larens Steak house and a few others. We also have done a few guest appearances at a few bars in LA. However, most of our beer is sold on site at the brewery.
Any plans to sell online? (Through your site or through another website that sells beer online)
Not anytime soon. We don’t bottle any of our beer – just kegs and growlers. Unfortunately neither of those ships too well. We don’t have any bottling plans in the near future, except maybe for a limited release beer – but we would have to bottle it by hand so there won’t be many bottles.