Husband and Wife team, Chelsey Rosetter and Ben Farber, decided about 5 years ago it was time to plan a brewery of their own. Benny Boy Brewing will adopt and accentuate the pillars of classic beer making: whole flower hops (aka, whole cone hops, which are dried, not pulverized like commonly used hop pellets), natural carbonation (which contributes to finer bubbles, better head retention and mouthfeel) and unfiltered techniques (duh, filtering sacrifices flavor.)
It was a trip to Belgium that ignited the pair’s love for classic styles. Ben was so inspired by a trip to Brouwerij De Ranke, a brewery located outside of Brussels, that he reached out to them to seek an apprenticeship. To his surprise, they welcomed him for six weeks, allowing him to work on all aspects of brewing. When Ben returned to California, he revisited all of his existing recipes and tweaked them to implement these old world brewing techniques.
The vibe of the space, which is located in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood of LA, was equally as important as the beer itself. With Chelsey from Minnesota and Ben from Colorado, it was imperative that they created an outdoor space that allowed folks to escape LA without leaving the city. “Outdoor space is typically an afterthought,” says Chelsey. “We wanted to focus on an outdoor space and build the brewery and cidery around it.” And they did just that… imagine: walking to the biergarten, which they refer to as the Urban Backyard, and on your right is the cidery with an artificial tree in the center of the building and on the left, the brewhouse.
In addition to their old world brewing techniques and urban backyard, another great feature of Benny Boy Brewing is that they possess a wine license alongside their brewery license! With that, not only are they able to produce exceptional ciders for those who imbibe on the gluten free or sugar free side, but also gives them the opportunity to collaborate with some really great wineries throughout California. “We love going to wineries just as much as we go to breweries!” tells Ben.
Benny Boy Brewing has collaborated with the likes of Pali Wine Co as well as The Spirit Guild in DTLA, where they assisted in distilling apple brandy using the same juice they use to make their cider. Eventually, this will become pommeau, a French aperitif, a technique they learned about while touring Normandy, France and tossed into barrels to age for two years.
Chelsey and Ben recognize the importance of implementing diversity, equity and inclusion into the Benny Boy culture. “As a new business, we have a really awesome opportunity with staffing,” says Chelsey. They plan to look to the local community as well as Pink Boots Society to help fill the positions within the company. They also strive to implement an ESOP program as well as a benefits package for more long term employees. As a previous industry worker, it is vital for small businesses to support the health of their employees. After all, health equals wealth!
The pair draw inspiration from the likes of Jester King in Austin, TX, as well as the B-Corp certified and highly acclaimed Allagash Brewing in Portland, Maine. I should also mention a really cool feature of their brewery that I’ve never before witnessed: the beer will be served straight from the Brite tanks. Because the carbonation process is natural (it takes an additional week to achieve this) and they don’t want to disrupt the natural process, the best practice is to serve it straight from its final resting place! It could be compared to eating a chip off the production line; freshness and purity at its finest. Expect to see these serving tanks behind the bar, which is sure to create a unique experience for brewery goers!
Keep your eye on this forthcoming brewery, expected to open this Fall. Follow their progress on Instagram: @bennyboybrewing – Prepare to embrace the whole flower hop experience!