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Posts Tagged Rey Knight

Meet Finest Made Ales

Jul 21

finestmadealesHe went from his own butchery to his own brewery, and now Rey Knight is shining up his stainless steel armor with a revised operation that fuses his culinary and fermentation passions. That business will go by the name Finest Made Ales (9962 Prospect Ave., Suite E, Santee), and aim to produce beers that are ideally suited for beer-and-food pairing.

Work is currently underway to revamp the tasting room of Knight’s former interest, Butchers Brewing Company, to a state befitting its new identity. That space will debut to the public next month during a grand opening launch party. Eventually, charcuterie plates featuring Knight’s handiwork will be available in that sampling space. Prior to delving into brewing, he founded Knight’s Salumi. It was a cult favorite among local foodies that fizzled out far before its time.

Finest Made Ales’ launch party will take place on Friday, August 19 from 4 p.m. until closing. Ten taps’ worth of beer will be available along with food (that’s pairable, one would presume) from a variety of food trucks.

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Twisted Manzanita shutting down brewing operations

Mar 2

twistedmanzanitaEarlier this week, news broke that Twisted Manzanita Ales and Spirits (10151 Prospect Avenue, Santee) had shuttered its satellite tasting room in Pacific Beach. Today, the company’s employees were notified that the business is actually folding its brewing operations entirely. Twisted Manzanita’s spirit production will continue, but Friday will be the last day for production at what was the incorporated East County’s first and largest brewery. The last day for the tasting room will be Sunday.

Established as Manzanita Brewing Company in 2010, the interest originally opened in a combination brewery-tasting room in a business suite at 9962 Mission Gorge Road. After two years of solid growth, Manzanita took over a much-larger, 12,000 square-foot facility on the same block, where it was able to increase its production significantly while spreading its beers to numerous new states and territories. Its original facility was turn-keyed to Rey Knight where he installed Butcher’s Brewing.

In 2012, Manzanita won a bronze medal in the experimental beer category at the World Beer Cup for Where There’s Smoke…, a smoked rye ale with chile peppers. In 2013, original brewmaster Garry Pittman left the business and the brewing industry altogether. In 2014, owner Jeff Trevaskis launched a distillery side of operations and renamed the company Twisted Manzanita Ales & Spirits. In 2015, Twisted Manzanita partnered with Fat Cat Beer Co., forming a parent-company that aimed to provide strength in numbers. That interest intended to take on additional brands, though that never came to pass. The company’s most recent head brewer, Daniel Cady, left the company a few weeks ago to begin work at Mikkeller Brewing San Diego. Twisted Manzanita also signed a number of contract-brewing deals to help boost production for such brands as URBN St. Brewing Co., Thorn St. Brewery and Pacific Islander Beer Co. 

Twisted Manzanita Ales is survived in the City of Santee by Butcher’s, Pacific Islander and BNS Brewing and Distilling Co., operations it most certainly helped pave the way for in East County.

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Friday 5 with Rey Knight of Butcher’s Brewing

Mar 30

Rey Knight at Bottlecraft on 3/29/12

Yesterday, I met up with Rey Knight of Butcher’s Brewing at Bottlecraft for a few minutes.

You’re currently making the transition from contract brewing to in-house production brewing. Why?
There’s a stigma against contract brewing. You have no identity, and we want to have an identity.

What are the details on your new operation?
We’re currently producing 700 barrels between Bayhawk Ales  in Irvine and Minhas Craft Brewery in Wisconsin. Our new location will be located off Palomar Airport Road and will have a 30-barrel brewhouse, capacity for 1200 barrels a year,  a bottling line, and a 650 sq. ft. tasting room. We’re shooting to have this open within 9 months. We currently can our beers by way of Minhas, and we’re hoping to bring our canning operation in-house as soon as possible to our new location.

What can you tell me about your current distribution?
We have beer in most Southern California Whole Foods and Sprouts. We’re also selling beer on five islands in Hawaii, and we’re even shipping some beer to Japan. Our number of draft accounts is around 45 currently. Right now we’re exploring options for distribution.

What’s new with your beers?
Think of Butchers and Mucho Aloha as you would Port and Lost Abbey. Butchers is our more American beer lineup, while Mucho Aloha is our creative, Hawaiian-influenced line. For Butcher’s, we have our meat-inspired IPA series: Prime, Choice, Select and Standard – all referring to cuts of meat. For ABV, Prime is 8%, Choice is 7% and so on. The Prime is our big Imperial IPA, while Standard is our 6& Black IPA (more info on the beers, here). Our newest release is the Free Range IPA, which is brewed with Nelson Sauvin and Summit hops. The recipe for Free Range will change from season to season. There’s also a Barleywine that will become our winter release.

There’s tons of breweries opening up right now. How will you set Butcher’s and Mucho Aloha apart?
As long as I spend most of my time worrying about what’s in the bottle, I’ll be OK.

Have a question for Rey that you didn’t see? Leave me a comment below and I’ll ask! 


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