Derek Gallanosa is the Head Brewer and Beer Curator at Abnormal Beer Co. housed within The Cork & Craft in Rancho Bernardo, CA. Along with brewing unique layered pales and coffee infused stouts, Derek also teaches the Marketing Craft Beer course for the Craft Beer Certification Program at San Diego State University. Today, Abnormal Beer Co. produces about 6 original brews and offers around 41-taps.
Why do you think Southern Californians love their IPAs packed with hop flavors and aromas?
In Southern California there are not many established loyalties to breweries. We are fickle. Our loyalties change depending on who is making what beers. In regards to IPAs, there isn’t a clear-cut winner in Southern California. We have so many breweries that are pushing the limits of how flavorful or aromatic an IPA can be and every week it seems a new brewery is creating the next greatest IPA. Because of this friendly competition amongst the Brewers, the public benefits by having these extremely flavorful and aromatic beers.
You have collaborated with numerous businesses and brewers. What do you enjoy most about these partnerships and what do you think makes them successful?
I try to learn as much as I can from other brewers, and what is a better way than to directly work with them. I get to learn about techniques, efficiency processes, and possibly some ingredients that I never thought about working with before. The reason they are successful is because we get to expand our audience and tap into each other’s customer base. By working with other breweries and businesses we get to expose our brand to people that may have not heard of us before, but trust our collaborative partners enough to give us a try solely based on the fact that we worked with someone they were familiar with.
You have become popular for creating multiple layers of flavor in your beers. How have you worked to perfect and refine this creative process?
I blame the culinary world for this one. Especially working in a restaurant such as The Cork and Craft, the adjoining restaurant to Abnormal Beer Co., I get to see first-hand how the chefs and cooks layer flavors on their dishes. They start off with a base protein and add complimentary flavors to build the complexity of the dish. I use the same concept by adding complimentary ingredients to base beers to make them more complex. It’s more work, but the end result usually turns out quite tasty.
You produce a lot of coffee infused beers. How do you do your coffee treatments and how does it affect the beer?
I love coffee beers and work a lot with Carmel Mountain’s Mostra Coffee. Their Head Roaster, Mike Arquines, is a very close friend in which I’ve been working with for over 8 years. My process begins by doing a cupping/tasting session with them to see what’s available and what characteristics those varietals offer. I then determine which varietal works well with the beer I’m infusing and, depending on the assertiveness of that roast, determine the dosing rate. After the beer has finished and chilled to under 40 degrees I recirculate the entire tank through a filter of coarse ground coffee for 18-24 hours. It’s kind of like making cold brew but instead of water I’m using beer; and instead of letting it sit I’m agitating the liquid and creating a more aggressive infusion technique. I think it’s great in darker beers and adds a layer of complexity that can play off a lot of the roast and chocolate characteristics of those types of beers.
What are some new trends in beer we should keep our eye on in the new year?
Hazy IPAs. Nowadays I feel like consumers are paying attention to drinkability and flavor rather than alcohol content. The Hazy IPA trend will only get bigger than it already is because you are doing a different spin on the most popular style. It tastes different, the mouthfeel is heavier, and the aromatics simulate fruit juice.
Abnormal Beer Co. is located at 16990 Via Tazon, San Diego, CA 92127. Please visit abnormal beer.co or call (858) 618-2563 for more information. Photos courtesy of Abnormal Beer Co.