Meet the Brewers: Libertine
It’s time for you to meet Tyler Clark, Founder and Head of Brewing Operations at Libertine Brewing Company in our #ShareSLO Meet the Brewers Series! Hear about Libertine’s crazy beer ingredients (including a Christmas tree and volcanic rocks) to what he loves about brewing in San Luis Obispo. Get a taste of San Luis Obispo’s booming craft beer scene by visiting for SLO Beer Week, happening October 16 – 22, 2016.
Meet Tyler Clark, Founder & Head of Brewing Operations at Libertine Brewing Company
I started at 18 years old, stocking shelves for local beer distributor, Central Coast Distributing. Then, I worked my way up from there with a few different distributors in Santa Cruz and San Diego before returning to the Central Coast to open my own brewery and beer bar with my wife Shannon.
What do you love about being a brewer in San Luis Obispo?
It’s a great tight knit community where the brewers work together a lot to create amazing new collaborations and bring the beer to a new level. There is also a ton of amazing agriculture here to use in our creations, which really allows us to showcase our area in a unique way many regions cannot.
What makes San Luis Obispo a unique destination for craft beer?
There are so many great breweries that use such different approaches and inspirations to create really unique ales to this area. Being in a great wine region really seems to blend over to all the amazing breweries here. From using wine barrels and wine grapes in our beers to just being proud of our community, San Luis Obispo breweries showcase it in a positive light by being really passionate about what we produce. That real sense of pride in your region that is so prevalent in wine has really bled over to the brewing world.
What makes Libertine unique compared to other craft breweries?
Libertine has always focused on the surrounding agriculture and wild yeasts in our region, trying to showcase our unique coastal terrier by creating brews using these ingredients. All of our beers are fermented in open top cool ships, allowing the wild microflora from the air to inoculate and start the fermenting process, which then takes place in large French oak puncheon barrels. From there, the beer spends 3 months to 3 years in oak barrels before finally being blended and bottled.
What is Libertine most popular beer?
Our most popular beers change seasonally as they are produced. Because of our unique process, each batch is a bit different. A lot of our wine hybrid beers are very popular in the summer and our holiday inspired darker beers are usually more popular in winter.
How about your favorite brew?
I have been enjoying our Edna Table Saison recently, 4% ABV, dry hopped saison. It was inspired by the Edna Valley, just to our southeast where there are tons of world class wineries. We wanted to create something that would be a great compliment to a day wine tasting and picnicking.
How do you decide on new beers to brew next?
Most of our brewing decisions are based on the seasons and what ingredients are available. In fall during the grape harvest, we do almost exclusively wine hybrid blends, while spring time is more focused on raspberries, blackberries and other fruits.
What is your favorite style of beer to brew and why?
Our favorite styles to brew vary, but I always get the most satisfaction when we collaborate with wineries and use their grapes and barrels to create unique brews. It’s cool to see what goes into creating world class wines and to be able to work with them and then, use some of their techniques and grapes in our brews is really cool.
Describe the most unusual beer that you’ve ever brewed before.
We have done a lot of really crazy beers, anything from putting a whole Christmas tree in a fermenter for a Christmas stout, to using sea water in our Pacific Ocean blue gose, to using volcanic rocks from Morro Bay to heat up the boil. We could go on and on. Doing crazy things is kind of what we are known for.
What are you most excited about for SLO Beer Week 2016?
I’m most excited about Libertine’s Brewing event in our brewing area and cellar with Sidecar. Happening on October 19th, the event will feature barrel tasting and delicious food among the barrels in our brewery while we describe our brewing process. It should be a really cool event! Purchase your tickets early since seating is very limited.
When you’re not brewing up a storm, where can we find you in San Luis Obispo?
I like to enjoy the beautiful outdoors here on the Central Coast. Anything from hiking, disc golf, surfing and wine tasting with my wife (I consider this an outdoor activity), among other things.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself that not many people know.
I probably drink more wine than I do beer.
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