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A few weeks back, we brought you word on the latest moves of Sam FÃ¼ss, the brewer who has plied her trade from west coast to east and is now striking out on her own as Old Salt Brewing. Her last port of call was at Black Rock’s True South, where her former sidekick Brian Kiss von Soly has taken over the head brewer’s mantle. Already, he’s seen his first commercially developed beer, the Clock Tower IPA, added to the permanent range and started developing a series of new seasonals.
The first new beer to appear since the changing of the guard is the Angry Argie – and there are a couple of stories related to its genesis. Brewery owner Grant Dow says it was launched earlier this month to coincide with Argentinean Independence Day. According to Brian, however, it’s because the beer was created with input from True South’s Argentinean chef Mauro Callegari who Grant reckons is your typically angry chef. Either way, the beer is already the second biggest seller over the venue’s bar, so expect to see it heading outside the brewery sooner rather than later.
“We set out to create an Argentinean style beer but quickly found out that there’s no such thing!” says Brian. “Mauro came and tasted some malts and smelled some hops and told me what sort of beer he would like – something easy to drink and very aromatic. He liked the carapils and maris otter malts and Galaxy and Cascade hops and we’ve ended up with quite a dry ale that’s a light, easy-drinking, summery sort of beer.
“Chefs have their pretty big mood swings, so Angry Argie is just Mauro; Grant always comes up with names for beers and this is the first one that’s come through!”
Before taking his first paid brewing role at True South, Brian completed the Master Brewers Program at UC Davis Extension in California. He also gained experience working at a couple of American breweries: Capital Brewing in Wisconsin (“more of a lager brewery”) and Great Dane, a brewpub also in Wisconsin.
“I started home brewing and figured that it was something I’d like to get paid for,” he says. “It turns out the most prestigious course is in America. I’ve got a US passport so after two years on the waiting list I got onto the course.
“When I was at Great Dane, they tried to crack the record for the highest alcohol beer. They tried to do it by constant oxygenation every couple of days but the yeast didn’t like it. It was an epic failure!”
Things have gone rather better since joining the Black Rock brewery two years ago, where he’s learned from Sam’s experience and was rewarded by given free rein to create the Clock Tower “on 9/11/11”.
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