08 November 2016
COSTA MESA, CA - Nov. 8, 2016 - Local Chef Justin Miller of Pizzeria Ortica reveals he is transitioning from the kitchen to the brewery and taproom as a Co-Founder of Gunwhale Ales in Costa Mesa, CA. His passion for beer matches his love of cooking, and he looks forward to advancing the food and beverage scene in new ways through his new venture. He leaves Pizzeria Ortica on a high note, as it has just been awarded top honors with a Golden Foodie for Best Italian (2016), as well as being hailed as a top place to imbibe by the OCWeekly (Best Craft Cocktails – 2016).
Although brewing is cross between science and culinary art, it is unusual for a production brewery to have an experienced Executive Chef working directly with the brewing team to develop its portfolio of beers. Craft brewing has introduced (even re-introduced) unique flavors and historical styles. Gunwhale Ales for instance, focuses on a Belgian and French tradition of beermaking, and takes an approach of adapting that for today's beer drinkers on the West Coast. The team says to expect a focus on hoppy IPAs and rustic Saisons, and they will begin to develop a wood-aged, wild beer program.
Miller's experience with balancing the complexities of flavors (acidity, sweetness, bitterness, etc) will provide an opportunity for Gunwhale to better take advantage of the brewing process from sourcing and preparing raw ingredients all the way to dialing in various blends of beers from future releases of the brewery's barrel program. With an experienced chef and head brewer in collaboration, expect unique processes, surprising flavor profiles, elevated food pairings and the highest quality tasting events.
Miller is Co-Founder with JT Wallace and Robert Fitzgerald, two of his close friends, and together they have been working on bringing their unique approach to brewing over the past few years. Wallace and Fitzgerald are creative technical hybrids along with Miller, and they believe their team is prepared to make a splash on the local beer scene by bringing to market beers that are not so easy to find on the shelf. Wallace has a background in manufacturing, and actually worked for a different business in the facility that Gunwhale occupies. Fitzgerald is a veteran artist and designer who has developed the brewery's brand identity, merchandise, and packaging. The Co-Founders are native to the Southern California coast, and the history and landscape of the area inspires their passion and pushes them to explore terroir in brewing.
The team also tapped Head Brewer Derek Testerman, whose experience in production brewing both locally in Huntington Beach as well as back east at Iron Hill Brewery helps to deliver the highest quality beer in this new chapter in his career. The team sought out Derek due his formal education in brewing, his ambition, and his humble personality.
The Gunwhale Team called upon Hauck Architecture (http://www.hauckarchitecture.com/), whose experience with the planning of dozens of breweries complimented the hands-on approach to the build out of their taproom in the SoBeCa District of Costa Mesa. Gunwhale Ales is located at 2960 Randolph Ave, Unit A in Costa Mesa, CA 92626. The facility consists of about 3700 square feet, which includes a 1100 sq foot taproom and patio. There is also a 500 sq foot barrel aging room, which will be used as an event space. Also for sale on tap will be local suppliers of cold brew The Brauhaus (http://thebrau.haus/) (Santa Ana, CA) and artisan kombucha from Fermensch (http://www.fermensch.com/) (Orange, CA). The brewery has no food, but will be partnering with Bear Flag Fish Co (http://bearflagfishco.com/) to have food offered to Gunwhale guests on a regular basis from their on-site food truck.
The new brewery opens its taproom for the first time to the public on Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 11am. Gunwhale plans to be open Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday 11am – 11pm and Thursday through Saturday 11am – 8:30pm. View opening weekend event details at : https://www.facebook.com/events/639506799544476/