Cismontane Lightning

Evan Weinberg and Cismontane Brewing recently bought the brewing equipment from the former Lightning Brewery in San Diego environs.

But why it was purchased is more the story than the actual equipment. Weinberg has been quoted as saying that the reason behind whipping out the credit card “was more altruistic in nature.” A simple effort to help out the founder Jim Crute.

We will probably being seeing more equipment sales in the future without the semi-happy ending that happened here. We will probably see more Green Cheek style location take-overs too. But the large step of financial rescue will probably not be seen again. It is easier to share ingredients but most craft brewers don’t have the ability to make such a purchase.

Change of Venue

Laguna Beach Beer Company whose beers I have yet to see on shelves or taps made the surprising announcement that they would be taking over Cismontane Brewing Company’s production facility and tasting room in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA.

The transition includes plans for Laguna Beach Beer Company plans to expand the existing sorta-industrial park location to add a kitchen and more seating.

Cismontane will focus its attention on the brewing & distilling facility and tasting room in Santa Ana.

People and places are on the move in the SoCal scene. And it is probably not the last announcement we will see.


The anniversaries just keep getting bigger. Cismontane Brewing of Santa Margarita (& Santa Ana) will celebrate 6 years of brewing in Orange County and once you buy your tickets you will be able to get 8oz pours of rare beers as well as all your favorites on May 7th starting at Noon.
And you have two ticketing options to choose from….
Ticket Option A. 4 Drink Tickets gets you into the party and entered in the raffle for amazing beer and beer related items.
Ticket Option B. 8 Drink Tickets gets an awesome 6th anniversary tshirt and all the other radness mentioned above.


There are two parts to the new beer release from Cismontane Brewing.

1.Bourbon barrel-aged sour aged in Buffalo Trace barrels for a year. Tart on the nose, with a hint of toffee and oak on the front. A cidery quality accents the distinct taste of Buffalo Trace on the finish.
2.This brew is dedicated to the beer bloggers of the world who tell it like is, guiding the masses toward their liquid destiny.
It seems odd to dedicate (in a way) a beer to bloggers then give it the unappetizing name of “blager”. And I don’t know if any beer bloggers were asked to participate or were invited to choose a beer style because I would have liked to suggest a historical style of beer.


Cismontane Brewing will celebrate their 5th Anniversary Party from Friday the 29th through the 31st which will include the unveiling of their 5 Grain Saison Anniversary beer.

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Here is the schedule for those heading to Rancho Santa Margarita:
Friday – Firkin Friday.
Stop by after work and kick off the weekend. We will have 5 firkins and vintage library releases for purchase.

Saturday – Cismontane Celebration.
There will be music, a food truck, and lots of fun! Ticket includes commemorative t-shirt and 8 – 9oz pours.

Sunday – Bike & Brew.
Come on a fun bike ride for all levels then cool off with special selections on tap for bikers.

If it is Tuesday…

…then it must be time for a tap attack at Tony’s Darts Away.

This is just a gentle reminder that they do these most Tuesday’s and it is a perfect time to check out a far away brewery’s wares without leaving Burbank.

Coming up on May 20th at 6pm is….

flights and individual pours of the following..
4th Anniversary Doppelbock with Cranberries
The Citizen California Common
Black’s Dawn Coffee Imperial Stout
Double Rainbow Double IPA
Smokin Santiago Scotch Ale
Specialty Cask TBA

I will be checking out the Dopplebock for sure.

Sean suggests for February 2014


2 out of 3 of these beers were recently seen at the fabulous Sunset Beer here in Los Angeles.  And the El Segundo beer will probably be there soon because they had plenty of others from ESBC.  Check them out and see if you can make it past all the bottles to the draft list.


Cismontane Brewing/ Malt Series – Vienna 5.1% ABV

“The purpose of the study is to understand the effects of various malts in the brewery, and the resulting beers. We will control all of the variables of the brewing process except the type of grain used. We believe that each grain will affect the following variables that we can measure in our brewery: extraction rate, change in pH, attenuation, and color. This will also affect many variables that only you can measure with your nose and tongue.”


Almanac Brewing/ Sourdough Wild Ale 6.5% ABV

“Brewed with a mash of raw and malted barley, oats, rye, spelt and lemon, this beer was fermented in used wine barrels with a blend of Brettanomyces wild yeasts and Marla Bakery’s San Francisco sourdough yeast. The finished beer is dry-hopped with tropical Mosaic hops. This unfiltered ale is alive in the bottle: drink fresh for a bright, passionfruit aroma or age to develop the wild yeast funk.”


El Segundo Brewing / Mayberry IPA 7.0% ABV

You want a single hop beer from a hop specialist? Then pick up a 22oz bomber from El Segundo. Their Mayberry IPA is 100% Mosaic hop.

Review – Greyhound Blended Barrel Aged Sour from Cismontane


I don’t much care for the new Cismontane labels but I do like the little touch of the dog and the citrus slice.  This little part works.  And so does the beer.  This liquer looking beer pours without a head and the aroma is not blasting sour at you.  Much more restrained .  More cognac to my nose.  But the taste gets back down to sour business.  Tart on the lips and quite a bit of citrus that is tempered by the wood notes.  Not tangy but mellow and sour at the same time.  Nice and complex.  Thanks to the Cap’n for voyaging down south to pick this beer up for me.

Single Malts from Cismontane


Looks like that Cismontane is starting a science project and we will be the beneficiaries!

It is a Single Malt Series, let the brewers talk about it, “Years ago I conceived a project that would captivate the scientific and artistic mind of the brewer: single malt beers. I’m very happy to say that we are finally doing it.

Think of it this way, if we completely understand the behaviors of various malts we have more control of any subsequent beers that we generate. This gives us artistic ability through scientific testing.
We have partnered with Best Malz out of Germany to do a series of single malt beers with all of their base and specialty malts.  The specialty malt beers will differ in that they will be blended with a base malt. The base malt will be selected based on least amount of color and flavor.
The purpose of the study is to understand the effects of various malts in the brewery, and the resulting beers. We will control all of the variables of the brewing process except the type of grain used. We believe that each grain will affect the following variables that we can measure in our brewery: extraction rate, change in pH, attenuation, and color. This will also affect many variables that only you can measure with your nose and tongue.”
·         Water (R.S.M.’s finest) enough to get that kettle to 16 bbl of beer!!!!!!!
·         Yeast (Cali ale baby) ~5gal pitch 1million cells / ml / °P
·         715 lbs base malt grains (our variable)
o   Best Malz – Pilsner
o   Best Malz – Vienna
o   Best Malz – Munich
o   Best Malz – Heidlburg
o   Best Malz – Red X
·         Hops (Northern Brewer – single addition at 60min for 16 IBU)
·         Brewer (the Citizen)
·         Brewery and all its stuff (Cismontane Brewing Company)
We will brew a beer where all the ingredient’s processes will be exactly the same with every batch. The one variable that will change is the type of malt. Below is a list of the controls:
·         Mash temp: 152
·         Quantity of grain: 715lbs
·         Run off from mash to kettle: 465gal
·         Hop Addition: 35oz Northern brewer with 10.9% alpha acid at 60 min
·         Boil time: 120 min
·         Yeast: California ale yeast pitching rate 1million cells / ml / °P
·         Fermentation temp: 66 °F

·         Water: We will add water to the kettle to have 16bbl of beer before we transfer to the fermenter.

I am a big proponent of tests and experiments like these.  They really open the eyes to what a single ingredient change can do to a beer.  Mikkeller has done it with hops, yeast, barrels.  White Labs does different yeast strains in their brewery and now Cismontane.

Cismontane is Turning Three


Cismontane Brewing Company’s 3RD ANNIVERSARY!!!

Friday April 26th, 2013 – 3 pm to 9ish  (Barrel Aged Night if you want light beer you will have to drink cask beer!):

Garlic Scapes Food Truck 4pm-9ish

Barrel Aged Beers
o   Oso
o   Black’s Nocturne
o   TJ Slough
o   Rye Barrel Aged Citizen
o   French Oak Coulter
o   French Oak Belgian Dubbel
o   8 month Bourbon Doppelsticke
o   13 month Bourbon Doppelsticke
o   Dos Cone Es
o   Sour Cream

o   French Oak Citizen
o   Pandion Pale
o   Black’s Dawn w/ Juniper & Vanilla Beans

Saturday April 27th, 2013 – 12 pm to 9ish 3rd Anniversary Release:

Dos Chinos Food Truck from 4pm-8pm

Tap List
o   1st Anniversary Black Lager
o   2nd Anniversary Belgian IPA
o   3rd Anniversary Belgian Strong (Release)

Mexican Summer Beers
o  La Crema
o  El Corazon Rojo
o  Nopal De Trigo

Past Favorites!
o   Cali IPA easy as ABZ
o   Belgian Dubbel
o   Smokin’ Santiago
o   Pandion Pale III
o   Whatever Casks Survive