What: Cleophus Quealy Summer Beer Tasting
When: Saturday July 21st, 12 noon - 5 p.m.
Where: Zoo Music Incubator, 1035 7th St., Oakland
Cost: Free (tickets are required, available here)
When you hear the words "startup" and "beta test," the first image that pops into your mind is probably not a mug of frosty beer. But Dan Watson and Peter Baker, co-founders of Cleophus Quealy Beer Company, are out to change that.
The duo's Summer Beer Tasting event, happening this Saturday, is your first chance to try the labors of love that these two Bay Area natives have been crafting together for the past three years.
Cleophus Quealy is a brewery built on a different model than your typical beer business. Baker and Watson applied their backgrounds in software engineering to the project, resulting in this weekend's "soft launch," a beer beta test, if you will. According to Baker, in the software world "you release a little product, find out what the community wants, and then add features. We want to connect with the community, find out who our community is, what gets people excited."
While many brewing outfits start large with their minds on immediate growth, Cleophus Quealy is starting with three simple basics: community, craft, and beer. "We'd much rather sacrifice growth to have sustainability in a small community. If we could sell at farmers' markets, we would," says Baker.
On tap Saturday are three offerings served in six-ounce tasting pours. First up is Milk Moustache, a milk stout brewed with local coffee. "It's smooth, with a nice thick mouthfeel," says Watson, and Baker adds, "There's a subtle acidity and some sweet overtones." Pacheco Pale is their single-hop centennial pale ale, with "pretty assertive hopping," according to Watson, and "a bright grapefruit taste," says Baker. Lastly there's Lucky Biere, a Belgian-style trippel. "It's effervescent, bright, and light," says Watson, while Baker describes it as "liquid summertime." Two sodas, root beer and cream ale, will also be available.
Wexler's Back BBQ Truck will be on hand serving their classic BBQ platters including ribs, chicken, pulled pork and brisket. And in what the brewers are calling "a conniving scheme to get free pie," a pie contest will be held which is open to all attendees who fancy themselves bakers. Artists from The Zoo will provide live music throughout the afternoon.