Black Diamond Brewery
Black Diamond Brewery welcomed me with open arms on my way through San Francisco. They are located just north of the city in Concord, CA in an industrial park. I’ve noticed a few breweries doing production in industrial parks lately, kind of awesome really. Their beautiful tasting room was not in a traditional bar-type building or a strip mall and you would have never know from the outside the awesomeness that awaits when you walk through those doors. I walked in on the night of their annual pig roast and was greeted by over 500 people enjoying craft beer and having one helluva good time.
At first I was a little nervous of going to a big event on a Friday night solo. That quickly changed when I met Mike Pierce, their National Sales Manager in the bathroom line! We had been going back and forth for weeks and neither of us were supposed to make it to the pig roast. Love how things work out just the way they should!
Mike poured me the Whiteout Wheat which was just about perfect after a long day of writing. It was smooth, had a very slight bitter taste but evened out by the sweet orange taste. I also picked up coriander which I love to taste in a wheat beer. THis is the beer you grab on a hot summer day for a quick refreshing taste. Yumm-ee!!
Before Mike took off for the night he introduced me to Black Diamond Brewery’s head Brew Master Paul Mallory. To say I was stunned by how young Paul was would be an understatement. At 27, he had been doing home brews for just seven years and loved to make beers he could relax with at the end of a long day. When he was made the head brew master last year, he increased the brand’s value and started to create some stellar beers. Paul has a taste for what works well together and I for one am looking forward to see what he comes up with in the coming years!
Paul’s Fave Beer: Black Diamond Mosaic IPA
Pauls’s Go To Beer: Sculpin from Ballast Point
Collaborate: Sierra Nevada for a hop-forward with new exciting hops
Wet Hops: One beer every year that has four different types of wet hops that are local to California. It is a fun challenge as their systems aren’t designed for it so they must get creative.
Quirky fact: Paul puts plants up throughout the brewery for a zen-like feel and for air purification – need more plants there, Paul!
I came back the following week to tour the brewery and to ask a few questions. I got the guys in the middle of brewing their stellar IPA and this is a picture of the hops with steam boiling up over creating an amazing scent. They need to bottle that up and sell it as cologne as it is enticing!
The Story of Peak 15: Originally it was an illustration art of Tenzig Norway who was the first Sherpa to stand on top of Mt. Everest. The first 22 0z Bomber by Black Diamond was an Imperial Porter and was going to be called Tenzig. They later found out that Tenzig was a celebrity and his estate wanted a $100,000 for the image rights! They couldn’t come up with a cost that would work and make the beer affordable. They changed the image and renamed the beer to Peek 15, which was the original name to Mt Everest and now the image is no longer Tenzig, but just a Sherpa. I loved this story – so very cool in my honest opinion.
The infamous barrel room… barrel aged beers are all the rage these days. I am personally a BIG FAN. I had their Bourbon Barrel Aged Peak XV which was mind-blowingly awesome. I might have took home a growler of this bad boy. I don’t think I want to share it either! That good!
A Black Diamond selfie with the crew after a hard day’s work. These guys are personable, down-to-earth, and have great friendships between them. The Black Diamond crew is a lot of fun to hang out with.
They are hard at work tasting beers. It is a tough job, but somebody has to do it!
I love Black Diamond’s stainless steal growlers especially this one that is filled with my favorite Bourbon Barrel Aged Peak. I am one lucky girl!