Many are the kindly local breweries that have helped make homebrewers’ dreams come true by producing their amateur recipes on a commercial scale and tapping them at their tasting rooms as part of our Homebrew Summer program. But none have been quite so generous with their time, energy, ingredients and cold-box space as Escondido’s Jacked Up Brewery, which worked with three homebrewers this year alone. Their third and final pro-am beer, a Belgian-style blonde ale called Hair Metal developed by local homebrewer Todd Higginson, was tapped earlier this week. Take a look at the recipe then head to Jacked Up, where you can try, not just one, but multiple Homebrew Summer beers in a single session!
New pro-am beers will debut on a weekly basis throughout the summer, so be sure to check back with San Diego Beer News on a regular basis (or subscribe to our free weekly email newsletter and we’ll send all the recipes and release information straight to your inbox). Cheers and happy homebrewing!
How long have you been homebrewing and what inspired you to submit this recipe for Homebrew Summer?
I began homebrewing as a college student in 1993, and I’ve been a member of QUAFF since 2004. I’ve been brewing this particular recipe since 2019 while experimenting with different hop varietals along the way. I enjoy Belgian ales as an occasional alternative to more assertive, hoppy beers. I wanted to showcase Belgian-yeast character. The relatively high carbonation and smooth, crisp finish go well together on a hot day.
How did the brew day for your pro-am beer go?
It was a great day. We started at 9:30 a.m. with a recipe review and were milling by 10 a.m. Having a ready source of hot water really cuts down on time compared to homebrewing. We hit our mash temps and the OG (original gravity) was within 0.001 of our target. Everything went smooth. I wasn’t there to witness fermentation, but with the WLP 550 yeast and in-line oxygenation, I’m sure it took off in a hurry. There is no down time in a commercial brewery, unlike at home. If you have some free time during your current brew, like during mash rest, there’s always something to clean or prepare for the following brew session.
What are you most excited about regarding your beer?
I’m excited to see the beer up on the tap list and see reactions from customers. Jacked Up is a great venue for live music. I’m hoping to see the beer on tap while watching a band. Who knows. I may even join in on a blues jam.
Owner & Head Brewer, Jacked Up Brewery
What led you to select this particular recipe for Homebrew Summer?
We selected the Belgian blonde because we knew this would be a great add to our tap menu, and we were also interested because we have made Belgian ales and blonde ales in the past, but not a Belgian blonde. It will be a great brew!
How was the brew day and the pro-am experience overall?
Todd was a pleasant surprise. He was so involved the entire time. It really showed how much he cared about this recipe and how knowledgeable he is about brewing.