Beer is finally flowing through Firestone Walker Brewing Company’s Propagator brewhouse in Venice, California, and a familiar face is at the helm as brewer Ben Maushardt takes the reins of Firestone Walker’s R&D program.
Note: Adam Firestone, when he first announced his plans for Venice in 2013, had a brewhouse in mind, as well as a restaurant, to produce local, unique “one-off” beers as one of the reasons for opening in Venice.
The Propagator will operate as a pilot brewhouse for experimental beers, setting the pace for what is next from Firestone Walker. It will also serve as a working neighborhood brewery to produce unique one-off beers available solely at the Venice location.
The switch was flipped on the Propagator last week, and the first true batch is being brewed this week.
The launch of the brewhouse signifies a happy conclusion to an arduous permitting journey that resulted in ongoing delays. Firestone Walker invested more than $1 million in acquiring a state-of-the-art small scale Kaspar Schulz brewhouse from Germany. The original plan was to begin brewing in Venice in tandem with the opening of the adjacent brewery restaurant last April.
“We stayed the course, stuck to our vision and, most important, received a lot of support from our neighbors,” said Adam Firestone. “It will prove to be worth the wait.”
Added David Walker, “The Propagator is the next step in our brewery evolution. It will be our idea laboratory, and hopefully an integral contributor to the local brewing community.”
The Propagator falls into capable hands with Maushardt, who has been with Firestone Walker for more than two years, and who is now making the move from Paso Robles to Venice.
“We chose Ben because it’s important that we have one of our best-trained and talented team members take on this role,” said Brewmaster Matt Brynildson.
He added, “When Ben is not testing new recipes or running hop, malt and yeast trials for the Paso Robles brewery, he will be producing small batches of wort for our Barrelworks team and making killer Venice-only beers for local patrons.”