USA, CA: Paperback Brewing Co. celebrates its official Southern California launch
Paperback Brewing Co. is pleased to celebrate its official Southern California launch, as well as the one-year anniversary of brewery operations, Brewbound reported on July 16.
The Los Angeles-based microbrewery quietly began selling beer to-go only (in limited-edition cans and crowlers) in early July 2020, due to COVID-19 restrictions on tasting room operations. Brewmaster David Zambo Szamborski (former head brewer of 21st Amendment) brews flagship and seasonal beers which all feature the brewerys signature pulp fiction cover-inspired can art with names including Bunny with a Chainsaw, Tucked in by Strangers, and Attack of the Space Cats. Despite and in spite of pandemic-related challenges, Paperback produced nearly 2,000 BBLs in its first year and added 400+ off-premise accounts from San Diego to Los Angeles, including 188 Trader Joes retail locations. The brewery is on track to increase production by 50% in 2021 and is planning to increase off-premise distribution in other major California markets.
An enterprise eight years in the making, Paperback is a collaboration that evolved from a prolific home brew (or garage, to be specific) operation nicknamed The Lab by friends and former colleagues Brandon Monroe and Chris Cesnek. The two co-founders met fortuitously by way of an arbitrary interoffice email exchange at an entertainment advertising agency and discovered a mutual passion for craft beer and a growing disillusionment with corporate culture. Over the years they refined their recipes on a ½ BBL brewing system and completed programs at the renowned University of California, Davis and White Labs. In 2019, Paperback became their full-time pursuit. Monroe oversees operations and business development, while Cesnek acts as chief creative officer, shepherding every aspect of the Paperback brand.
COVID closed Paperback before we could open it. Weve been waiting patiently and experimenting with our beer styles, said co-founder Chris Cesnek. For us, this first anniversary is more like our grand opening. Were excited to share what weve worked so hard for and everything we love about beer.
Paperback has been a true labor of love, added co-founder Brandon Monroe. We set out on this journey eight years ago to create an experience. Now to see people at the bar enjoying our beer, talking to customers, and seeing all the smiles is the most rewarding feeling imaginable.
At the heart of Paperback is a 15-barrel brewing system, plus six 30 BBL and five 60 BBL fermenters. Award-winning Brewmaster Szamborski has led production for acclaimed breweries throughout the Golden State, most notably at 21st Amendment Brewery, where his efforts were recognized with a myriad of high-profile accolades (including six Great American Beer Festival medals) . Hes celebrated for his fearless experimentation and best quality brews (hes moonlighted as a GABF judge the past six years). Szamborskis prodigious output at Paperback releasing 37 brews in the brewerys first year of operations was a deliberate endeavor that helped the brewery withstand the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Paperbacks flagship beers include:
Bunny with a Chainsaw,Hazy Double IPA (Idaho 7, Mosaic): ABV 8.4%, 48 IBUs
Tucked in by Strangers, West Coast IPA (Mosaic): ABV 6.5%, 25 IBUs
Czechs Who Wear Leather, Czech-style Pilsner (Motueka): ABV 4.9%, 34 IBUs
Backyard Crusher, American Lager (Sterling, Cluster): ABV 4.5%, 15 IBUs
Attack of the Space Cats, Hazy IPA (Galaxy): 6.6% ABV, 40 IBUs
One Night with Nora, Blonde Ale (Sterling, Cascade): 5.1% ABV, 11 IBUs
Cesnek, a BFA graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, is the creative mind behind Paperbacks one-of-a-kind label artwork. The humorous illustrations take inspiration from pop art and pulp magazines (a nod to the inexpensive paper the stories were printed on) popular in the first half of the 20th Century, featuring colorful, action-packed, and sometimes lurid cover art. His references include music and pop culture, for example The Smiths Death of a Disco Dancer, David Lynchs Twin Peaks (Paperbacks Sour Peaks Raspberry Lemonade Sour Ale), and Stanley Kubricks A Clockwork Orange (Paperbacks A Milkshake Orange Milkshake IPA).
The 1,600 square-foot Glendale tasting room (422 Magnolia Ave) has 16 Paperback brews on tap and was designed by Boston-based Jennifer Sullivan of Studio Twenty Two. Situated in a World War II-era quonset hut aircraft hanger, which housed a mechanic shop for six decades before sitting vacant for many years, the 6,000+ square-foot structure (which also encompasses the brewerys production) was completely reimagined to embody the Paperback brand aesthetic. Inspired by the concept of storytelling, the space was designed to facilitate conversation and inspire comfort akin to a traditional family living room or den. The mezzanine sits overlooking the tasting room and offers a birds-eye view of the brewerys production area. Like Paperbacks beer, great attention was paid to detail, from the purposeful color palette to the curated objects throughout the space. Bespoke woodwork, tables and bar, by Los Angeles-based Surfridge Design, are a nod to a bygone era of craftsmanship. Furnishings, both new and vintage, feature a rich patina (much like an old book). The tasting room is open from 4 to 10 p.m. on Wednesdays/Thursdays, 4 to 11 p.m. on Fridays, 12 to 11 p.m. on Saturdays and 12 to 10 p.m. on Sundays.
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