Posted in home brewing

A Q&A with Bay Boys Brewing

The Steinbeck Home Brew Fest in Salinas has come and gone, but I’m still learning a ton about all the people I had the pleasure to meet there.

There is so much passion. The beer may not always be GABF material yet, but everyone is so proud and passionate about their craft. Truly refreshing! Bay Boys Brewing wowed me with some of their brews and I decided I’d give them some blog space to introduce themselves. Bay Boys, you got the floor…

Please introduce the team

Bay Boys Brewing
Lannie enjoying some of his beer on brew day – photo courtesy of Bay Boys Brewing

We are two guys from the Bay that brew high quality craft beer. I am Lannie and I am currently a master technician for BMW. I have a loving wife and three beautiful children. I have been wrenching for about 10 years now and counting. I graduated from Leigh High School in 07′ and then later went on to Wyotech. I graduated Wyotech with my Associates Degree in automotive science. I eventually met my partner / investor Max through a mutual friend. Max is a very successful business man who also loves cars. He needed some help working on his project cars and I was willing to help. Over all the nights of wrenching, we became close. This was all at the same time I was learning how to brew at home. After time passed, I began to think to myself, “Do I really want to wrench forever?” I loved making beer and dreamed of opening a brewery since the day I first started brewing. I eventually made a batch of my watermelon wheat beer and presented it to Max. I explained the idea of a brewery and what it could become. He instantly hopped on board and now here we are.  

Why Bay Boys Brewing?

Bay Boys Brewing
Bay Boys Brewing logo

We picked Bay Boys Brewing for the name because we are a group of guys born and raised in the Bay Area. In the beginning, we planned on opening our brewery in the Bay Area somewhere. Hence the name Bay Boys. Over the 2 years of planning and research, we found that the Bay Area was not going to be feasible or practical. This is why we decided to settle in a small town just outside the Bay, Tracy CA. Everything about it just seemed to check all the right boxes. To name a few, they only currently have one brewery. Tracy is located in the center of everywhere; bay to the left, valley to the right. Plus Tracy is on the verge of a big boom that we could not be more excited to be apart of. We figured that we had already built a following for Bay Boys and did not want to change the name. At the end of the day, we are still “Bay Boys” ourselves. We feel the name Bay Boys Brewing still fits. 

How did you get into home brewing?

Bay Boys Brewing
Bay Boys Brewing’s current 7BBL setup – photo courtesy of Bay Boys Brewing

It all started with a jockey box I borrowed from a friend. He had just picked it up from a friend and was telling me all about it. I had never heard of one before. He knew it was my daughter’s birthday party coming up at the house and asked if I wanted to use it. Of course I said yes. I then went down to the local liquor store and picked up a keg of Modelo. I set the jockey box up, tapped the keg and the party was on. It was just the coolest feeling ever having a tapped keg of beer right in my own backyard. It made me start to wonder, how cool would it be to make my own beer and have it on tap? So that very next day, the research began. From forum surfing to YouTube binge watching. I did not leave a single stone unturned. I, of course, started with extract brewing but very quickly turned to all-grain. I built a mini bar with two taps out of a freezer. I then started having tasting parties and experimenting on batches I got from the forums. Then the real fun began. Making a recipe from scratch, then brewing it, to having all your friends try it. It is just so fascinating. Not to mention 10 gallons of beer for 45 to 60 bucks. Do I need to say more?

What are you guys up to nowadays?

Bay Boys Brewing
Bay Boys Brewing’s new shiny setup from China – photo courtesy of Bay Boys Brewing

We are very fortunate to be in the start-up phase of our brewery. We recently spent a whole week in China sourcing all of our equipment from the best manufacturers we could find. That trip was an insane experience to the fullest, but also another story for another time. Stop by when we open and I can tell it over a glass of brew. We have locked down a location in Tracy, CA but are currently undergoing the rezoning process. Fingers crossed that it passes and we can start the construction. If it doesn’t go through though, I have no idea what we are going to do. We already have so much time and money into this building that we will take a pretty big hit. It’s a gamble that we are pretty confident we will win. With no risk, there is no reward. You can almost look at it like brewing, you put all this time and money into an awesome brew just to wait weeks or even months to find out if it paid off or you gotta dump it. As long as you follow proper procedures, you’ll most likely have a decent outcome. Right now things are somewhat calm, but I know once the rezoning goes through, the storm will come. 

Any plans for the future?

Bay Boys Brewing
Bay Boys Brewing Co-owner Lannie Duncan is pouring beer at their first Steinbeck Home Brew Festival in 2017 – photo courtesy of Bay Boys Brewing

We have tons of plans for the future. Of course our main plan is expansion. We want to take a whole new approach on growlers and beer to-go. We plan on emphasizing the taproom experience. I also smoke meats on the side and would love to incorporate that somehow. I mean we have tons of new ideas and we think we have an idea how it will play out, but at the same time the future is always changing. What seems like a good idea today could be a horrible idea tomorrow. That is why we kind of just go with the flow and plan as we go. It tends to yield better results and less headaches.

Tell us about your beer

Bay Boys Brewing
Dub Melon Wheat Beer poured from the mini bar Lannie built at home – photo courtesy of Bay Boys Brewing

We specialize in low IBU fruity beers but also have a vast variety for every palate. Our flagship is a watermelon wheat beer, made with real watermelon in secondary. We make a Belgian wit with real pineapple. We make a Hazy IPA with brown sugar and juicy/fruity hops. We also have a Mexican-style lager. We then make that same recipe with a cucumber lime twist to it. We have a golden stout, a sweet stout, plus a never-ending imagination with many more to come.  We want to create beers that are bold but not too bold. Just enough to be different but not overwhelming. We want to serve the public what they want, not what we want. That is why in the taproom we will include micheladas and chavelas, possibly beermosas. We want to try and have something for everyone with no shortcuts. We pride ourselves in high quality and all of our beers will be just that!

Anything else?

Please give us a follow on Instagram or a like on Facebook @bayboysbrewing. We will be posting updates as we go and hope to see you at our grand opening. Can’t wait to share our unique creations with you! 

More photos from Bay Boys Brewing: