(almost officially)… Read on.
DTSJ Brewing (no website yet, redirects to their Instagram) officially becomes a legit brewery on Friday July 26 during their brewery launch party at The Halford in Santa Clara, CA as part of Silicon Valley Beer Week. They received their license earlier this month and are now going to make things official so I met with the guys behind the project.
Ron Aclan and Dave Theodore met back in high school but said they were never BFFs. They belonged to different cliques. Ron was into studying. Dave was into partying. But you know how the whole Facebook thing works. You have mutual friends, reconnect at a party and end up becoming real friends… with many more things in common than you did back in high school. Ron and Dave both like cooking and would share meals from time to time. They ended up being part of the same local brewing club where Dave absorbed everything like a sponge (we are talking about knowledge here, not beer… or maybe both?). One day, Dave’s wife received a 1-gallon brewing kit from a friend for her birthday. Pretty soon, Dave decided he needed to upgrade to a 5-gallon system. He took part in the Battle of the Brew Clubs organized by Freewheel Brewing in Redwood City, CA and won several competitions.
In early 2018, Dave and Ron had what they called a classic case of drunk talk and started day dreaming about taking their passion to the next level. They started renting their space in downtown San Jose on July, 13, 2018. Fast forward to July 12, 2019 and they now have their license, officially making them a commercial brewery. Their current space, however, doesn’t allow them to open a taproom, but they have figured out other ways to sell their beer in the meantime. But let’s not put the carriage in front of the horse. Everything is still pretty fresh and the two partners still have full-time jobs: Dave is in tech sales, and Ron works for one of the big tech companies in Silicon Valley (I’ll let you take a guess…).
So what’s the goal here? In short, Ron wants to make people happy and Dave wants to make good beer. In long… “I still love my job in tech sales,” Ron said. “But this allows for a creative outlet.” Dave chimed in and said that “if you get up in the morning and do something different that people love, then you are making the world a better place.” This may sound a little (a lot) cliché, but these guys are incredibly nice. For real now, what’s the goal? Well, for now, they want to stop dipping into their wallets and sell as much retail as they can. If things go well, they said they should be solvent by the end of the year. Nice work! Ultimately, all money talks aside, they said they just want to continue making quality products, remain true to the craft and make good friends along the way.
Time to talk beer. “Even if you have no idea what it is, if it’s one of ours you know it’s going to be good,” Ron said. That’s definitely a good mantra to go by and high standards to uphold. “I know it sounds kind of crass, but let’s put the craft back into craft beer,” Dave said. He added that they are not trying to have the lowest-cost beer on the market (mostly due to the fact that they have a small brewing system). “Beer is liquid art,” Ron said. “We want to create a moment that’s memorable and delightful.” Right now, Dave is playing around with about 25 different types of landrace yeast and is adamant about sourcing product from local businesses. His ultimate goal? Beat his hero, Weihenstephaner Lager. Oh and here is something I can definitely get behind: Dave said they want to gather women from the local craft beer community and let them brew their own beer. I want in!
Where can you find DTSJ’s brews? Currently at local taprooms, but Dave and Ron have plans to start selling cans and bottles out the back of their brewery. They want to create an exclusive product and number their bottles just like prints would be. I think that’s a very nice touch, and it reinforces the whole idea that making beer is in fact an art. They have made 5 beers as a commercial brewery, 2 of which will be poured at their brewery release party at The Halford on July 26: Landracer Hazy IPA and Razé All Day Fruit Beer. You’ll get to meet the brewers from 6 to 10 pm!
Dave, Ron, welcome to the community!
More photos from DTSJ Brewing: