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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Tom Conklin to open farmhouse brewery at Chappapeela Farms

Posted By on Thu, Oct 9, 2014 at 1:34 PM

click to enlarge During the Great American Beer Festival, Tom Conklin (l. to r.), Jess Caugill of Wyeast Laboratories, Chad Yakobson of Crooked Stave, and Jim Crooks from Firestone Walker, toured Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project.
  • During the Great American Beer Festival, Tom Conklin (l. to r.), Jess Caugill of Wyeast Laboratories, Chad Yakobson of Crooked Stave, and Jim Crooks from Firestone Walker, toured Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project.

The farm-to-table concept extends to the bottle, and former Gordon Biersch head brewer Tom Conklin will open a farmhouse brewery on the Northshore in early 2015.

Conklin is ready to begin construction of his brewery on the grounds of Chappapeela Farms in Husser, Louisiana. It will be called Chappapeela Farmhouse Brewery and will produce all 750 ml bottle conditioned saisons and farmhouse ales.

"I'll also be doing some barrel aging and working with [brettanomyces]" Conklin says. Brettanomyces is a yeast strain that adds distinctive flavor to beer.

Farmhouse ales and saisons are styles developed by farmers in France and Belgium in the 19th and early 20th centuries. 

"I've been trying to get this project going for a decade," Conklin says. He and his business partner are part owners of the farm and plan to build the brewery in an existing farmhouse. Conklin hopes to open in February, but says it may be as late as April.

Conklin has been consulting while laying the groundwork for this venture. He hopes to begin working on building the brewery in the next few weeks, and while that develops, he plans to start promoting his beers with chefs at local restaurants.

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