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Today we talk about beer. Eater recently sat down with the ever-busy Tony Yanow , creator of a burgeoning craft beer empire here in Los Angeles via Tony’s Darts Away , Mohawk Bend , and the recently opened Golden Road Brewing . Below he dishes on the growth of his mini empire and what’s on tap (literally) for the future. How did you go from a simple “dive” bar in Burbank (with its amazing selection of craft beers, especially IPAs) to potentially one of the largest craft breweries in Southern California? First of all, I owe so much of this to my saint of a wife, who’s helping me to raise five children, including infant twins. These days, I barely get any sleep, maybe three to four hours a night. It started when I ended my last job and was offered a job with good pay and security, but I just wasn’t inspired to do it. I just had an informal discussion with my family when my sister asked me what I really wanted to do. All I’ve really wanted to do was brew beer, it’s what I’ve been passionate about my whole life. I was thinking about giving up the job and visiting breweries to perhaps apprentice and become an intern brewer. [Photo: Drink Eat Travel ] But then I realized that LA just didn’t offer that much in terms of craft bars and breweries – I would have to go to San Francisco and San Diego to drink good locally made craft beer. I wanted to see if LA could be the kind of city that could enjoy craft beer. What better way than to make a great bar in Tony’s Darts Away, which is a low risk venture, a neighborhood bar. My wife wasn’t too impressed with Tony’s when I bought it, but now it’s a landmark craft beer bar. It gave me a lot of confidence going into Mohawk Bend. When I started working on Mohawk, I thought, at the worst we’ll have two great places to drink beer. But it still didn’t make me realize the goal, which was to open a brewery. That’s when I met Meg Gill, who had had success with Oskar Blues, and wasn’t just going to be a sales manager. She’s a part owner now and helms the operations of Golden Road. Golden Road has just opened, where do you see it going in the near future? Right now we want to brew a thousand barrels within the next few months. Our goal for the 2012 is to brew 10,000 barrels, which is a very lofty goal. It’s almost boastful to have a goal like that in the first year, but I think we have a lot of people in this city, within an hour’s drive of the brewery. I have a fairly unique perspective on what people like to drink in L.A. because I have a tap on what people are drinking every day in the two pubs. The total capacity of Golden Road Brewing is 60,000 barrels annually, which is enormous. It isn’t quite Stone Brewing, which is nearing 140,000 barrels, or Sierra Nevada, which does over a million barrels a year, but 60,000 would still put us within the top 5 breweries in California. Our goal is to brew to capacity within 10 years. The hardest part of getting there is the distribution – we want to be that local beer that you can pick up anywhere – even at the super market. Every other major beer city in the U.S. has a local craft beer that you can pick up at the super market. It just takes time to penetrate the distribution channels. Right now we are done building out any more new spaces, other than the upcoming brew-pub here at Golden Road and will continue to focus on growing the existing spaces. What kind of beer will you be making next at Golden Road? When we decide what beers to make, we literally sit down and think to ourselves, “you know what I would love to make, or you know what I can’t get enough of?” We have an idea on what people like in this market. Right now we have two core brands that we’ve gotten a tremendous response from (Point the Way IPA and Golden Road Hefeweizen). We also want to make the beer that are going to be harder to get, because we know we can distribute the batch to our friends at other craft beer bars and the pubs that we own. In terms of new products, we’re introducing Burning Bush IPA, which is a smoked IPA available in limited quantities. It sounds very unusual but it’s fantastic. We sold out of it on Sunday and we have so many bars that ordered it that the next batch might be sold out already. Because of the spirits program we have at Mohawk Bend, we have access to barrels from producers. Right now we’re working on a barrel aged program, starting with a Hefeweizen aged in tequila barrels. As far as I know, I’ve never seen this combination before. I don’t personally love tequila, but I’m dying to taste this beer, based on the smell coming out of the barrels right now. I can’t give too many details, but we’re working on an Imperial IPA, which is going to be in the spirit of a true West Coast style, hoppy beer. Jon Carpenter, our brewmaster, has a lot of experience from Dogfish Head. Meg has experience with IPAs from Speakeasy and Oskar Blues. I own a bar with possibly the biggest selection of IPAs in the world. We’ll be unveiling this beer within a few months or sooner, like six weeks. Overall we’d like to have a roster of about 30 beers. *Currently Golden Road Brewing will only be producing beer in kegs until they can get all approvals, licensing and equipment for their canning operation. They’re looking to release cans around Christmas time for local distribution. As for the tequila-barreled hefeweizen, look for something like three to six months before a very limited release. · All Tony Yanow Coverage [~ELA~] — Matthew Kang See the rest here: Eater Interviews : Tony Yanow: The Future of Beer at Golden Road Brewing