Meet Homage Brewing of Pomona, CA
We love working been making custom growlers for Homage brewing in Pomona, California for a few months now. We love their style, and learned they are on the cusp of opening a new tasting room (look for it in Pomona, CA in late April 2016), so we caught up with Matt and Lauren to learn more about Homage, and their plans.
Who is behind Homage? Do you have one owner or is it a partnership of two or more people? Can you tell us a little about the folks behind the brewery?
(Matt): I’m Matthew I am the founder and brewer. My wife Lauren focuses on maintaining our marketing and keeping me on track (laughing). We’re a nano sized, family owned brewery. Before this endeavor, I was touring with a band and managing a brew pub in Pasadena, CA. Both of these experiences were the foundation and structure in helping me transform my home brewing hobby into Homage Brewing. My wife Lauren has always had a keen eye for fashion and design; with her by my side Homage Brewing has really developed as a brand and lifestyle. Our family, who have been extremely supportive throughout this process, were able to help take our ambitions and turn them into a reality.
You mentioned rewards for your Kickstarter. Can you tell me more about your Kickstarter campaign and how you came to select our growlers as a reward?
(Lauren): We launched our Kickstarter campaign April 2015. We thought it would be a good way to showcase Homage from a marketing standpoint, and we hoped to collect some money to fund our brewery. The campaign was definitely successful in accomplishing both goals. When it came to the rewards, we were very particular in choosing things that would fit with the aesthetic of Homage. We knew one of the main rewards had to be a growler, and we came across various styles of growlers through social media, but the PGC growlers really stood out to us. We thought they were beautiful and timeless- something that we would never grow tired of. They quickly became the #1 selling reward in our campaign- we still have people asking to purchase one. We're not selling merchandise right now, but we're thinking of doing another run of the PGC growlers with different artwork once we open up our place.
PGC: On your website you say "Our hand crafted ales are an homage and direct representation of our contribution to the ongoing pursuit of creating meaningful art that defines a generation." I like the reference to creating meaningful art- it's similar to what we're doing here at PGC, and at our production studio Mudshark Studios. Your "About Us" page also mentions being inspired by artists, musicians, and breweries that have come before you. Can you share some specific examples and how they apply to your beer making process?
Matt: Growing up I was the type of kid who loved history; I seriously wanted to know about every decade. I loved learning about art, music, war, fashion, film, I guess the things that stick with you and define a particular generation. With our beer we not only intend to focus on creating great beer that we love, but we also want to capture the feel and lifestyle of our generation. Each beer we brew stems from an idea of influence, whether it's from a brewery we love, a visit to a museum, or a drive home while listening to a good tune. Our ideas form from somewhere and our beer is an homage and contribution to those who have helped us turn those ideas into our handcrafted ales.
Lauren: Matt and I both love things outside of beer, believe it or not (laughing). Every aspect of the arts have shaped us as individuals even before this project came about. Before starting Homage I thought I’d do something in the fashion industry because that’s something I always wanted to pursue but it just didn’t work out and when Homage became a thing I thought I’d pour all my creative energy into this amazing project. I feel very lucky to be able to create new things everyday with my husband through Homage. It’s been a great collaborative project and being able to create something new, whether it be our beer, marketing campaigns, networking, etc.--- it motivates and inspires me. First and foremost, it is about our beer and product but we do take every little detail seriously in building this brand from the ground up.Ever experiment with a new combination of flavors, that has gone terribly wrong, and/or lead you to discover a combination or brew you would never have imagined?
Matt: During my homebrewing years (laughing), I for sure had a few experiments I had to pour down the drain. One beer tasted like plastic, probably due to some kind of wild yeast I didn’t intend to introduce. I also did a honey beer that never quite finished right. Hmmm... Yeah. Those are good mistakes though, because you take notes and can retrace the steps in the process. In doing so, you learn where something could’ve taken a wrong turn and you know what not to do the next time. Most of the beers I produced in the past have lead me to the successful combinations we're making today. We’re always tweaking and trying to fine tune things, just like any profession or craft. That’s the fun part!
PGC: How often do you introduce new brews and/or seasonal brews?
Matt: We intend to incorporate at least 3 new pilot beers every other week in our brewery. We’re always thinking about new takes on styles as well. We’re working hard on our barrel program to make sure we have a seasonal bottle release every month or so.PGC: Can you share what's brewing now for the next release? What was the inspiration for this brew?
Matt: I've been working on finding a fast Brett strain for our ales. We've experimented with different cultures and we're just dialing down on our favorites. Our goal is to brew a beer without having to wait 6 months or so for the Brett to fully assert the funk or flavor profile we’re seeking. I myself love fruity/funky Brett beers and that's been one of our focuses of late. Our inspiration derives from all over the place and it can be felt in the presence of our brews. I love what a lot of breweries are doing right now, everyone from the local breweries out here in Los Angeles, like Highland Park Brewery, to Colorado's Crooked Stave and everyone in between.
PGC: Who do you work with to create your labels?
Matt: I’m glad you asked. We worked with designer Daniel Patrick Simmons. About 3 years ago my wife came across his work on Instagram. At the time we were shuffling through artist’s to find the perfect logo (probably one of the hardest things in establishing a new brand) because we’re so fussy when it comes to our ideas not being portrayed correctly. We reached out to Daniel and spoke with him through email, everything from his professionalism, to the connection and understanding of ideas we threw around felt right. It was a great collaboration that really gave us our identity and I think that’s the most important thing when designing and bringing your vision to life.
Lauren: It’s also crazy how you can get so much work done through social media. I literally saw Daniel’s feed through Instagram and loved it. Then debated if I should send him an email because I didn’t know if we could afford his work at the time. Matt was like "just send it" and everything just fell into place. He’s a tremendous talent and we can’t wait to have more work done by him once we get up and running.
PGC: Do you guys have a tap room for tastings? Where can readers find Homage?
Lauren: Yes! I know we’ve been saying this for a year now, but we’re scheduled to open our first storefront brewery/taproom in the Downtown Arts District of Pomona, CA, in late April. It’s a really small space but we wanted to find something with character and a store front. We’re also next door to music venues that both Matt and I used to go to, to watch shows growing up. Our spot is also 20 min away from LA and Orange County, so if you wanted to visit nearby breweries they’re all relatively close. We’ve been working really hard to get it open for a while now and we promise we’re closer than ever.
Stay tuned for a fun giveaway with Homage, later this March. Watch for it on social media.If you want to follow what beers we have brewing please follow us @homagebrewing on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat.