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Brewer finds unlikely home at cidery

by Austin Walsh
(San Mateo Daily Journal)

"What is a beer maker without a brewery?

For Tim Decker, it is an opportunity to travel and collaborate with fellow brew enthusiasts across the globe while growing a network of fans and friends who appreciate his craft.

The hearty Rolodex established over Decker’s past few nomadic years making beer at others’ facilities is also helping him move toward his goal of one day owning a brewery, as an online fundraiser launched to finance his next experiment ticked past $17,000 in just over one week.

The funds raised will pay toward Decker collecting dozens of oak barrels, which he plans to use for fermenting a batch of wild ales he will make at Shady Oak Barrel House in Santa Rosa."


Beer in the Bay: AltBrau launches crowdfund campaign and SF gets a new brewpub in Hop Oast

by Alyssa Pereira
(SF Gate)

"A former concert promoter from Fresno named Tim Decker, currently working at South City Ciderworks in San Bruno, is looking to the masses to help him get his new brewery project, called AltBrau, off the ground. The new brewery, currently operating out of a space shared with Shady Oak Barrel House in Santa Rosa is seeking $15k in funding to buy barrels, blending tanks and other equipment to make mixed culture ales inspired by the sour beers of Belgium. The IndieGoGo campaign for the project is online now, and it's already appearing well on its way to the cash goal."


The Newest Thing in Beer: Ancient Yeast

by Mike Cherney
(The Wall Street Journal)

"Tim Decker hoped some lichen he found in the California hills last summer would contain an exotic strain of yeast that would give a unique flavor to his home-brewed beer.

Mr. Decker put the lichen in a jar with a sugary solution to see if the liquid would ferment, a sign that yeast, which consumes sugars and releases alcohol, could be present. Weeks later, a small wormlike grub appeared, likely crawling out of a bit of wood attached to the lichen.

“I knew pretty quickly that wasn’t going to be something I was going to want to put in my beer,” says Mr. Decker, 33 years old, who writes the AltBrau beer blog and plans to start a commercial brewing operation. In another such experiment, he found a spider floating in the jar.

Mr. Decker is in the vanguard of a brewing movement in the beer world: trying to find the weirdest, funkiest yeast. Even global drinks companies are entering the contest, hoping new and exclusive brews with a story behind them will entice consumers who are increasingly migrating to wine and spirits."


The Farm-to-Glass Movement Hits East Bay Breweries

by Janelle Bitker
(East Bay Express)

" On a much smaller scale, Oakland homebrewer Tim Decker is attempting to make beer using exclusively local ingredients. He sources fruit from regional farmers, spices from Oaktown Spice Shop,
malt from Admiral, and isolated strains from The Yeast Bay.
He even captured his own wild yeasts from the Oakland hills.

Branching off of his beer blog and podcast, AltBrau, Decker plans to launch a crowdfunding campaign this year in the hopes of finally starting his own commercial brewery. His inspiration for locality isn't the East Bay, though, but Belgium. He loves brewing barrel-aged sours and idolizes Belgian lambic producers.

'Their whole thing is to make a beer that represents a time and place,' he said. 'When people think of these rare, wonderful, sour lambic and gueuze beers from Belgium, they think of Cantillon and they think it's in the beautiful countryside. In reality, it's in an urban area. With AltBrau, I want to take the local focus, that attitude, but do it in Oakland and show you can make really rustic farmhouse-style, nuanced beers in urban areas.'

Will Decker be able to maintain that local focus on a commercial level? With new brewing products and ingredients constantly appearing on the market, it's entirely possible."

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5th Annual Brews For New Avenues Raises Record-Breaking Amount


"Brews for New Avenues also featured AltBrau, a collaborative brewing project, and Oregon’s de Garde Brewing who together created two special releases, Avenue No. 1 and Avenue No. 2, for the event with bottle sales raising more than $20,000."