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Where does the name DuClaw come from?
Founder Dave Benfield’s Great Great Uncle, Charles DuClaw Lanehurt, struck out for California in 1850 to seek his fortune in the gold rush. Unfortunately, it became very clear within a few months that Charles had little talent when it came to prospecting and mining. To make ends meet Charles began brewing beer for the other down-on-their-luck miners. He proved far more proficient in brewing and became well known for crafting some of the finest ales in the area. This was the first instance of the DuClaw Brewing Co., and Dave Benfield proudly carries on this tradition today.
Q: Does DuClaw sell Kegs to the public?
A: No, but our beers are available to retail customers (meaning, you’re not a bar) in 1/2 and 1/4 barrel kegs through liquor stores. Please ask your local retailer about price and availability.
Q: How long will your beers last in a keg hooked up to a home kegerator before they start to go bad?
A: How long our beers (or anyone’s beers for that matter) will last, depends on several factors. The main variables being style of beer and how well you maintain your beer dispenser. Assuming you clean your lines/tap between every keg or every 2 months (whichever comes first) and keep the tap clean between pours (a simple spray bottle with a mild sanitizer can accomplish this), you can expect a keg to taste brewery fresh for a minimum of 4 months…longer if it is a heavier/stronger brew.
Q: What happened to your restaurants?
A: Our passion has always been brewing, and while we take away nothing but great memories of our restaurants, eventually our bottled and keg product distribution reached a level of success and intensity that we couldn’t devote enough attention to both the food and the beer, so we sold the restaurants to people that are as passionate about food as we are about beer.
Q: Can the promotional videos shown at your beer releases be seen anywhere else?
A: Most of our videos can also be seen on YouTube.
Q: What is the origin of the name "DuClaw"?
A: There are some stories out there, but as to which is true…who knows!
Q: What beers are bottled and sold in stores? What stores carry your beer?
A: Our beers can be found in many fine restaurants, bars, and beer retailers. You can search for specific products here. To stay informed about our most current releases and events, we suggest that you sign up on our email list.
Q: What's the difference between an ale and a lager?
A: The main difference between ales and lagers is the type of yeast used for fermentation and the temperature at which they are fermented. Lagers are usually fermented between 48-55 F, whereas ales are usually fermented around 65-75 F.
Q: What is the difference between a regular pour and the nitro-pour, and why use nitro instead of co2?
A: The difference is in the way the beer is dispensed. The nitro pour uses a different blend of gases to dispense the beer than a regular pour. Even though the beer is the same as far as the recipe goes, the different gas blend gives the nitro pour a creamier head, less carbonation “bite” and a mouthfeel that is more smooth than a regular pour.
Q: Are "platos" a measurement of the beer's physical density?
A: Degrees “Plato”, is mainly used by commercial brewers for the measurement of the density of solutions, expressed as the equivalent weight of cane sugar in solution. Homebrewers and some commercial brewers use a similar measurement referred to as specific gravity, which is a measure of total amount of dissolved solids in the wort.
Q: How do you measure those IBUs? Is it just a subjective scale?
A: IBU’s (International Bitterness Units) are a measurement of the actual bitterness level of the beer. 1 BU=1 PPM of isomerized alpha acid. There is a calculation we use to approximate each beer’s IBU level.
Q: Do you ever make real mead?
A: In order to make a true mead commercially, you must possess a winery license, and we are only licensed to brew.
Q: Will you ever try your hand at a hard cider?
A: Making cider is also regulated by different licensing and therefore we can not produce it under our brewery license.
Q: How long does it take to make beer?
A: Brewing beer from the day we begin the mash until it is in your pint glass can take as little as 18 days or as long as several months. This depends on many variables including style, type (ale or lager) and if the beer is dry hopped (such as Neon Gypsy), just to name a few. Certain beers can also benefit from extended aging in the keg (such as Devil’s Milk), while others are meant to be consumed immediately.
Q: What was the first beer DuClaw made?
A: The first beer we brewed was back in 1996 and it was a Marzen. We called it Mad Bull Marzen. It is long gone and luckily, so is the name!
Q: What are the carb counts for a traditional pint of your staple beers and for the seasonal beers?
A: The carb counts of our staple beers range from approx 13-21 carbs/16oz serving, while our seasonals vary from about 11 carbs for our American Wheat beer Funk, to 35 carbs for Devil’s Milk. These are considerably higher than the “low carb” macro beers which are in the 3-6 range, but that is because our products are made from only high quality malt, with no corn or rice added. Just to keep things in perspective, 6 tortilla chips contain about 18 carbs and 5 pretzel sticks about 22 carbs.
Q: Do you ship growlers to those of us who aren't within driving distance?
A: Unfortunately, it is illegal for us to ship beer directly to anyone but wholesalers.
Q: Do you refill growlers, or do I have to buy a new growler each time?
A: Good News! Once you buy your initial growler, you can bring it back for refills for just the cost of the beer! Prices vary by beer style.
Q: How long does beer last in an unopened growler?
A: Beer in a growler will last for several weeks as long as you keep it cold. The beer will not go flat or become unsafe to drink as long as it is cold. However, it will eventually develop off-flavors mainly because the beer is exposed to air for a short time during the filling of the growler. You should always, when possible, drink the entire growler in one sitting because a partially consumed growler will go flat quickly. Invite some friends over to help!
Q: How do you recommend cleaning growlers?
A: Once empty you should rinse it with warm water at the very least. If for any reason the growler is not rinsed out immediately after use, soak it in dish detergent along with warm-hot water and follow with a good rinse. If a growler was extremely neglected, then a bottle brush may be needed to clean it out, but under normal circumstances a warm water rinse followed by an inverted air dry is all you need between refills. Never store a growler closed that is still wet inside as bacteria may start to grow. Sometimes, a film (Calcium Oxalate, or “beerstone”) can develop on the inside of the growler. Citric based cleaners are best for removing beerstone.