Why Innovation Still is a Part of SanTan’s Mentality​

Because SanTan is a production brewery, it does take a certain mindset ​for a​ brewer​ to work there.

“[You have]​ to understand that you are responsible for making certain things the same way, and making sure that they are the same every time that you make it​,” said Head Brewer Gabe Wilson, who spoke to Brewer for the May/June cover story on the Arizona brewery​.

​But that doesn’t mean innovation is a long-lost notion.​ Wilson pointed out that the brewery​ has a two-barrel pilot system that’s right by the brewhouse​ to help foster new ideas and eventual hits for the general public to try.

​Brought ​in from ​the now-closed North Phoenix restaurant location​, this pilot system allows ​the brew team to play around with small quantities of things.

​”​Sometimes some of these guys get their creative juices out by being able to do something with that,” Wilson said. “We can either steal some wort from something that’s being brewed that day and make it or have the ability to use the small mill and stuff like that​.”​

READ MORE: Growth at Home is Still There Says SanTan

A lot of the brewers do homebrewing on their own, he said.

“They kind of have ideas of what they would maybe like to play around with but just on a larger homebrewing kind of scale,” Wilson said. “It’s something that can be just a few kegs that can be put on here at the taproom or down at the pub.”

That ability to make around 10 sixtels of a beer and use it for experimentations or varietals can help tighten ideas or improve quality standards.

“You could almost screw up a beer and still be able to sell that many kegs,” he joked.

“Almost, I say.”

Photo courtesy Alice Huynh, SanTan Brewing

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