Beer Burbank

Verdugo West Brewing in Burbank Bests Expectations at 1st Anniversary

At Verdugo West Brewing in Burbank, Chipper Pastron, co-founder Sal Casola, Jr. and head brewer Chris Walowski have exceeded expectations after one year of business.

When it comes to craft beer, the east Valley has become something of a bustling hub in recent years. A year ago, Verdugo West Brewing Co. became the new kid on the block—and it looks like the kid is here to stay.

“It has exceeded our expectations,” says co-owner Sal Casola Jr. “We stand by our mission statement of creating inspirational beers that are fun to drink and exciting, and to allow our guests to enjoy the freshest beers brewed in a trustworthy and consistent manner.”

In the past year, Verdugo West produced 34,100 gallons of beer in their state-of-the-art, steam-powered, 15-barrel brewhouse. The brewery makes a variety of IPAs, stouts, lagers and barrel-aged beers and offers them on 12 taps in flights, pints and growler fills.

To commemorate their 1-year anniversary, Verdugo has created a special beer: Turning ONE Saison. It was a uniquely collaborative effort. Head brewer Christopher Walowski provided each employee with a yeast harvesting kit to gather wild yeast from flora like flowers, fruits and vegetables. He then propagated the yeast and combined it with a saison brewing yeast for fermentation, yielding aromas of “white pepper, wild flowers, white wine and limestone” and flavors of ” light cereal, dried stone fruits.” Chris will save and barrel-age some of this saison to be blended into Verdugo West’s second anniversary ale.

Turning One Saison is a tart hint of things to come in 2018. Sal says, “Our big accomplishment will be the introduction of The SOURce Project and producing spontaneous and wild ales. These limited, handmade special beers are part of Verdugo’s growing sour program. They will be brewed on site in our custom-made coolship—an open fermentation vessel to cool the beer in the traditions of Belgian lambic beers [before getting aged in a wooden cask from a few months to a few years]. It’s all a part of our complete commitment to fun, genuine and passionate beers.”

Nitro-infused beers, barley wine, beer engines to be used for fresh cask beers and a growing barrel-aged program are also part of 2018 plans.

“The common characteristic for the all the beers at Verdugo West is the beer must be approachable, balanced and very quaffable,” Chris says. “Even Bear Temper, our 12% ABV American Barleywine, is very drinkable. For me, I’m not terribly interested in producing beer that you can only stomach 3 ounces of. I like to make beer that you can easily enjoy a couple of pints while chatting with friends or enjoying over dinner.”

Quaff away any day at Verdugo West Brewing’s 4,500-square-foot facility, which includes 12 taps of house-made beer, a stone bar, as well as pizza, burgers and fries delivered right to your stool.

156 W. Verdugo Ave., Burbank, 818-841-5040