The brothers began home-brewing as students in Chicago. Reza later took recreational brewing classes at UC Davis when he was a student there. "But we both went to medical school and became doctors, so it was tough to follow our dream to open a brewery and meet our commitment as physicians," says Reza.
That commitment includes donating a portion of their proceeds to Doctors Without Borders, Surgical Friends Foundation, and The Global Fund For Children. "We wanted to combine our passions of brewing and helping people, so we give a good portion of our proceeds to humanity organizations," explains Reza.
Reza is the primary palette behind SoCal Beer Co.'s offerings, according to Chris Spradley, the brewery's sales and marketing manager. "A lot of the recipes are his from homebrews," says Spradley.
"We're focusing on mostly European style ales, English-style but with a lot of cascade hops -- the things we specialized in when we were homebrewers," adds Reza, who sees parallels between homebrewing and being an emergency physician. "The thing about brewing is you always have ideas for recipes, but you don't really know what you're going to get until the final product. With ER, you never know what's going to walk into the door. The excitement is always there with both."
The brewery's year round brews include a pale ale, IPA, porter and their Red Carpet Ale, an American amber/red ale that Reza says is his current favorite. "It was probably one of the first brews that [my brother and I] perfected."
The goal, says Spradley, is to build a full-scale production brewery in L.A., preferably downtown near the company's warehouse. "Or if we can't do that because of all the red tape, a small scale test brewery with a tasting room," he says. "But right now we are focusing on getting out there to local bars and restaurants." He adds that the beer delivery truck is being painted "as we speak."
Initially, SoCal Beer Co.'s brews will only be available on draft. "Hopefully bottles within six months, but I'm currently working on getting our beers on tap around town," says Spradley.
You can keep up with his reports on where SoCal Beer Co.'s brews will be available on the brewery's website or via Twitter (@socalbeerco), where Spradley is also reporting on upcoming launch parties in early April. Debut parties are currently scheduled at Blue Palms Brewhouse (April 4), Library Alehouse (April 6), Blue Dog Tavern (April 11) and a cheese and beer pairing at The Yard (April 14).