On Wednesday, 2/17, we will be holding our first Rare Beer Night of the year, a barrel-side chat about “Sensible Decisions” with Tom Price, our new Head of Brewery Operations. During the chat, Tom will take you through his beer journey and the sensible (and not so sensible) decisions he made along the way. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask Tom questions (and hear stories) about his journey (like the time he came up with a Game of Thrones-themed beer, “Winter is Coming”) and will get a first look at what he has planned for the upcoming year. To celebrate this occasion, Tom has brewed two limited release beers, Sensible Decision #1 (a hop-forward India Pale Lager) and Sensible Decision #2 (a 9% Baltic Porter). This Rare Beer Night will be the kick-off of these limited release beers; they will be released to the general public through 7 independent events out in the marketplace in the weeks that follow, so make sure to join us to try them first! We will also have two other small batch releases and will be serving meats from Fleishers Craft Butchery and cheeses from Greenwich Cheese Company. Tickets are $40, cover all beer and food during the event, and are limited to the first 40 purchasers. All beers released this evening will be available for purchase as Growlers and Crowlers to go at the end of the event.
The story behind Sensible Decisions #1 & #2
While Tom Price, the new Head of Brewery Operations at Half Full, may seem like the kind of guy who makes sensible decisions, his track record is spotty at best. Taking Medieval Welsh instead of Spanish in college? Not sensible. Asking his parents for a camera instead of a bed after sleeping on an air mattress for six months? Also not sensible. Hanging upside down from the rafters by his feet? Definitely not sensible (ask his wife about that last one).
Jumping into the brewing industry, and many years later joining Half Full, were eminently sensible decisions, however. After graduating from Harvard with a degree in history and literature, Tom had originally set his heart on working in publishing as an editor. He did find work in publishing, but in a marketing role. After a couple of years spent editing brochures for use in various international markets, a career change seemed in order. Deciding he wanted to make something tangible, Tom narrowed the career paths down to making furniture, cheese… or beer. One unfortunate attempt at saag paneer aside, he had the most experience with brewing, having homebrewed several batches out of his Brooklyn apartment. A few months and a move to California later, Tom had talked his way into an internship at a brewpub in San Francisco. Sensible Decision #1 had been made.
Tom spent the next decade brewing professionally. After being promoted to assistant brewer at the San Francisco Brewing Co., Tom eventually moved on to a shift brewer position at Gordon Biersch. A few years later, he and his wife moved back east and he landed a job as a brewer at the Brooklyn Brewery in Williamsburg. Over the next nearly 7 years, Tom ascended the ranks from shift brewer to lab manager to QA/QC manager. However, with the birth of his daughter Penny, life in the Borough of Kings/Hipsters began to look less and less livable. When Half Full’s Chief Hoptimist, Conor Horrigan, reached out to Tom with an offer to become the new Head of Brewery Operations, he jumped at the chance: Sensible Decision #2.
In celebration of Tom’s new role, and with the hope of more sensible decisions to come, he and the brewing team at Half Full have come up with two special beers: Sensible Decision #1 and Sensible Decision #2. In a nod to Tom’s previous experience brewing a certain craft standby, both of these beers are something new to the Half Full portfolio: lagers.
Sensible Decision #1 is a hop-forward India Pale Lager. This style is a close cousin to the perennial craft brewery favorite India Pale Ale; however, the use of a clean-tasting strain of lager yeast instead of fruity ale yeast allows the blend of American hops used for dry hopping to really shine.
Sensible Decision #2 is a rich Baltic Porter. Unlike most porters, Baltic Porters are brewed with lager yeast. This beer is deep black, and clocks in at over 9% ABV—the perfect beer to warm you up on a wintery night.