Dan Enjem, head of the brew crew at the alehouse, started out home brewing in 2005.
After working eight years for Adventure 16 in the outdoors industry, Enjem found himself refocusing again toward brewing, taking prerequisite courses hoping to get into UC San Diego’s inaugural brewing program.
“Then I got a job at Thorn Street Brewery in North Park when they first started out, then worked for Ballast Point in Scripps Ranch and Miramar,” Enjem said of his apprenticeship. “It was high-volume, fast-paced, brewing about 3 1/2 to four times a shift. We made 43 different beer styles.”
Then he heard about the opening at PB AleHouse, assuming the helm of the brewing room in the back of the pub at 721 Grand Ave. in November 2018.
PB AleHouse has served its own house-brewed beers for the past decade, which made it a perfect fit for Enjem. “I don’t like doing the same thing over an over again,” he said. “I really like to mix it up, do something different all the time.”
Enjem has brought his 10-plus years of brewing experience to relaunching PB Alehouse’s brewery. Two of his most recent craft creations are SunSetter Raspberry Berliner Weisse and Crystal Pier Pale Ale.
Outlining the brewing process at PB AleHouse, Enjem noted it involves a seven-barrel system meant to make about 250 gallons (about 14 kegs) per barrel. The grain goes into the mash tub with a false bottom, which separates the solids from the liquid that is boiled for an hour or more.
Then it gets cooled down in a fermenter at a temperature of 52 to 70 degrees. After that, the yeast is drawn off and the brew is put into a different, finishing tank where it gets carbonated, before being put in a cold box for storage.
“The fermenting takes a week to two weeks depending on the beer,” Enjem said.
Enjem’s personal stamp is on all the brews he crafts. And what he makes offers something to please nearly everyone regardless of age or taste.
“When I came in I changed the recipes and brought in new ones,” Enjam said. “I have a Japanese lager that is really light and drinkable. A blond ale that’s very light for novice beer drinkers who want something smooth. I’ve got a red, a stout and a Berliner Weisse that has raspberry in it.
“Basically, I’m doing a new brew every two weeks,” said Enjem who favors IPAs and Belgian beers, which he said are distinguished by their “yeast that is sourced from the region,” giving them their distinctive flavor.
Enjem urged people to come out and celebrate National Beer Day at AleHouse’s Craft Beer Launch Party on Sunday, April 7 from 3 to 7 p.m. The fest will feature $3 AleHouse Drafts and $5 AleHouse Flights.