A crowd of over 150 Temecula VIPs gathered this weekend at the Wiens Brewing family craft beer tasting room to meet the brewers, tour the facility and get a firsthand taste of Temecula’s newest brewery.
“It’s an exciting time for us all,” said Peter Wiens, production director at Wiens Brewing Company. “What you see here is something we’ve talked about forever and now it’s a reality. It really makes me smile.”
Weins Brewing Company is the brainchild of Peter Wiens and nephew Ben Wiens, who have been brewing craft beer since Ben received his first craft beer kit, according to his father George Wiens.
“Not too long out of high school, these two were boiling beer on my wife Susie’s stove in search of the perfect craft beer taste,” George said.
George Wiens served as architect on the project, converting the warehouse space off Diaz Road into a hip, energized, semi-industrial tasting room with all the décor and style that make it decidedly a Wiens family venture.
“The color scheme, the black chalkboard art by Ben’s son Alec, and white chalk drawings behind the bar by Christie — all family. That, and the red band across every Wiens keg. We’re all part of the same umbrella,” George said.
According to Ben Wiens, the flavors of brews such as Sierra Nevada and Sam Adams were the only ones good enough for their tastes.
“We needed something that interested us with big and bold flavors to intrigue the wine country palate.”
This quest led Peter to pursue a degree in Fermentation Science at U.C. Davis, then work for Anheuser Busch as a senior quality manager until August, 2012.
Now, Peter Wiens is delighted to share his love of quality and balance.
“We’re making a brew that’s creative, without all of the red tape. From selling to delivery, our tap handles are available already at 11 Southwest Riverside restaurants,” Peter said.
The response from area businesses has been satisfying. Even the experience of opening a tasting room in Temecula has gone off without a hitch, according to Ben Wiens.
“With so many talented, creative people in our family, including my father, George—our architect, we knew exactly what needed to be done and when. Even our conditional use of the space hearing went off well,” Ben said.
The best part of the new business venture? According to Peter and Ben Wiens, “Ordering our own beer at a local restaurant.”
The crowd was served bratwurst, kielbasa, mustards, nuts and strong cheeses by Vineyard Gourmet catering and chef Volker Lutz. All flavors were designed to complement the beer on tap.
When asked their personal favorites, Ben Wiens said he leans toward the Descend: “It’s fantastic, with big bold flavors and hops on the finish.”
Peter Wiens said he favors the Old Town Amber: “It has perfect balance, with a malty middle, hops on the nose and spicy with a toasted caramel finish.”
Ben Wiens elaborated on seeing their combined effort being enjoyed by Temecula residents: “It might seem strange, but there’s something amazing about buying beer from your own tap handle.”
A smile crossed his face.
“It’s not quite wine country here, but Temecula now has over six breweries in the area. The tasting room has that hip vibe.”
Peter Wiens agreed. “Tasting beer is an experience different than wine tasting. With wine, you can sample and then spit it out. Beer must be consumed to get the entire experience as the finish is the most important part.”
Learn more at www.wiensbrewing.com.
Ashley Ludwig is a local writer and regular contributor to SWRNN.