Just a few hours ago, Hangar 24 announced details on their new Betty IPA, a 6.5% ABV Mosaic hop-driven beer that will be available starting in March as the company’s second flagship. West Coaster spoke with H24 founder and master brewer Ben Cook recently, who said the company is pricing the beer right alongside Orange Wheat — quite a feat given how much hops cost. The beer will be available in 6-packs of 12-ounce bottles, and 22-ounce bombers; someday, “it might show up in cans.”
That’s not the only news coming out of Hangar 24. The Redlands-based brewery, which brewed 15,000 barrels in 2011 and 35,000 in 2013, is expanding distribution and production (as well as refreshing their brand). Earlier this month, the company starting sending beers to Arizona, in addition to the beers already gracing Nevada and Southern California, the latter in great part thanks to the efforts of Stater Bros.; Cook was quick to mention that “they’re one of the reasons we are where we are today.” Soon, Oregon and Washington will come into the mix as the brewery strives towards their 60,000 barrel goal this year.
Back in the Inland Empire, Hangar 24 is searching for a new space to potentially house a restaurant as well as “some sort of venue for live music.” That’s on tap for 2016. The hunt won’t extend far, however: “If it has a Redlands address, we’re looking at it,” said Cook.
A new brewhouse is also in the works. Cook stated that the team is within just a few months of picking the supplier for a 150-BBL automated brewhouse. “Eventually, that brewhouse can pump out at least half a million barrels,” Cook claimed, adding that the facility will make for a great tourist destination. “Our strategy has been to take a few steps wide and dig a mile deep. The success itself has been a surprise, but we’ve always been in it for the right reasons.”
While Cook has his eyes on 2016 and beyond, there’s fun slated in the more immediate future as well, with the brewery’s sixth anniversary party going down May 16th and 17th, complete with an air show featuring the Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Demo Team, live music, food, and of course, beer. “This event will be the only one like it in the world,” said Cook, a pilot who still gets in the air when he has some free time. The fans will be asked to get involved as well; soon the brewery will announce a label contest to help design the sixth anniversary bottle. Stay tuned to their Facebook page for more info.