Travis Smith had an interest in craft beer for years, began homebrewing in 2002, then ultimately abandoned the career he set out for in order to brew beer professionally.
In 2004, Travis began working at Russian River Brewing Co. in Santa Rosa, CA. He remained there until 2009, when he joined The Bruery in Placentia, CA as their Lead Brewer. It was there at The Bruery where Travis first met Doug Constantiner. The two became friends in addition to co-workers.
In 2011, Travis and Doug set out to build Societe Brewing Company. Then in 2012, they began production and opened their doors to a warm welcome from the craft beer community. Societe Brewing Company focuses on the production of four classes of beers, Out West (IPAs), Old World (Belgian inspired and styled ales), Stygian (stouts), and Feral (Wild, sour, and brett beers.) Societe makes a number of beers within each of these broad categories.
As a Brewer, Travis strives to make great beer. Travis likes brewing beers that he likes to drink. He believes that if he likes the beers that he makes, other people will too.
Peter Zien is the owner of AleSmith Brewing Company in San Diego and holds a BA in Political Science and JD in Law from the University of San Diego. Prior to owning AleSmith, Peter was an award winning home brewer and president of the local homebrew club QUAFF. His amateur beers won over 400 medals and honors, and he led QUAFF to its first California and National Homebrew Club of the Year trophies. Peter is a Grand Master level one beer judge with the Beer Judge Certification Program and is the highest ranking beer judge in San Diego County.
AleSmith Brewing Company has been operating since 1995, when it produced ~300 barrels of beer for distribution in California and had a total employed staff of 2. In 2013, AleSmith produced 12,000 barrels of beer for distribution in 12 states, Europe and Japan. Currently, AleSmith is on track for 15,000 barrels and employs 28 people including a full-time HR department.
AleSmith Brewing Company has garnered some of the brewing industries highest awards, including 17 Great American Beer Festival Medals, 9 World Beer Cup Awards, and its highest honor as the Brewery and Brewer of the Year at the 2008 Great American Beer Festival in Denver, CO.. AleSmith earned the title of the number one rated brewery in the world for three straight years and then again in 2013 on Ratebeer.com and is consistently rated in the top ten breweries in the world on numerous polls and websites. AleSmith will move production to a new state-of-the-art facility in early 2015 capable of 150,000 annual barrels of beer. Peter is an experienced cheese-maker and looks to go into commercial cheese production at the new facility as well.
There's a certain satisfaction in bitterness. But we won’t let the cup of life pass us by untasted - especially if it’s full of frothy irreverence. Nope, the glass is always half full at Bitter Brothers Brewing Company, our brand new 3,200-square-foot production brewery and tasting room in the Napa Valley of craft beer: San Diego, California.
So who are the Bitter Brothers, you ask?
Bill Warnke, the older “Bitter Brother” and Kurt Warnke, the younger “Bitter Brother” are two brothers from the Midwest who grew up bitter and remained so until they discovered the joys of great craft beer. And so began the brothers' quest to provide the same social experience to others.
Bitter Brothers produces distinct brews ranging in hop character, flavor and style. Sip and (hopefully) savor one in our tasting room. Or better yet, try them all - we won’t judge. In fact, we’ll respect you more. Because at Bitter Brothers, we believe you’re only as good as the great beer you drink.
So fill up more than halfway and join us on our journey to make bitter even better.