Surly Brewing’s Dave McGrath wasn’t even born out west.
“I was raised in Miami, Florida, then I went to Wisconsin for college.”
The journalism major-turned-homebrewer-turned-professional brewer found himself working in Minot, North Dakota, during the height of the Bakken Oil Boom. The boomtown atmosphere reminded him of the mother of all booms: the California Gold Rush. It’s the latter that inspired Ca$h Me Out West, the fourth beer in our brewer-curated Intelligent Design series.
“California common beers are one of the few beer styles that was truly born in America,” says McGrath. “They sprang up around San Francisco right around the time of the gold rush, and they were pretty much born of necessity. Brewers grabbed whatever they had around to make a beer.”
Also called steam beers, California commons use lager yeast fermented at ale temperatures, a method originating from the lack of refrigeration options in 1850. It’s also one of McGrath’s favorite homebrewing styles.
“As a brewer, there are a lot of things you can play around with. The ale strain is super adaptable.”
McGrath utilized Northern Brewer and Simcoe dry-hopping for the beer, with as a touch of El Dorado hops “because I had to, obviously.” California-grown malt and Surly house favorite Simpson’s Double Roast Crystal Malt also play a part. The finished product is a balanced, effervescent lager with a distinct hop character that reflects McGrath’s love of resin-y, hop-forward beers, and evokes the spirit of the redwoods and sequoias of northern California.
Then there’s the name.
“When I was brainstorming a name for my beer, this one clip from the Dr. Phil show kept bubbling up,” says McGrath. “It’s something irreverent and fun, which is what beer is supposed to be.”
The clip-slash-meme in question:
(Since it’s 2018, you may not be surprised to know that Danielle Bregoli, the originator of the quote, is now a hip-hop artist under the name Bhad Bhabie. She has a Billboard Music Award nomination under her belt, with songs including “These Heaux” and “Hi Bich”. She has also been banned from Spirit Airlines for life.)
You can find Ca$h Me Out West on draft in the Beer Hall right now. How ‘bout that.
CA$H ME OUT WEST FAST FACTS:
- California common with Northern Brewer/Simcoe dry-hopping
- Amber pour
- 5.8% ABV
- Citrus/pine-y notes
DAVE MCGRATH FAST FACTS:
- Picked up the homebrewing bug after college.
- First newspaper job was in Shawano, Wisconsin.
- Worked at Lift Bridge in Stillwater before joining Surly.
- Has a cool mustache.