Brewer Spotlight: EBBS is Bringing Beer Back to Basics (and the Taste is Anything But)
It’s safe to say that craft beer has never been more eclectic and creative than it is now. Craft beer is a whole lifestyle, complete with wacky themed festivals and artist collaborations and a sense of oneupmanship when it comes to ingredients. As beer lovers, we’re big fans of it all. If something is celebrating beer, count us in. And yet, a brand has recently come along that has given us our craft beer Carrie Bradshaw moment:
We couldn’t help but wonder, are we forgetting to focus on the beer, itself?
The short answer? No. We know that beer is at the center of every excited #hazelife Instagram post, every rare bottle share, every tongue-in-cheek, “Hey, look, we put a whole sandwich in this brew” feat. We love the unique identities of every brewery. But one of our new favorite unique identities is that of EBBS. Because EBBS is daring to do something revolutionary. They’re anchoring that entire identity to their beer. Just the beer. That’s it. No over-the-top can art. No cupcakes in the brew. EBBS isn’t even playing up who’s behind the curtain here. All you need to know is that EBBS is driven by stellar beer. Who doesn’t love a little bit of mystery, especially when there’s a tasty brew involved?
To dig a little deeper into what EBBS is all about (well, spoiler alert in case you haven’t gotten it by now: they’re all about good beer), we conducted a top secret interview with the brewery for exclusive answers we’re revealing here for the first time. Fine, that’s a bit dramatic, but go with us here, okay? We’re on a roll. Here’s a little bit more about EBBS and what you need to know about EBBS beer, including why it will probably be one of your new favorite go-to’s.
How would you introduce EBBS -- what is the brand about, what is it aiming to contribute to today's beer market?
EBBS: The brand is about New York City, and more specifically the people of NYC. “Born in Brooklyn, brewed for the people” is a phrase that has stuck with us as we’ve created the brand, developed the liquid, and built our space in Williamsburg – and it’s something we unyieldingly stick to. We see it less as our contribution to the beer world and more a contribution to our home town, expressed in beer.
How does EBBS beer capture that New York City ethos?
EBBS: I think a very New York quality is knowing what you like and being sort of allergic to pretense and fakery. Our beer is real, we like it, we know it’s good, and that’s kind of it. It sounds simple enough but, in reality, sticking to simplicity is super hard.
Why is now the time for EBBS and this approach?
EBBS: “Now,” in the exact moment you’ve posed the question, is a loaded concept. Now, literally, is the time for unity, love, action and progress. After about a year of hard work and development we found ourselves introducing a new beer brand in what will undoubtedly prove to be a monumental mile marker in world history. We could have abandoned those plans in light of what’s going on in the world, but we have chosen to forge ahead. In these uncertain times there’s room for some wit, some joy, and a little delight.
[That may sound] a little dark, and we’re truthfully anything but. Yet here we are in a pandemic that has somehow devolved into a dystopia, and even though all we’re doing is brewing some delicious beer, it’s impossible to ignore. EBBS is, whether we like it or not, tied to this time. As it relates to our place within the world of craft beer, that is something that’s much easier for us to ignore. [We] love craft beer, but EBBS was not founded to make a significant statement on that world. We’re happy just making something people hopefully enjoy as much as we enjoy making it. If we can achieve that, it means we will have created something that adds value not just in “craft beer.”
What can we expect from EBBS in terms of the beer, itself?
EBBS: The beer itself is unapologetically straightforward, and unquestionably delicious. We call it what it is and we make it as well as we know how, which is exceptionally well. That said, we’re pretty stuck on the idea of not getting caught up in the craft beer arms race of punny beer names and off-the-wall ingredient lists. From EBBS you can always expect great beer.
What goes into concepting and creating EBBS beer, what is the process and thinking behind it?
EBBS: It’s mostly driven by what we like to drink ourselves, and the kinds of beers we’d like to share with friends and family. It’s an approach that is equal parts discipline and innovation; yes, we stick to singular styles, but we also iterate and evolve. All our beers are identified only by number. We will probably always brew EBBS IPA No. 1, because we like it and people seem to agree. If we put beer in a can that we aren’t thrilled by, we’ll either not release that numbered style or never make it again.
We definitely don’t have any ambitions to change the way other brewers brew beer or the way people enjoy craft beer. We’re very stubbornly stuck on the idea of simplicity, clarity, and straightforwardness. There’s no grand plan to “disrupt” (big air-quotes) craft. We’re happy if we can use something people love – beer – as a vehicle for wit, joy, and good times.
Can you walk us through the EBBS beers available now on TapRm?
EBBS: IPA #1 shows what a modern IPA should be. We chose specific barley, wheat and oats to develop our ideal mouthfeel and flavor. From there we discussed what we wanted the beer to smell like and how bitter we wanted it to be -- we backed into the hop selection. We didn’t let the names of the hops dictate the beer; we asked the beer to dictate the ingredients we used…This is the new rule #1 of brewing.
IPA #2 is a dad-hat beer for anyone who longs for what a beer tasted like before the world went hazy. We took classic Pacific Northwest hops and folded them into a West Coast inspired malt structure to deliver a balanced bitterness and aroma you don’t get to see too much of these days.
IPA #5 provides a great example of a modern IPA that utilizes a selection of Pacific Northwest hops as well as some fruity European offerings that culminate in a soft and light approach. You don’t always have to be loud to get your point across well.
*Since the original interview, EBBS has released a number of new beers with TapRm! Checkout the current collection HERE