The month of October always reminds us of a few things – pumpkins, yellow leaves, homemade costumes, and beer. Beer is a big one. So big the Germans actually dedicated a whole month to the celebration of beer, or Oktoberfest. Okay, so we know the real Oktoberfest ended on October 5th and doesn’t actually extend the whole month of October. But we Toads love a good excuse to drink good beer and catch up with friends. So in honor of Oktoberfest and all things hoppy and joyful, we caught up with one of our favorite local craft breweries, Telegraph Brewing Company.
With the tapping of their first keg in 2006, Telegraph has steadily grown to be one of California’s best craft breweries and one of our favorite like-minded, sustainable business cohorts. They’ve graciously donated to many a Horny Toad fundraiser over the years and joined us in supporting tons of local causes, like the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition. Perhaps you could say Horny Toad and Telegraph were sewn from the same oats. Delicious, distilled, environmentally friendly oats.
From the building to the brewing, Telegraph Brewing is committed to making excellent craft beers while minimizing their environmental impact. “Our Tap Room and Distillery is housed in an old Quonset hut from WWII,” Brian Thompson, the founder of Telegraph, explains. “The huts were designed as modules and were shipped all over the world. The one we’re in was actually a warehouse. It’s an iconic American building, so we gave it a modern twist to increase its functionality without compromising its historical integrity.” And Telegraph is all about functionality and integrity. “The brewing industry as a whole is very water intensive,” Brian says, “so sustainability is a big focus for us, especially with these recent drought conditions.”
Telegraph is a relatively small brewery but they’re able to use only 4.25 gallons of water per every gallon of beer (whereas other small breweries use about 10 gallons of water per gallon of beer). And all of their ingredients are produced west of the Rockies, getting hops from the Pacific Northwest, barley that’s grown and malted in Santa Barbara, oranges from Santa Barbara County, Corriander from Palm Springs and cold-pressed coffee from a local roaster. “And,” Brian excitedly adds, “a beer made from 100% local ingredients is on the horizon!”
We’ll be some of the first people lined up to try that 100% local beer, because if it’s anything like their current selection, it’s going to be darn good! At any given time Telegraph has about 10 different beers on tap and they’re constantly rotating. Currently, the Cervza de Fiesta Pilsner lives up to its name as a party for your taste buds, while the Ravena Stout is a silky, swoon-worthy dark beer that you’ll want to savor until the last drop. The complex Los Padres Saison is both peppery and citrusy, while the White Ale is simply, perfectly refreshing. And what did Telegraph bring to the 2nd Annual Horny Toad Grilled Cheese Smackdown? Their award-winning flagship California Ale – a West Coast twist on a Belgian Pale Ale that can definitely hold it’s own against any gooey, cheesy goliath.
When some of Team Toad recently popped in for a beer tasting on a perfect Fall Sunday, the garage doors were flung open, the family-style tables were packed, the darts were flying, and a food truck outside was serving up tasty Indian street food. “We wanted to recreate the pub! We want this to be a place that families can come, a meeting place for the community. It’s all about kicking back and enjoying with your friends and family.” And on any given day, that’s exactly what you’ll find at Telegraph.