Starting a brewery is no small task, especially if you’re coming at it straight from the realm of home brewing into… oak aged wild ales? And that’s how Casa Agria Specialty Ales came into being. Just like the complex and continuously evolving styles they create, Casa Agria resides in symbiotic harmony with the land, community, and the following they’ve created.
Their story begins in 2014 when home brewers Eric Ward and Michael Weyandt were looking to create something in short supply in Ventura County, California – barrel-aged Wild Ales. Opening their Oxnard production space in 2015, amid the area’s fast expanding brewing culture at the time, they didn’t even need to have a brewhouse. Instead, all their early batches were brewed at The Lab Brewing Company, located in nearby Agoura Hills.
With 84 wine barrels, a 15 barrel fermentation tank, and three 30 barrel foeders, Ward & Weyandt kicked off Casa Agria (Spanish for “Sour House”) in May of 2015 by creating a 400 person Membership Club, which sold out in 4 days. Officially opening their taproom doors in early 2016, they were well on their way to providing a unique alternative for a community already clamoring for something new.
A primary point of focus at Casa Agria has been in sourcing their ingredients from local farms, especially the wide variety of fruits utilized in fermentation atop their Saison and Berliner Weisse-style bases. It makes perfect sense being that they’re uniquely situated on the outskirts of town, residing closer to the surrounding farmland than to the port area Oxnard is known for.
Over the past 5 years, the brewery has created over 234 unique beers, including collaborations with a number of highly regarded breweries, including de Garde Brewing in Tillamook (their El Sur collaboration garnered Gold at GABF in 2017), Aslin Beer in Herndon Virginia, Humble Sea in Santa Cruz, Our Mutual Friend in Denver, Civil Society in Jupiter Florida, and many more. Unbeknownst to those who haven’t visited their taproom, they’ve been brewing much more than barrel aged sour ales, as they regularly feature an impressive array of IPAs, Lagers, Stouts and more.
It’s been almost 2 years since Day One has brought Casa Agria to town and we’ve received quite a variety this time around. The brewery has been canning up a storm, enabling us to receive a variety of Hazy IPAs (Western Glow, Voices On A Wire, Echo Bloom & Casa Del Norte), West Coast IPAs (Life And Style & Enmeshment brewed in collaboration with Carlsbad’s Burgeon Beer), as well as a Farmhouse Ale (Saison Bracero) and a Czech-style Pilsner (Ormond).
We also received four different mixed-culture ales, each naturally conditioned in 500 ml bottles. They include one of their original releases, Saison De La Casa – Blend 5 (Barrel Aged Saison), plus Second Stone (BA Saison with second-use Nectarines, Apricots, and Peaches), Bero Bero (BA Berliner Weisse with Guava & Strawberries), plus Hearth And Home (mixed-culture Saison, Dry Hopped with Cashmere, Citra & Mosaic – in collaboration with Covina’s Arrow Lodge Brewing).
Be sure to keep an eye out for all 12 of Casa Agria’s unique beers, which have already landed in the Portland-Metro area, the Willamette Valley, and Bend. Next they’ll be heading to Medford this Saturday, and to Astoria a week from Saturday.
Content for this article was primarily sourced from the Ventura County Reporter