Anyone familiar with Middletown, New York’s Equilibrium Brewery knows that their Hazy IPAs and Double IPAs have been in constant demand, nationwide, since they opened. They’d also be accustomed to their science-forward beer names and can art. But to understand the story behind this ever growing Hudson Valley success story is to know the scientific approach of their founders.
The roots of Equilibrium Brewery were formed by co-founder Peter Oates love of the New England IPAs being brewed in Vermont. Though his 13 hour trips from upstate New York began to take a toll, eventually provoking friend and co-founder Ricardo Petroni to encourage Oates to learn how to homebrew.
Oates and Petroni, both MIT engineering alums, met while working at an environmental engineering firm. And while Petroni had been home brewing for 20 years, the zeal with which Oates began his own home brew system effectively made Petroni the student. Oates built his own 5 gallon system for all-grain batches and was soon brewing up to 6 batches a day. He fabricated it to be powered by both gas and electricity, enabling automation that allowed him to brew smaller batches at higher volumes, thus allowing for more experimentation.
Officially starting in 2015, the duo soon opened their own production facility in 2016, housed in a former meatpacking plant, only offering cans to-go. As people caught wind of what they were doing, the brewery began to see two to three hundred people queuing up to purchase their beer as early as 4:30am for Saturday releases. In light of their success, the brewery eventually opened a second 27,000 sq ft location, only a few blocks away, at the end of 2019. It features a taproom, BBQ fare, more space to expand their barrel program, and a larger brewhouse. This additional production space pushed their annual capacity from 2,500 bbls to over 10,000 bbl per year.
Equilibrium’s approach to brewing has always focused on “research and inspiration” in creating the favorite beers they like to drink, predominantly consisting of various takes on the Hazy IPA concept. They still continue to brew smaller pilot batches to experiment with different hop varieties, with every recipe created always being a work in progress, which they always strive to improve with each new batch.
They’re also dedicated to sourcing their ingredients as locally as possible in the hopes of providing beers that not only appeal to their local community, but to also support local producers of raw materials. Lastly, they pay particular attention to providing a quality product. As stated on their website, “all our beers are unfiltered and unpasteurized – meaning they are living, ‘breathing’, dynamic products that will evolve over time, generally transitioning from bold to graceful.”
For over a year now, we’ve been lucky to work with Equilibrium Brewery. It’s been a minute since we last had them in Oregon, though this time we’ve received 9 different canned offerings, all of which started arriving at bottle shops and taprooms yesterday:
- Data Points ~ New England Double IPA ~ Data Points pours a hazy electric yellow with a sweet aroma of citrus and berry with flavors of navel orange, mango, herbal blueberry, earthy lime peel, and the Devil’s Lettuce. The #EQjuice builds up into a creamy and complex finish with a pop of juiciness lending data that shows we truly do love our new Mosaic – 8.5%.
- Energy Equals ~ New England Double IPA ~ Energy Equals is a companion beer to MC². It completes the equation. We start with MC² as a base and incorporate the well received process we like to refer to as the ‘Energy Dry Hop’ which gives this beer an intense brightness and flavor. Energy Equals has enhanced flavor characteristics of mango, pineapple, citrus, and apricot. With the new technique in place, we notice a much deeper flavor profile while being extremely bright and lighter in body. It’s extremely crushable with our EQ juice finish – 8%.
- Fluctuation ~ New England Double IPA ~ Departures from Equilibrium are known as fluctuations. It pours a very hazy tangerine color, releasing bright tropical notes of passion fruit, mango, pineapple, and lychee with an undercurrent of sorbet and cream. Fluctuation tastes highly resinous and tropical with an assertive yet soft bitterness. We consider this fluctuation to be perfectly unbalanced – 8.1%.
- Fractal Lab (Mosaic) ~ New England IPA ~ Fractal Lab Mosaic pours glowing yellow with big aromatic notes of complex berries, vibrant citrus, candied orange, and key lime pie. Flavors of mandarin orange, drippy peach flesh, mango candy, and complex berry coat the tongue with pops of bright lime and pine forest supported by a light, round, and resinous finish – 6.8%.
- Harvester of Waves ~ New England Double IPA ~ Harvester of Waves takes our head brewer Ryan’s favorite beer and adds a touch of lactose. You’ll find elevated aromas of passion fruit, bright pine, berry and earth. The taste follows with light pine and tropical fruit in a creamier form than its predecessor while the lactose adds a smooth creamy sorbet finish – 8.5%.
- Mmm… Osa ~ New England Pale Ale ~ Mmm… Osa is our beloved Photon American Pale Ale conditioned on freshly zested oranges at a rate of 6 oranges per barrel. It is everything photon is, with a dominant orange presence; this citric delight is our preferred way to start the afternoon – 4.8%.
- Sparticle Physics ~ New England Pale Ale ~ Sparticle Physics pours hazy orange and has aromas and flavors of cannabis from the battle fields of Sparta, tropical citrus, nectarine, and pineapple. Featuring a pillowy mouthfeel and a hole-kicking finish, this delicate and juicy crusher is welcomed by all warriors alike – 5.5%.
- This is STRATA! ~ New England Double IPA ~ This beer pours a bright hazy yellow and has an aroma of passion fruit meets pot. Flavors turn into a battlefield of tropical fruits including; mango, passion fruit, melon, fresh berry with an underlying citrus flavor. Prepare for glory upon finish, which is a tropical build up showcasing our #EQjuice, which never surrenders – 8%.
- Vulgar Display of Flower ~ New England Double IPA ~ Vulgar Display of Flower is a tribute to an aggressive yet balanced assault on the senses. It blends East meets West coast DIPA with our own Equilibrium twist. It is dry, bitter, piny, resinous, yet smooth, juicy, and drinkable. This concoction displays the hop flower’s assertive yet delicious nature – 8%.