March Featured Brewery: Dwinell Country Ales

We’re headed back over to the Washington side for this month’s featured brewery!

B.I.G: What is the name of your brewery and where are you located?

Dwinell Country Ales:The name of our brewery is Dwinell Country Ales. It is owned and operated by co-founders Justin and Jocelyn Leigh. We operate a 7-barrel brewhouse with a family-friendly tasting room in Goldendale, Washington.

When did you start?

We opened our doors in August 2017.

Why did you start?

We started Dwinell Country Ales as a way to pursue our passion for experimenting with mixed and wild fermentations. We’re interested in exploring how these fermentation methods can convey a sense of place. This fermentation-driven approach to making beer and, in particular, our use of oak and fruit, has led us to get a winemaking license, which now allows us to experiment with making wild fermented apple cider, fruited table strength sparkling mead, and, of course, natural wine.

What kinds of beers do you create and what makes them unique?

Our beers are unique in that they don’t follow conventional beer style classifications and because we predominantly use ingredients that are grown and processed within a 100 miles radius of our brewery. Unlike other breweries, we ferment the vast majority of our beers with a constantly-evolving mixed culture of yeast and lactic acid producing bacteria. We believe that our house culture imparts our beers with a sense of time and place, specifically rooted in the place they’re made.

How much do you produce each year?

For us, quality is more important than quantity. For this reason, we don’t pay much attention to production numbers. We’d rather focus our energy on ways to strategically grow low and slow. This way we can retain a focus on the wild nature of our processes and the ethics of our ingredients, from small-batch malts to hand-processed fruit from local growers. We don’t have a set wort production schedule because, as we shift our focus to spontaneous fermentation and blending, we find ourselves brewing with the seasons, by making wort in the cooler months and working with fruit as it ripens.

What is your most popular beer and why?

Since we don’t produce a flagship, but instead brew and blend with the seasons, there’s no singular beer that’s the most popular. That being said, people who visit us in Goldendale or find our beers out in the wild tend to gravitate toward our barrel-aged, fruited wild ales and dry-hopped “saison”-inspired beers.

What is your favorite activity to do in the Gorge?

We enjoy finding inspiration for our beers by exploring the people and places of the Gorge, particularly on the dry-side east of the Cascade Range.

What are your annual events?

Our anniversary in August is our biggest annual event, but we also have bottle releases throughout the year as well as live music on our patio in the summer. During the winter we also have monthly trivia, as well as quite a few other fun events. You can find them on our website calendar or on Facebook.

What is your contact information?