The Story of High Water Brewing

Background

Our story begins in the small farm town of Romulus, NY – part of the Finger Lakes region of upstate NY where Steve Altimari is from…

Born and raised here, Steve attended college at nearby Alfred University. After graduating with a Ceramic Engineering degree, the industry of the same name promptly collapsed. With a question mark on the future, the road called Steve’s name. He hopped in the cab of a truck for a one-way trip out west to meet up with some friends in Santa Cruz, CA. Which also, unbeknownst at the time, inspired the name of the kiwi and kumquat sour in our Calambic – West Meets East.

While living at the beach and selling cameras at a local store was all good, a customer learned of Steve’s ceramic engineering background and helped him score an interview at Intel, where he worked for the next 10 years. It’s during this period that Steve got into home brewing and shortly won a Gold medal for his Barley Wine at the local Celtic Fair competition. From here, his operation escalated from the stove top to the garage to a homemade gravity fed 3 tier homebrew system. Though working full time at Intel, all Steve’s free time was spent brewing beer and hosting friends to enjoy it. A light goes off that it’s time for a change…

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Four New Seasonal Saisons

We’re pleased to announce the release of our Petit Saison Fall Ale, the first in a series of barrel aged Petit Saisons.

Each Saison will focus on flavors reflective of the season the beer was produced in. The beers are aged in used wine barrels and finished with a light dry hopping. Each release will be fermented with different strains of yeast as well as varying malts from our great friends at Mecca Grade Estate Malts in Madras, Oregon. As an added twist, small amounts of Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus were added during the barrel aging to produce complex layers of flavor and aroma and a dry finish.

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A Day in the Life of a Cucumber Wrangler

Up before the crack of dawn, the Cucumber Wrangler’s day starts with a lengthy stroll thru the rows and rows of knee high plants loaded with a cornucopia of the Central Valley.  As the sun peeks up over the Sierra Nevada range, the true bounty begins to shimmer as rays of golden sunlight sparkle off the plump fruit hanging off the luscious cucumber plants.  Today will be harvest day and the journey these green treasures will embark on is just about to begin. A mere 75 days ago the small seeds sprouted and began the process which brought them into their final form.  Twelve long hot hours later, the harvest is complete for the day, and the freshly picked fruit resting in the traditional central valley wooden crates begin to make their way to the cool storage shed where they will spend the night.

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An Interview With Steve

If you’re reading this, you probably know Steve Altimari is President and Brewmaster of High Water Brewing. But do you know how he got here, who inspired him or whether he’s a dog or cat guy? Thanks to the folks over at Five Hundred Stories and their interview with Steve, we can share all this and more right here. Cheers!

 

After a 12-year career in the Silicon Valley tech world, Steve decided on a career change and attended the American Brewers Guild in Davis. He then took the helm as brewmaster at Valley Brewing Company until June 2010, including ownership during 1996 and 1997. Leveraging this successful brewing career, Steve embarked on the formation of High Water Brewing, with final licensing and production commencing in March 2011.  “High Water” being a playful interpretation of Altimari from Italian, “Alta” meaning High and “Mare” meaning Sea or Water.

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High Water and Tavour

Imagine a 5 year old child’s face on Christmas morning. Pure ecstasy, nearly foaming at the mouth with excitement and possibly requiring parental guidance on the urge to tear all the wrapping paper off their bounty without blinking. If you’ve ever received a box of beer at your front door you know that as a beer loving adult, the reaction is the same, likely without parents to keep you in line. This is basically what Tavour, who we are thrilled to be partnered with, does. Deliver lovely boxes of High Water and other fine brews to your doorstep.

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High Water and Hopsy

We’re stoked to announce our partnership with Hopsy, the Bay Area beer enthusiasts that have created a business to bring fresh High Water, and other local beer, to the doorsteps of our fans. Our brews are live on Hopsy so be sure to go check it out here!

As all beer lovers know, it’s hard to beat a fresh, cold draft beer. Certainly a Campfire Stout on tap at the pub is ideal but sometimes you want the same thing at home. Until recently, you’ve had 2 real options to make this happen. 1) Buy a keg. Which you won’t hear us complaining about but it’s certainly not for everyone. 2) Fill up a growler. We love growlers as much as the next person but are left impressed with how Hopsy has improved them. They’ve got two ways to bring fresh High Water beer to your home.

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Barrel Aged Campfire Stout Release

barrel aged campfire stoutBarrel aged Campfire Stout is here! Aged for 9 months in Heaven Hill, Wild Turkey and Four Roses bourbon barrels, it was blended just a couple weeks ago. Now it’s bottled, kegged and ready to be enjoyed. There will be a very limited supply of this beer so we are having a series of release parties to give as many people as possible a chance to get their hands on it.

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Great American Beer Festival 2016

The Great American Beer Festival is nigh upon us and we couldn’t be more excited! 3 days, 800 breweries and 3,800 beers plus of course the competition. For all of us beer crazies, it doesn’t get much better. We’ll be in booth O26 and since you’ll surely have to prioritize where you spend your GABF time, here are a couple reasons to stop by.

mile-high-club-patch

 

Mile High Club

Something new this year is our very own GABF Mile High Club. We’ll have a limited supply of these merit badges so make sure to get to the booth early and join the club..

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The CAlambic Series

2010 Napa vintage BarrelsAs we put the finishing touches on our CAlambic series with our upcoming Montmorency cherry brew, we wanted to share some background on how we got here. Sours are a big part of High Water and there’s some history behind it.

Going back to the 90’s, Brewmaster Steve was experimenting with sour barrel beers thanks to his love of Cantillon and Drie Fonteinen. Not everyone is a fan of the hop bitterness that comes with the all-popular IPA style and as Steve points out, the sour taste profile pairs nicely with a variety of food. It’s also refreshing thanks to all the fresh fruit used. He and his wife, Barri, First Lady and Flavorologist of High Water are longtime fans of sour beers and have stayed on the leading edge of innovation with this style.

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