"Prodigy Brewing is about you, my friend, and you are what really sets us apart." Those were the words handed down to brewer Dean Rouleau from Prodigy Brewing Company founding member Howell Gillogy. With someone who says things like that to support one in the realization of their dreams, how can they not be happy? Rouleau certainly is pleased. The long-time San Diego Brewing Company brewmaster is also excited, for soon Prodigy, a brewery of his devising that’s been in the works for more than two years, will be open for business.
Located in Grantville, not far from Rouleau’s former post, Prodigy will utilize a custom 15-barrel direct-fire brew kettle that will feed a quartet of 30-barrel fermenters and a trio of 6-barrel fermenters. Rouleau hand-built the kettle and has a great deal of experience in this area, having built numerous brewing companies’ brewing systems while working on Prodigy. (He is working on three such projects at present.)
So far, he has brewed three beers, all of which are hop-forward — CitraLicious IPA, Hopnotic DIPA (a staple from his SDBC days), and an ale hopped with Nelson Sauvin. Rouleau has a reputation for hoppy beers and has won awards for a number them. These and other mainstay beers will be brewed on the 15-barrel system, while a separate 6-barrel system will be used for one-off and specialty beers.
One of the most enticing features of Prodigy is a bevy of red wine–infused foudres (large oak vats used to store beer as it ferments) procured from a members-only winery in Northern California. Rouleau will use them to create sour blond and brown ales. And he’ll do it with the help of some brewing industry friends who are known for making exceptional sours, using cultures and “the good bugs” from sour beer producers in Sonoma County, Michigan, Texas, and Belgium. Eventually, Rouleau hopes to have three 15-barrel foudres, two 40-barrels and a 20-barrel variety.
Aside from beer production, Rouleau is anxious to make good on the name of his brewery by mentoring the next generation of brewing talent. While he respects the various craft beer certification programs being offered at local universities, he looks forward to teaching young, interested, driven brewers how to craft quality beer and fabricate brewing systems. Rouleau grew up working at his grandfather’s New Hampshire farmhouse brewery. By helping others find their way, the way his grandfather did for him, he hopes to honor the man’s legacy while also bringing up a network of artisans representing the next generation of brewing talent.