"I'm way into cycling and way into beer," says Rawley Macias, brewer and sole proprietor of Rouleur Brewing Company, the latest craft beer maker to open in Carlsbad's budding scene. While the branding of Macias's startup reflects his cycling interest, it also suggests his broader approach to making beer.
"That's a type of cycling, a Rouleur," he says, "It's a French word for an all-arounder, a rider who's good at all aspects of cycling," ranging from short sprints to long-distance races. "I like to do a lot of hybrid beers," Macias explains, "I don't stick to one style."
Though the 12-year homebrewer has been a BJCP-certified beer judge for eight years, he's stayed away from judging or entering brewing contests the past several years as he's experimented with style variations more pleasing to his own palate, often involving the flavorful esters produced by Belgian yeast strains.
"I love to taste the yeast," he notes, "American yeast strains tend to purposely clean up very well; they leave a very clean fermentation profile, but they don't really impart a flavor of their own into the beer." For example, for Rouleur's Puncher pale ale and Domestique blonde — also named for cycling terms — he's brewed American-style recipes using Belgian yeast strains.
Rouleur's six flagship beers will adopt this approach, but the all-around brewer also plans to produce a wider variety of seasonal and one-off recipes that explore differing yeast — as well as malt and hop — profiles. "It's a balance of making beers you want to make that aren't going to exhaust the palate," he adds, "I like beers you can drink two of."
He'll be doing so on the standard ten-barrel Premier Stainless turnkey brewhouse he's leasing from the Brewery Igniter program, as well as a smaller homebrew rig, though he notes size may be the biggest difference between the two.
"I'm a mechanical engineer by day," he says, "so I designed and built a half-barrel system at home that has all the temperature controls and heat exchangers you'd see at a bigger brewhouse."
Macias moved here from San Luis Obispo with his wife two years ago to start a family and a brewery. While he still works in the aerospace industry, and has diapers to change, growing the Rouleur brand is a big priority for him. His business plan calls for him to max out brewing capacity within three years, and enlist a mobile bottling line to get into retail packaging sooner than that.
5840 El Camino Real #101, Carlsbad
To begin with, he will concentrate on serving beer, including crowlers and randalized beer variants, out of his Carlsbad tasting room. That's right next door to the also-new Wiseguy Brewing — the two breweries end their soft open phases with a simultaneous grand opening events April 8 involving live music and a food truck, and a makeshift beer garden in the parking lot behind the brewery suites.