College is all about finding out what you would like to do for a career and often that path is mirrored with college parties and plenty of beer.
For Jake Endres, a graduate of James Madison University and Loudoun Valley High School, brewing beer was something he enjoyed doing during his college years.
Endres, now 25, is scheduled to open his own brewery in Downtown Leesburg in the Market Station development.
Crooked Run Brewing will be a small brewery and tasting room. Endres will highlight his award-winning brews for the public and will be the youngest brewery owner in Virginia.
“I have been brewing beer since I turned 21, so about five years now and I kind of got into it just because I was curious about it. It is something that is pretty easy to start out,” Endres said. “I really never thought I would get as into it as I did when I first started out. So I kept doing it and learning more about it.”
In the beginning, Endres bought an extract kit, which made it easy for him to brew beer.
Now, the brewery uses a state-of-the-art electric brewing system that Endres built.
“I have a one barrel system that I can't wait to start using. It is as automated as you would want it, but it is not like pressing a button and it makes beer,” he said. “It helps to eliminate all the smaller steps like temperature and other parts to allow for time saving.”
Endres entered his first competition about a year ago and his American IPA won first place out of 28 other home brews at the Palmetto State Brewers Open in South Carolina.
“I only entered the IPA that I brewed and it won first in the competition out of 28 other entrants,” Endres said. “It also won a silver medal in the Boneyard Brew-off in Illinois.”
His brewery will focus on his two favorite brews, American and Belgian ales.
“I also like English beers and they aren't really popular in America, but my plan is to have one rotating tap of English beers at the brewery,” Endres said. “My focus will really be on American and Belgian beers like American IPAs, an American hoppy brown ale and two Belgian ales as well.”
Many of the ingredients Endres uses are local and he grows his own hops at his home in Waterford, as well as raspberries, blackberries and pumpkins. He also uses maple syrup from Maryland for a special brew.
With Loudoun County's reputation for wineries, breweries and distilleries, Endres spoke with many other brewmasters to get an idea of what he needed to do.
“The person who has really helped me out the most is Roger Knoell from Barnhouse Brewery in Leesburg,” Endres said. “He is a really great guy and talented brewer and he has been doing really well out there.”
He is also working with other local producers to create some unique beers, such as Realize Truth, an elderberry Belgian quadruple made with berries from Village Winery in Waterford.
To receive funding for his brewery, Endres is conducting a fundraising project through a website called Kickstarter. The tool allows people to donate money to his project in exchange for rewards like T-shirts, small trinkets and invitations to tasting events.
For anyone who donates $1,000, they will receive a beer on tap designed to their liking and learn about the brewing process from Endres himself.
He currently has more than $6,800 and is close to his goal of $10,000. The fundraising project will conclude March 7.
To participate in the project, visit http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1463544393/crooked-run-brewing-a-farmhouse-nanobrewery