SAN MARCOS, CALIFORNIA
ick Corona grew up in Carlsbad near San Diego, the city of endless sun and IPAs, but never cared much about beer. It offered a cold,
bubbly means to an end. That changed for him one night, though, when a buddy offered him an Avery Maharaja, a pungent imperial IPA packing a 10% ABV wallop. “Each sip was liquid gold,” he says. “I kept having a sip
and another sip, and the beer changed with every sip. It was absolutely enjoyable.” One Maharaja led to three, so a friend drove Corona home. When he awoke the next morning, he had a black eye and abrasions on his right hand. He pieced together what happened: As he walked in, his head collided with a doorjamb. In response, he punched the door. “The first things that went through my mind were: Somebody made that beer, and I want to make that beer.” He resolved to order a homebrew kit and open a brewery. “I wanted to give someone the experience that I was given.” Corona found the Maharaja recipe online and set out to replicate it. “Obviously, it wasn’t easy. My first eight to ten beers were IPAs. Of those, I made only one that was decent.” Undaunted, he kept brewing, his
Therein lies the secret to Corona’s success: repetition.
breakthrough coming with a fourth-place finish for his
He settled on a style—be it stout, lager, or coffee beer
hefeweizen at the San Diego County Fair. “The awards
infused with whole beans—and polished the recipe until
go to fifth place. Thank goodness I was able to see I
it was flawless. Before brewing: “Research, research,
was somewhat close. I decided I’d hold onto that recipe
research. I’ll put together my calculations on a recipe and
and continue to brew it.”
go back and recalculate and recalculate again.”
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