The other night I posted a photo on Instagram of a beer I was drinking. It was a bottle of their Holiday 2014 Triple Black Rye IPA. It. Was. Amazing! I posted about it and left rave reviews on Instagram and Untappd. Then someone commented and we had quite the conversation on about their beers and my experience with them in the past. I must admit, the majority of their beers don’t impress me. Turns out, the guy I was talking to is the founder of the brewery.
We took the conversation to email and he agreed to an interview to promote their beers and the brewery. It was fun learning more about him and their beers, and glad I was able to try their holiday release and glad I was able to meet, at least digitally, the owner of the brewery. We hope you enjoy the interview. Cheers!
Where did the name Black Market come from?
The town where Black Market is located is in Temecula, CA. There is some history of bootlegging in Temecula, so the name “Black Market” seemed appropriate. When I was thinking about names and Black Market was a contender, I was surprised that it had not been taken already. Thinking down range and where Black Market would be 5, 10, 15 years later, I wanted a name that had endless marketing possibilities and would be relevant as we grew.
Who doesn’t like seeking out a product that is associated with something you shouldn’t be allowed to have? The idea of drinking a BMB beer or being in possession of BMB contraband has that cool factor I think every single one of us needs once in awhile as we explore our “bad” side.
I love your logo. Who designed that and is there a story behind the suspicious man?
We used Randy Mosher to design our logo. Randy lives in Chicago and for people who don’t know who Randy is, he is an accomplished beer author, brewer and graphic designer. The suspicious man is Ellsworth. He is part of the Black Market Syndicate. Black Market is not just a group of guys/gals who love craft beer, but we also have a long running narrative regarding our Black Market branding and the fictional characters who are involved. You will need to check our site from time to time as we add content to the Black Market story.
We plan to make a short film or comic book that explores the characters who make up Black Market and how they struggle against other groups/gangs in their ongoing turf war.
You have a lot of beers in your portfolio. What is your favorite?
My favorite BMB beers are Aftermath and 1945… And of course Black Hole Sun.
I am REALLY digging this triple black rye IPA. Where do you come up with new recipes?
I have a great brewmaster named Shaun McBride. He has been brewing for over 25 years and like any great artist just knows how to get it done.
Do you guys sell any Black Market merchandise?
Yes, we sell BMB swag out of our tap room and also on our online store.
Tell me more about the Blacklist Series.
I’m glad you asked. The B is a collection of beers that represent the characters that the Black Market Syndicate are in a turf war over. It goes back to the BMB narrative that will be uploaded to our website soon.
The first two releases in this series were David and Goliath. These beers are named after some “bad” guys, but also are geared toward some styles we like. The labels are a bit more high end with this series and will be released from time to time throughout the year. We will introduce new characters/beers to this series as the years go on.
You offer several limited releases. Why, as a brewery, do you limit beers like that? Some of the best beers in the world are released on a limited basis. Why is that?
This is mainly due to cellar space. A brewery only has so many tanks and these limited beers can take up tank space for long periods of time. This can cause issues with the year round beers that pay the bills so you have to prioritize. The result is smaller batches that you know you can move and as time goes on and the demand for the beer increases we can justify increasing the output.
When not drinking Black Market beers, what are you drinking?
Water… If I’m drinking beer, I’m drinking Black Market.
The IPA has been a popular beer lately… But what’s next for craft beer in your opinion?
Who designs all of your labels?
Ian Law out of Chicago.
Are you worried about a hop shortage in the coming years?
Yes and no. We have tried to be very diligent with staying on top of our hop contracts for future years. We are always experimenting with experimental hop varieties to try to stay ahead of the curve… However, its a crop and a bad year can affect everyone regardless of contracts.
If you could only drink one beer for the rest of your life, what beer would you choose?
What’s next for Black Market Brewing?
We are releasing a Smoke Quadruple IPA in February followed by our first pilsner in April. After that we are going to release an exciting new series next summer called Tradecraft Series that will be released in cans. We are keeping the style a secret for now but check our website for more info.
Overall, we will continue to work hard to expand our Black Market footprint and get people excited about what we are doing and exposing them to our brand.