Meet Dan Jachimowicz : Owner and Brewer at Longship Brewery
Longship Brewery may be one of the newer breweries to enter the San Diego market, but they are one to definitely keep an eye on. During our visit to Longship, we had the opportunity to taste numerous beers and it must be known that none disappointed. The beers were extremely well-balanced and there was a variety of different styles. Some of our favorites included: Allfather, Huginn and Abomination.
On top of having amazing beers, we enjoyed the ambiance as well. Upon entering, you are welcomed to the world of the Vikings by their loyal brew dog Falkor. There is open space that was designed to be shared amongst friends, as if you were in a “longship”. The walls have some awesome art, including some custom made shields. You can tell there was a lot of thought put into this brewery and it really shows.
We were fortunate enough to sit down with Owner and Brewer Dan Jachimowicz, who told us more about himself, the brewery and the future of Longship.
How did you become a part of the craft beer industry? How long have you been a professional brewer?
I have been a professional brewer for about 11 months when I made the first batch of Longship’s beers. I had been home brewing for about 9 years, but had made the decision to open a brewery around 4 years ago. Since then, I had upgraded my equipment to be as industry like as possible, and continued to develop my recipes with that mindset. I knew for a while that I wanted to be in this industry. I completed the American Brewer’s Guild brewers course in 2008, which included a short internship with a local brewery. It was definitely an intensive course of theory and practice. With that, I did feel comfortable being able to brew on a much larger scale than what I was used to. It has definitely been a journey to go from wholesale jewelry to beer production.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part of the job is to see so many people enjoying the beer. I think that is the highlight of any craftsmans’ profession; people to show their appreciation of their hard work. I definitely enjoy hearing from people who leave the tasting room after enjoying every one of the beers that they tasted.
If you could make any style of beer with any flavors you wanted, what would it be and why?
Over the years, I have had several ideas for off-the-wall beers. One of the ones that I want to make at Longship is a Viking style heather ale, made with heather flower tips. I have made one before when I was still extract brewing, but the recipe still needs some refining. Still, I had entered it into a small home-brewed for a competition and got 3rd on the first brew, so I was on the right track. Not much is stopping us from making it besides an open fermenter on our pilot system. I think that people would enjoy tasting a piece of history from a historically inspired brewery. I have also had the desire to make a mango chili beer. Why? Why not?
What’s your favorite memory of starting Longship Brewery? Favorite beer you’ve worked on?
I would say that my favorite memory so far was the excitement I felt on our opening day. After 3 years of headaches and hard work, it was finally time to open. The construction team that came kept joking that it was the first time that they had seen me smile. Seeing the brewery packed, being able to thank everyone who had helped me along the way, and seeing everyone enjoy themselves and the beer at Longship has been a pleasure. Fortunately, it is a feeling that I will get again and again as we grow. The second favorite moment was the validation the hard work that came with our first competition medal.
What does the future look like for Longship Brewery? Anything exciting you can share?
The future is looking pretty bright for Longship. We are making a push to increase our distribution. We hope to supply 20 different bars and restaurants by our anniversary in July. Currently, we are at 8. Our next big project is to begin a barrel aging program along with maintaining several ferkins, just to have some more fun with the beer and have monthly special releases. Our first release will be our award-winning Ragnabock aged with oak chips in August. We expect that the enhanced flavors will be really popular. We are also looking into getting a small bottling line in the near future, as well as beginning the process to install our 20-bbl tanks by the end of the year.
If you could collaborate with any other brewer or brewery, who would it be and why?
I would say that I would want to collaborate with Cameron Ball of Helix Brewing. Cameron was a big help in the early stages of development, as he had just gone through them as well. Having a similar background of going from homebrewer to brewery owner, I think that we understand each other well in the struggle of being a new brewery in San Diego. I also think that we would be able to complement each other on the concept of the beer, as we both have our own approaches to styles, but both put the highest value on the end quality of the beer.
What advice would you give to those who are looking to become a Brewer?
For someone who wants to be a brewer, I would say to not be afraid to try something new and don’t be constrained by set styles. There is always some little twist to build with and create a new flavor combination, yet still maintain a balanced beer.
For someone looking to start a new brewery, I would say that organization and a good team are the key. There are a lot more gears in this machine than you would realize. It will get overwhelming at times, but with the right organization and a good deal of stubbornness, it can get done.
Why did you choose the name Longship Brewery?
A lot of people see us as a Viking themed brewery, but we prefer Viking inspired. Longship Brewery is named after the Viking Longship in our hopes to embody their drive for exploration and discovery. The Vikings were known for having the drive, courage, and ability to travel across the world in search for the best riches of the world and bring it back to the hall. This is our approach to brewing. It is our desire and goal to explore the endless possibilities of beer and share our best findings with our fans. Simply put, it was their vessel to explore the world, and it is our vessel to explore beer. It also doesn’t hurt that we can have fun with our decor and beer names.
Other Fun Facts about Longship
- There is a spacious feel with plenty of room to hangout with both human friends as well as your furry four-legged friends as they are dog friendly.
- To the left of the bar, you can find board games to play so make sure you bring some friends.
- They do have food trucks and vendors coming by so be sure to check out the schedule.
- With a solid location in Mira Mesa that is close by to a number of breweries it makes this place ideal for brewery hopping.
- They feature dog training classes on the weekends! For only $15 you get an hour long class with their brewery dog Falkor and a pint of one of their delicious brews.
- They recently became an award-winning brewery winning Silver for their Ragnabock from the New York International Beer Festival!
If you haven’t made it down to Longship Brewery yet, we definitely recommend that you add them to your list of breweries that are a must experience in San Diego, CA. We have a feeling that big things are in store for them, and we can’t wait to get our hands on more of their delicious beers! Cheers!
To learn more about Longship Brewery please visit their: