By Crystal Duan
Signal Staff Writer
Tony Santa Cruz and Jaime Hernandez decided to take their home brewing experiments to the next level when they opened Telco Brewery in Santa Clarita.
The name comes from the origin of the owners’ friendship — they both work at AT&T Wireless during the day — and decided to name their new business after that.
The brewery makes all of its in-house lagers and more on-site, the liquid inside the fermenter contraptions tucked into a corner near tables where customers can sit.
“Now people are paying us to taste our beer,” Hernandez said, “When before, we were content to pour this for them for free.”
The project took three years to get off the ground, between getting the permits and the lease signed in September 2017.
Hernandez and Santa Cruz began home brewing together in 2015, and were soon bottling their concoctions for family and friends. They also entered contests to see how their tastes held up against other pros.
At the Montrose Brew Festival in 2016, they won Best in Show which made Hernandez think, “Man, we should start our own brewery.”
“You need to balance the malt, the hops, the bitterness, all of that you need to combine for good taste,” Santa Cruz said. “I think anybody can make a good brew if you can follow a recipe. If you learn to cook, you can learn to brew. Of course, sometimes you have to make a brew two to three times to get it right, but you learn a lot in the process.”
One batch, equivalent to 300 gallons, takes about 21 days of brewing between fermenting it to kegging the final result, he said.
Telco Brewery has been open since the last weekend of September, but it’s planning a grand opening ceremony Friday from 5-10 p.m., Saturday from noon to 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.