Beer

Farm-to-glass brewery serving cider, mead to open near Lincoln

Earl Stephens, left, and graphic designer Tyler Dille pose in front of Dueling Dogs' brewhouse.
Earl Stephens, left, and graphic designer Tyler Dille pose in front of Dueling Dogs' brewhouse. Adriana Stephens

Husband-and-wife team Earl and Adriana Stephens plan to serve home-fermented beer, mead and cider at Dueling Dogs Brewing Co. on their farm outside Lincoln starting May 26.

Drinks such as the Mandarin Madness witbier will feature hops and mandarins grown on the Stephenses' property, and the family will sell their excess crops as well as fruits, vegetables and nuts from other Placer County farms in a ground-level marketplace, Earl said.

Named for the Stephenses' black and yellow Labradors, Dueling Dogs is housed on the family's 10-acre farm at 3030 Barrett Park Lane, one mile from Ciotti Cellars to the west and Wise Villa Winery to the east. The business plan was conceived shortly after Earl and Adriana's son was born five years ago, when they decided they wanted to raise him around agriculture but couldn't run a commercially viable traditional farm on the land they had.

Earl, a civil engineer by trade, designed and executed all the paving, stormwater collection, roofing, fencing and interior construction for the 3,000-square-foot brewery and marketplace while Adriana oversaw the business side and learned to make cider and mead.

Managing the farm while starting a business and a family has proved challenging, and they're hoping the blueberries that have fallen by the wayside make a resurgence down the road.

The first round of beers rotating through Dueling Dogs' taps will include the witbier, an IPA, a pilsner, a pale ale and the Choco Rocco — a chocolate vanilla porter named after the family's black Lab. Adriana has come up with low-alcohol orange blossom and blueberry meads and a hard apple cider as well as a lightly spiced apple cyser, a hybrid between a mead and a cider.

"We're trying to have it so people come out here and enjoy the country and taste a few unique things," Earl said.

Alcohol aficionados in Placer County previously got a taste of Dueling Dogs' products at the Lincoln Wine Fest on April 28.

Hours are 2-6 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Benjy Egel: (916) 321-1052, @BenjyEgel

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