Andy Klein of Monk’s Cellar Brewery
Andy Klein can still taste the clove spices and banana essence of the very first craft beer he ever tasted back in 1987, produced by an Austrian hole-in-the-wall brewery. It was an exchange trip abroad to multiple European countries during the last year of his high school career in the mid-1980s when he realized the captivating and rich culture of European beer was something he was undoubtedly ready to embrace as a life-long career.
Like most craft brewers, he started home brewing as a post graduate. His only beer schooling was at The American Brewer’s Guild while his first job working with beer was as a bar manager at a unique bar called River Rock Café. At this time (1993-1994), having 40 taps of craft beer in one singular bar was something quite exceptional, but Klein was all about it. After gaining experience, he took his German, Belgian, and other European influenced aspirations for beer producing and began his own endeavors. Andy Klein has now been professionally brewing beer since 1995 with his first actual brewing job being at the Sacramento Brewing Company.
Andy Klein’s own brewery opened up in the fall of 2014, which he refers to as his proudest career moment. The Monk’s Cellar Brewery and Public House is most known for its unique open tank fermentation and Belgian and European beer styles. The true taste of European classics within his brewery partner well his additional way of popularizing classically produced beers; like his use of harder to control open tanks and knowledge that there is more to craft beer than just the hops. This brewery works towards setting itself apart not just with a world-class ambiance but also its gripping knowledge (and taste) of beer from around the world. Not only does Klein evidently work towards deviating away from the societal norms of craft beer production, but he also goes out of his way to make sure his brewery works at environmental sustainability. His brewery has a completely separate water line so they can track the exact amount of water usage and work towards using less water. His 21 years of involvement in the local brewer’s scene has proved nothing but an ambitious drive of further educating consumers and adding a richness and livelihood to current Sac beer culture. In addition to Klein’s effort of diversifying his own brewing endeavors as much as possible, he urges Sac Beer Week first-timers to step outside their comfort zone and really try some different styles!
Klein admits to originally joining the Board of Directors for the Sacramento Area Brewers Guild because of the potential he saw –and still sees- in Sacramento becoming a premiere destination for beer-lovers. He felt the guild was operating nowhere near its capacity considering the sac region’s brewing history and diversity. Klein recognizes that it’s the Guilds job to come together and boost the esteem of the amazing beer town that Sac already is.