Brewing for money, recommendations from the Great American Beer Festival, hop plants, and a peanut butter brew!
A lot has happened in my world of beer, wow!! I got a commercial brewing job up in Summit County at a place called Pug Ryan’s in Dillion, CO!!!! I went to the Great American Beer Festival in Denver. I planted some hop plants! I brewed a peanut butter brown ale.
I will be Dave Simmon’s assistant brewer up at Pug Ryan’s in Dillon, CO, if your in the area stop by for a beer and steak or look for our stuff on tap on the ski slopes!! We are currently doing construction to triple our brew capacity and get beer on the shelves regionally. This will free up some smaller tanks as well allowing us to do more specialty brews. We are hopping to get some bombers out there on the shelves in addition to our canned regulars. Really good stuff!!
The Great American Beer Festival was a blast! I got in the members session Saturday afternoon and got to meet some brewers and try some awesome stuff. I tried so many 1 oz samples I can’t tell you how much I had but I can name a few of the best for sure. I talked to Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head briefly and got him to congratulate me on breaking into the industry.
Namaste was a very good brew by Dogfish Head, a Belgian white brewed with the typical dried orange peel and coriander but with an addition of lemon grass as well. I have some lemon grass in my yard I was wondering if it would be good for brewing and now I know! Very good. Another great brew by them was URKontinent, a brew made in partnership with Google. Slight maltiness, nice spice accents from Australian Wattleseed, toasted Amaranth from South America for some earthy roastiness, Rooibos (tea) from Africa, Myrica Gale from Europe, and Hive Plex Honey from California to smooth it all out. I think the tea and honey really balance the spices out and make this a very interesting beer. It can only be found on tap at the Dogfish Head other than the GABF, but if you can get it drink it damn it! Ingredients were picked from around the world using Google programs, watch the video on the link for more info. My personal favorite on the day was a peanut butter beer from Blue Moon, inspired me to brew some this week myself! Other notable beers were Lucky Bucket’s Sour out of La Vista Nebraska, not typically a fan of sours but this was well done indeed. Notable brewery was Prism brewery. They like to do interesting things, adding new ingredients and keeping it fresh - respect for that!
I got some hop plants from The Windsor Gardener in Windsor, Co near Ft. Collins. It was a really cool place with a brew shop called High Hops and lots of locally grown hops for sale. I got three plants; Fuggal, Cascade, and Northern Brewer. I am keeping my fingers crossed for them to come up nice and healthy in the spring!
Because I liked Blue Moon’s peanut butter beer so much I brewed a batch myself. It wasn’t exactly like peanut butter but more of a roasted nut flavor sort of like trail mix or something. I used some natural peanut butter and took all the oil off the top that I could before brewing. I added peanut butter throughout the boil from 50-10 minutes. I also skimmed all the oil that I could off the top of the wort once it was cooled to pitching temp. It smelled nice and roasted, we shall see!
I also had a close encounter with some moose while fishing in Rocky Mountain Natl. park. I thought I was dead meat at first but got some great moose pics.