Brew School: Brewing with Wet Hops

Posted on October 24th, 2010

Recently we brewed our second wet hop beer of the year with about 50-pounds of Cascades from the Yakima Valley. Our head brewer had the day off so I was brought in the brewery to assist with the brew day. I decided that within 6-months I want to be able to run a brewday completely solo so I decided to take the opportunity to sketch out some diagrams and take detailed notes to help me remember some of the more minute details of the process. Since there were only two of us working that day, I didn’t have to surrender my services to deliveries. This meant not only that I could focus all of my energy on brewing—loading and unloading kegs around NYC gets very physically draining—and even had some spare time to take a few photos.

Read Full Story

Brew School: Learn To Love The Wet Hops

Posted on September 22nd, 2010

More and more I find myself enamored with the smell of hops. Now, I’m no hophead, but there is something about dumping Amarillo pellets into the brew kettle or manning the hop back that really gets to me. Although I may go for a malty porter more often than a sharp IPA, the utilization of hops while brewing has really got my mind—and palate—intrigued.

Read Full Story

Start Your Own Craft While You Craft Night

Posted on August 31st, 2010

Need more excuses to drink good beer with good friends? Me too. So recently some friends and I came up with a great one: we love to do craft projects, and we LOVE to drink craft beer. Why not put them together and start a Craft While You Craft Night?!

Read Full Story

Sugar & Spice: An Intro to Beer Spices

Posted on August 20th, 2010

The history of spices in beer is as old and varied as beer itself. Despite the fact that hops have become the predominant spicing agent used in most contemporary styles, that was not always the case.  In areas where hops are not native or easily grown the role of hops was frequently played by another bitter and/or mildly anti-septic plant, such as marigold, burdock, juniper, or heather. In fact, during the Middle Ages, a substance known as gruit (a mash-up of various herbs and spices) was used to provide the same preservative and flavoring benefits that hops can provide. As recently as the Renaissance, spicing beer was still fairly common all across Europe. Grains of Paradise (a peppery member of the ginger family) was particularly popular and was most likely used to cover over the stale or sour flavors of beer that had been improperly made or stored.

Read Full Story

Brew School: It’s Not Rocket Science

Posted on August 12th, 2010

For the past month I’ve been in charge of Saturday brewery tours at the Chelsea Brewing Company. Four months ago, I never would have though myself capable of giving an informative and in-depth brewery tour. However, the hands on education I’ve been receiving has really beefed up my beer knowledge and more importantly, it has giving me a real, physical understanding of the beverage I’ve spent the last several years studying while enjoying the occasional pint.

Read Full Story