Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Beer Hunter Has Passed...

I'm sad to report the passing of Michael Jackson. The craft brewing scene would not be what it is today without Jackson's campaign to show us all the wonderfull world outside of bland American lagers. He introduced us to the people, places and traditions of brewing.
Oddly enough, I revisited his Discovery Channel series "The Beer Hunter" a couple of weeks ago. Great fun.
I was fortunate enough to share a pint with Michael(very much the trooper as he was fighting the flu).
I will raise my glass to him tonight.
We will miss you Michael.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Ready for filling.

Pin(5.5 gallon keg) ready for tapping.

Real Ale Workshop

Today I got together with Colin Mullen at Barley John's Brew Pub. I can't thank Colin enough to spend some time with me going over his real ale production techniques.
You can be sure that McCann's will have some real ale(and lager) offerings in the future. We will also have fun with adding new ingredients to these brews to make our real ales a new experience every time.

Colin in the office.

Monday, August 27, 2007


Heading to Barley John's Brew Pub in New Brighton tomorrow. I'm due for a fact finding road trip and my bandmate( Dean and I will be discussing cask ale preparation with brewer Colin Mullen. Hopefully sampling some of Colin's wonderful brews also.
You should also visit Barley John's. Linkage:
Hope to have pics of the trip for you soon.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Hops are Here!

Despite drought conditions most of the summer, the hops in back yard are looking pretty good. Hops contribute bitterness, flavor and aroma to beer. Even though my hops are just ornamental, it gets me looking foward to brewing soon.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Beer Development

I got the piping on the brewhouse all back together today. Kegs are washed and stacked-a little more progress everyday. I'll be contacting my suppliers today to get accounts set up. The recipes are starting to come together and I should be making the beer line up public knowledge soon. There are some hard choices to made about the regular beers. You have to live with them a long time so you have to make solid decisions. Many people have requested some of the old O'Hara's beers and I am flattered, but O'Hara's owned the recipes/names of those beers and we want to do things our own way for the new pub. I hope you will all understand. I feel very good about what I have planned so, keep your minds and your palates opened.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The brew house. Lots of copper cleaning to do-wax on/wax off.

The North dining area-tile laid down.

The main bar area under construction.

Here is a shot of the main dining area. Getting ready for tile.

Excuse the Mess

Here's a pic of the fermentation cellar during cleaning.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Dumping Beer

When O'Hara's closed we still had a inventory of beer. My first job coming back sadly, was dumping the beer and getting the tanks cleaned. The beer in the fermenters was still chilled and tasted remarkably good. Unfortunately, the cooling system in the serving tank room had quit working, so that beer was warm-real warm. I got to work cleaning the tanks and this process took about a week or so.
I then started working on the brew house, cleaning the mash tun, kettle, heat exchanger and pipes going down to the fermentation cellar. All went very smoothly.
Last week I started to disassemble the brew house piece by piece. I changed all TC fitting gaskets and soaked all other fittings, etc. in Five Star PBW(Powdered Brewery Wash). Everything is almost back together but, I am waiting for a few odd ball gaskets from JVNW(manufacture of our equipment).
I'll be bringing the camera to work tomorrow and hope to get some shots of the progress of the brew pub. Stay tuned...

Saturday, August 18, 2007

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Checking one, two, three, is this thing on?
Welcome to the brewers diary. I'll be posting here to update you on the comings and goings at McCann's Food & Brew. Daily challenges and victories, people I meet, beers I brew. There is a lot going on now at the brew pub. We are in the remodeling phase right now and there is much to do.
As some of you may know, I was the brewer at O'Hara's Brew Pub & Restaurant for eleven years when things came crashing down in April and the business closed. All the things I worked so hard for were lost and as spring turned to summer, I had to do a lot of thinking about what my next step would be. My family and I really wanted to stay in the Central Minnesota area, but brewing jobs are very few and far between here.
I was working with the Small Business Association to look into possibly starting a coffee roastery(this may still happen as a side job) and by chance I was put in touch with two gentlemen who were planning on reopening the brew pub.
Well, we are into the middle of August now and I'm cleaning the brewing equipment getting ready for government approval and looking foward to brewing once again. I'll give more details of what I've been up to soon.