Tuesday, January 29, 2008

and the Winner is...

J.D. Jorgenson is the winner of two Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild Winterfest tickets. Thanks for all of the entries. It was REALLY tough to choose a winner. The poems I recieved were great as well as the other essays. Minnesotans are truely passionate about beer and their local breweries. I'm also happy to see folks are thinking about the "green" benefits of buying local hand crafted beer. I plan on doing some blog entries on some of the things I do at the brewery to be a little more earth friendly.

Here is the winning entry:
I believe brewing beer is an old art, craft and trade that needs to be held on to like the old Carnegie libraries. Today there are far too many historic buildings being torn down to be replaced by a faint glimpse of what they were. Brewing good beer is very similar I believe. I view brewing as an art form. The time, patience, labor, craftsmanship and love put into brewing are the same attributes fundamental to fine furniture making, writing, timber framing, stone building, blacksmithing, pottery and other art forms. These attitudes, lifestyles, an awareness to detail, should be passed on family to family, generation to generation, artist to artist, brew master to apprentice. I am a firm believer in quality not quantity. That’s why I believe in what McCann’s is doing, you are home brewing small batches to be appreciated and shared. Unlike a number of macro breweries that focus on quantity, McCann’s focuses on taste, depth, aroma and texture. While I do not brew anything but coffee, I do know that brewers such as yourselves, Fitgers, Town Hall Brewery, Surly and a few others make us want to support our local breweries because you transform brewing into an art form. We want something handmade and full of flavor because it fits with a fine night of cooking food, music, friends, family and great conversation. If we don’t support our local brewers, artists and folk arts I believe we will soon loose our identity of who we are and where we live. The small town, front porch, back roads and our sense of adventure rely on this knowledge to be passed on and held firm and continued. The pace of our lives will continue to get faster and faster. Sitting down and enjoying a pint or growler of Minnesota home brewed beer with friends, and appreciating another person’s labor of love slows us down and reconnects us. It brings us back to our hometown, the front porch, that wonderful meal and to the friends and family we wished we would see more of.

Best of luck to McCann’s Food and Brew. May there be many years of great beer.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Winterfest Ticket Give-A-Way

I told you it would be good. I have two Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild Winterfest tickets to for a lucky Minnesota beer lover. These babies are worth $45 a piece and the event is sold out.
You ask...what do I gotta do?
Write me a essay about Minnesota beer. Why it's important to support your local breweries, history, funny stories, etc. Just make it about the great beer in Minnesota.
Email this to be at:
Put "Essay" in the subject line.
You got until Monday, January 28th, 6pm CST
Yes, it's short notice, but think of it as a good weekend project. I will announce the winner Tuesday, January 29th. Winner will be contacted by email. Of course, I will publish the winning essay on the blog, so try to keep it somewhat family friendly.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Cannery Row Live at McCann's!

My band Cannery Row will be playing at McCann's Friday, February 22nd-7-10pm. If you are a fan of Americana music come check us out. Check out the link on the left for Cannery Row's MySpace page.
Tune into the blog tomorrow as I will have a very
special prize give away. Seriously-it's a good one!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Some Updates

I brewed our first lager last week. This one is gonna be another big brew. I'll release more details as we get closer to it's release. I've been busy getting my things together for Winterfest on February 8th. Running through the draft set up making sure there are no leaks, etc. There may be a surprise beer that is not mentioned in the Winterfest program. It's aging now and we'll see how it comes along.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Trippel Brew

Brewing the Trippel went great Friday. I got a 1.083 OG which is what I wanted. Fermentation is chugging along well today. This one's gonna be tasty.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

High Bank Amber Review

Our High Bank Amber Ale had a nice review in the D'Lish section of yesterdays St. Cloud Times. Thanks for the kind words Bruce!
Today started with me trying to track down my missing Belgian yeast that Fed Ex didn't deliver Monday(sorry Dean). Lucky for me they didn't ship it back and I was able to pick it up at the local Fed Ex facility.
I recieved my malt order today. The back feels pretty good after moving 87 55# bags twice. Must be getting back into brewing shape.
I brew the Tripel Trouble tomorrow. This is the big brother of my old O'Hara's brew Dubbel Trouble. Fasten your seat belts folks!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Settling In

Sorry for the lack of updates. I'm settling in at the brewery trying to get the day to day tasks taken care of.
I'm waiting for the next order of grain to arrive anyday. Yeast and othe items are rolling in. I got the table tent beer menus done today, but I'm still waiting for the signs of our logos to get done.
The Prairie Porter got a very nice review on Beer Advocate.com, so thats cool.
Prepping to get ready for the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild's Winterfest hobbling draft equipment together.
I have also been reading the book "Fitgers-The Brewery and It's People" by Clarence "Coopen" Johnson. Very interesting read with great photos.
I need to be practicing my guitar more, but it's hard finding time. The flatpicking tunes are starting to sound a little rusty. Hopefully I'll get the fingers back in shape by the time Cannery Row starts playing out again after our holiday break.
I've settled on a Tripel for the next seasonal, but I'm up in the air about doing a Doppel Schwarzbier or a bock for the next dark seasonal. Maybe a Doppelschwarzbierbock? Hows that for a hybrid?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Deep Seven IPA Now on Tap

One for the lovers of hoppy craft brews. Seven deep layers of flavor consisting of three English malts and four hop varieties (2 U.S./2 English). Generous portions of hops are added to the brew kettle and hops are also added to the fermenter for a wonderful hop aroma.
It feels great to finally have all of the beers on. I'll be doing staff training tonight and tomorrow to get them up to speed. Things are coming together. Still waiting on signage to be done which is a little frustrating, but I have learned to be patient. We have some fun things coming in the future so stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Prairie Porter Now on Tap

The first in our Dark Seasonal line up. Brewed with four English malts and two English hop varieties giving this beer a dark, rich, roasty background with light smokey undertones. Bittersweet chocolate flavor develops in the finish. A very nice ale for the winter time to enjoy with friends.
Deep Seven should be on tomorrow.
I have a Tripel and Doppelschwarzbier planned for the next seasonals.