Friday, January 1, 2010

New Years Day. It's been a while since I've been on here, not due to the lack of material, but rather a side effect of the quantity of life to live this time of year. This belated entry is brought to you by a bottle of Hardknott Brewery ale that has traveled 8 time zones in a customer's luggage. Cheers! I'm almost tempted to do a video review, in which I might mention its liveliness.

It's a quiet day here in the pub. This effect is achieved by being shut. After getting out of the pub after 3:00 AM last night (this morning) I managed to sleep until 11:00 AM. That was a long day, including a great evening party of music and happy peeps. Another 45 minutes of lounging was required to convince myself that it was to be a brew day, being that my usual weekend brewing days were to be otherwise occupied this weekend. I didn't want to move. I knew everyone else would likely be avoiding work, perhaps engaging in some form of recreation or watching some silly Rose Bowl thingy. Motivation to leave the comfort of home and drive to the brewery came reluctantly. It's taken half a day for me to realize the privilege I have of spending a day in my own brewery, doing what I like to do. A line from Billy Bragg's "The Short Answer" comes to mind, and if you correctly mention it to me at the pub then there's a pint in one of the pumps with your name on it.

(The "Final Frontier" in the bottle has a bit of a spicy quality to it. I'm sure Woolpack Dave, who is out there somewhere, will divulge the hop that is causing that).

So far I avoided the widespread practice of doing a Poll or Best Of or some sort of Resolution on this blog. Not going to happen; my regard for patterns of numerical significance on the calendar is minimal. Nearly every day there is some sort of personal or business widget that needs tweaking. There is some good stuff coming up on the short term horizon, though. In the very, very, very short term, there is a batch of Union Dew undergoing heat exchange in the brewery right now, giving me time to write this entry. The next batch after this is going to be interesting; this year I get to be involved in the local Collaboration Beer. Around a dozen local breweries are brewing the same beer. Mostly. The relative percentages in the grain bill is determined. The yeast is a WY3522 Ardennes, which I will be harvesting from Oakshire in the next couple of weeks. The three hops have been named, but the timing and quantity of the drops are up to the brewery. For me, never having had formal training or time spent in a large brewery, I'm given the challenge of working with three hops, a strain of yeast, and three types of grain that I've never used before. Needless to say, the nourishing liquid that we release will be the only cask-conditioned offering to be sampled at the KLCC Microbrew Festival in February.

In the longer term, we will be continuing to refine the menu, adding a larger and more diverse list of daily specials. Some new experimental ales are also on the horizon, and I'm hoping to acquire some more firkins this summer when hopefully the cash flow issues might ease, as I would like to do more aging with wood.

See you at the pub. All six engines are deployed, but I think the Tanninbomb cask's days are numbered.


Whorst said...

Have you decided on what yeast you'll be using to further your exploits?

Nick said...

I need to make it over for a pint of the Tannen Bomb, before she blows! Also, you will be happy to know that we have all of our casks filled! We "should" run the line from our cellar next week and be pulling real ale by the weekend.

Brewers Union Local 180 said...

Re: Yeast - Commercial sources are pricy. Am hoping to play with harvesting and culturing this year. I'd also like to see what I can do with the strain from the collaboration brew. Otherwise will generally stick to Nottingham for established brews and would like to find an affordable source for the California Ale Yeast.

Re: Block15 - There are three casks of Tanninbomb left, and I'll be tapping each one around the middle of the next three months. I stopped by last weekend to see about the cask ale and was told middle of the month. I'm ready for it.