It’s official, the brewery is open for business.
Last thursday the final health department inspection got completed, and I promptly posted that we were going to have a soft opening on thursday night to celebrate it. I sent out a post on facebook, a couple emails and a blast of text messages. Lucky for me, I have a lot of friends who like to drink beer, and there was a steady stream of people in the brewery for the opening. I went through somewhere between 15 and 20 gallons of beer in 3.5 hours, and I thank you all for coming out for the event.
Justin, who is one of the brewers at Lumberyard, had the honor of drinking the first pint, and paying the first dollar (or 4) into the cash register that night.
To be fair, Grant from New Belgium Brewing actually showed up at around 4:00 to have a beer in an attempt to be the first, but I actually wasn’t even at the brewery yet (I opened at 5), so I saw him driving out of the parking lot as he sent me a nasty text message about being thirsty (don’t worry, he came back by later that evening).
Let it never be said that the brewing industry has no sense of camaraderie.
So, without further ado, I want to let everyone know that there’s going to be a grand opening party at the brewery next saturday, October 13th. Fratelli’s is going to be out in the parking lot with their pizza truck, and I’ll have at least 3 different varieties of beer on tap. The party is going to start around 3:00, and we’ll do last call around 8:45. I’ll get everyone more details as I hammer them out this week, but rest assured, you don’t want to miss it.
Speaking of beer, I’ve got the first 3 beers in the lineup named and ready to roll.
All of you who came by thursday night got to test out the first batch of Belgian Pale Ale. That beer will have the somewhat tongue-in-cheek name of “Chateau Americana”. I came up with it because the base beer has a lot in common with your typical american pale ales, but has an addition of some distinctly belgian malts, and uses a delicious belgian yeast to help give it a nice round, full flavor. I finish it off with a small dose of american cascade hops for a nice hop aroma that plays well with the belgian yeast.
Number 2 is going to be the farmhouse ale that I had at the Octobeerfest, and will simply be called the “928 Local Farmhouse Ale”. It starts as a belgian strong ale as its base, and is fermented with my hosue strain of wild yeast. The wild yeast gives it a slight acidic bite and dries the beer out nicely, so that it’s not too sweet for a 8% beer. To kick it up a notch, a dose of local honey is added partway through fermentation and gives the beer a really nice floral honey aroma to offset some of the bite from the wild yeast. It’s not filtered on the way to the fermenter, and has a beautiful thick head to show for it.
The final beer in the regular lineup is the vanilla coffee stout, which is called the “Pan American Stout”. The name seemed to fit considering I use vanilla beans from mexico in the beer (which have a bit more of a ‘smokey’ flavor to them versus some other vanilla beans out there) and a dose of columbian coffee to help round out the flavor profile.
I’ll definitely have the first two next weekend, and depending on how fermentation goes (looking good so far), I should have at least a keg or two of the Pan American Stout as well.
Stay tuned here for more details on the opening as well as some other updates on taproom hours after the opening and future batches.