Our Brewing Process
Our brewery and processes are on the traditional pre-industrial side. We use a single-step infusion mash and boil in a direct fire copper kettle. Our resulting ales and lagers are mostly Continental, British, and post-modern American. The myriad of malts and hops we play with come from Europe and North America in our never-ending pursuit of delicious beer.
We start our brews with different waters for each beer to accentuate the unique characters that best fit that beer. We stock and select from about twenty-five different barley (and sometimes wheat and rye) malts from the U.S., Canada, the UK, Germany and Belgium. Our 21-barrel brewhouse uses a single-step infusion (British-style) method followed by boiling in our solid copper kettle. In the kettle, we add some from the dozen hops we buy from the U.S. and Germany. Occasionally, we also add our redwood branch tips, cedar branches, fruit, or other herbs.
Following the boil, while cooling this wort (the tasty liquid that will be beer), we add an enzyme that destroys nearly all the gluten from the grains (more on this below). We regularly use one of either two yeasts, a lager and an ale. During summer, we bring in a third culture for our saisons.
After fermentation in conical fermenters, our beer ages in tanks in our cold cellar for at least another month. In the end, we fill kegs to take to our favorite bars and restaurants.
Since our first batch in 1992, our goal has been to make the best tasting beer we can. We believe that traditional processes have a place in the modern brewery. While much of our protocol extends the time from kettle to glass, we continue to practice these long established techniques because the beer deserves it. Respected beer is tasty beer.
Our 20 barrel brewhouse has no computers, requiring kinship between raw ingredients, equipment, and brewer in order to produce our beer. We use sight, smell and taste (and some lab gadgetry) to determine when a beer is ready to be released to the world.
While most of our beer is made with just malted barley and hops, we use different grains and herbs in some of our seasonal beers. These ingredients and the flavors they produce give us a glimpse into a time when the beer world was not dominated by hops.
Although most of our beers are fermented with our house lager and ale yeasts, we usually slip in a few saisons in Summertime. We hope you will find a few new favorites in our offerings. Cheers!