Ramble On

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Catching Up with Beaver Run Brewery

A few weeks back, just after the Chocolate Maple Porter had finished bottle-conditioning, I took a sample over to Dan's and had a little visit.  Besides the serious matter at hand of evaluating how the homebrew had come out, I knew he had been working on some upgrades to his brewing set up that I wanted to check out.

So before we even cracked open the offering of the day, we went out for a site visit to the basement of his barn, where he is clearing out some old equipment and siding so that he can move a much larger operation outside of the house.

The first photo here is of a subterranean room that used to house a walk-in refrigerator when the place was first built in the 1930's.  It had been inoperable since Sally and Dan moved in, mainly used for storage.  Now Dan hopes to take advantage of the consistent cellar temperatures to establish a lagering room.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that Dan is one of my mentors in the homebrew hobby.  That all started with a taste of his Beaver Run Flat Tale Ale, in October 2009 - photo here from the patio in his side yard.  He shared with me how the brew had evolved since he started doing it - and he had a tasty product there.  Eventually I've gotten started too, although I am not far enough along to have my own recipes!

After taking a look at the project out in the barn, we walked over to the hopyard, where things have gone idle for the winter.   The dead vines have been pruned back to the rhizomes, and all the rope and twine taken down to over winter.

Finally, we needed to decide whether we would try his latest batch as well.  That took us down into the basement, where he stores some of his brewing equipment.

He's added a propane set-up for future batches, and recently moved up to a 15-gallon copper so that he can do all grain batches.  It's quite the thing.

I don't see myself getting that far along.  Not for now, anyway.

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