Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Boston Beer Co. Tour

It's been a long few weeks.

I remember back in June one of my coworkers walking into my cube and telling me about a major deadline that got pushed up from October to July. He asked "What do you think? Is this possible?"

Considering all the other projects going on I responded "Well, July and August are going to suck."

My predictions came true, and I never could expected the additional stuff to happen, some bad, some good. Two of Nikki's family members passed away within the space of a 3 week period. That was really awful. We've done a lot of flying recently. Nikki got a new job downtown, which is awesome! She's loving it there.

But all of this happening on top of me getting slammed at work has been stressful. I haven't even touched R2DBREW for the past 3 weeks. I did just pick up some copper pipe and fittings the other day and I've made a little bit of progress this past week, and I'm going to continue this week. The plumbing is moving along pretty quick. I think plumbing will be done in a week or two. Then keg modifications and shining. Then controls. And at some point, painting.

I haven't been the only one slammed either. The other brewers at work are experiencing the same workload. So much so we've pushed back our next Brew Comp. to December 7th (I think). Which is good because I will have R2-DBREW done by then. God help me if I don't, because that means either major setbacks or that this onslaught of work continues for the next 3 months.

I'm excited for this competition because we're switching it up a bit. We all put a different style of beer up for brewing. When the invite gets sent out everyone who accepts will vote on which style of beer we should brew! I think that makes the whole thing more personal and will get more people's interest.

To continue my last post however, the Boston Beer Co. tour was great! If you don't know Boston Beer Co., A) you should smack yourself, B) after you recover realize that they are who brews Sam Adams. What I didn't know is that they also brew Angry Orchard Cider and Twisted Tea. Who knew? Well our tour guide was very informative and really knew her stuff. I was totally the beer geek in the crowd, being the only one knowing what the Reiheitsgebot is. The tour was short. First she showed us where all the brewing equipment was. Really it is quite a small brewery there. That's where they do all their experimental stuff. Maybe 8 fermenters total. Not large one's either. I learned there that Sam Adam's decoction mashes all their Sam Adam's beers! I had no idea. I didn't think any breweries took the time to do such a labor intensive mash cycle. For those keeping track at home, decoction mashing is where you take part of your mash, put it in a side pot, boil it, and add it back to the mash, thereby raising the temperature of the mash. It's kind of like infusion mashing, but instead of water, it's your mash.  And it takes a lot longer.

The next part was the tasting room which is where things went from good to good-er. We got to taste 3 of Sam Adam's beers, the Boston Lager (of course), the Whitewater IPA, and... huh. I actually can't remember, but there was a third one. They gave us these sweet little sampling glasses. The people at the other end of the table weren't very thirsty apparently. This is where it got really good. They gave up the rest of their pitcher to us, and my brother in law and I proceeded to imbibe. Next was the gift shop, where I picked up some goodies on the way out and then off to Doyle's, where I had another pint of beer so I could get my free glass!

All before noon.

It was a good trip.

Been there? Let us know!!


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    It opened in 1995 and produces 75,000 barrels of beer annually.
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    It is the subject of the currently-airing Discovery Channel series Brew Masters, which premiered Sunday, November 21, 2010.
    The brewery takes its name from Dogfish Head, Maine where founder Sam Calagione spent summers as a child.

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