Update on the Brewery

I’m sorry for the long silence. Things have been crazy. There will not be much activity for a while because we are moving. Our prayers (and perhaps yours?) were answered. Mrs. Wine got the job; I got the job as well. We found a beautiful century home. When we went into the basement Mrs. Wine said to me, “You can brew here” and I was sold. I have big plans for the brew room which will culminate in a keezer. Lots of pictures to follow. There will also be brewing again with recipes. It’ll be fun.

So patience please and the blog will pick up once we are settled.

Updates on the Brewery

Well, as you may have noticed, the Brewery is temporarily closed. Hopefully, after Easter (if not before), it will be reopened for business. I think perhaps many people will be happy about that. One of the things that stood out to be in the End of Year post that WordPress put together is that my most popular posts deal with gluten free beer. So for those of you who come here looking for tips or recipes in that regard, hang in there for they will be back. In the mean time, I hope you don’t mind my posts on books, culture, and sports. After all, a Brew pub is more than the brew, it is the conversations that take place. That’s what those other posts are–conversations while you wait on another cold one.

Help support a new Gluten Free Brewery!

When I was experimenting (mainly learning) how to brew gluten free I spent many hours reading on Homebrewtalk’s GF forum. One of the main contributors when I was there who really taught me a lot was Igliashon. Turns out, he is now a brewer with a new gluten free brewery (Ghostfish Brewing Company) in Seattle. They are launching a kickstarter campaign and if you have some spare cash, I’d urge you to contribute and help him out. His beers are unique and outside the box and I brewed one based on his advice once…and it was the best gluten free beer I’ve ever had. And I’m not exaggerating. Here is his post copied from Homebrewtalk.

“Long time no see, fellow gluten-free homebrewers! Some of you may know me, some of you may not, it’s been a while since I was posting obsessively here. The reason: I’ve turned pro, and my brewery is a few months away from opening!

We’re called Ghostfish Brewing Company, and we are gluten-free start to finish. Our beers are made with Grouse gluten-free malts and I have been obsessively perfecting our flagship recipes over the last several months. The results have been nothing short of incredible–I am completely confident that all of our beers could enter competition against barley beers and the BJCP-certified judges would be none the wiser.

However, as is the case for most homebrewers-turning-pro, banks have been rather shy about lending to us. My partners and I, along with a lone angel investor, have ponied up enough to get everything we need to get rolling–a 15 bbl steam brewhouse, 6 tanks, an awesome building with a sweet taproom, and ingredients for our flagship brews. The one thing we couldn’t quite stretch for was a pilot system and lab to develop new beers. I’m brewing my R&D batches on a 5-gallon homebrew setup in the brewery kitchen, but I’m about to get kicked out so that the kitchen can resume being “just a kitchen”. This means that I’m basically going to be unable to brew anything but our flagship beers, and while these ARE three of the best beers I’ve ever made, I’d really like to be able to offer a broader range. My dream is to someday offer amazing gluten-free versions of nearly every BJCP style, not just for my personal enjoyment but so my fellow gluten-intolerants can experience the full range of beer styles.

So we’ve launched a Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/898556630/ghostfish-brewing-company-100-gluten-free-beer.

I’d like to draw your attention to a couple rewards that may be of interest to those of you with a bit of interest in turning pro yourselves. For $1500, we’ll invite you in to the brewery to brew a 1/2-bbl batch of collaborative beer with us to be served in the taproom. This could be straight-up YOUR recipe, I call it “collaborative” because some potential backers may not have the brewing experience to put together a recipe of their own. But anyway, that brew session also includes a tour of the brewery and all the Q&A you could want, as well as all the rewards below it (a 64-oz stainless insulated growler, 4 pint glasses, 4 coasters, a poster of our can art, and an instrumental song composed for you by me!).

But it gets better. For $5000, we’ll take that taproom beer, refine it, and brew it on the 15 bbl system as a limited-release beer that will actually be sold, AND we’ll put your name on the label as “Co-Brewer”. If you’re in Washington or can make it to Seattle for the brew day, you can actually participate in the brewing of it. So you actually get two brew-days with us, one in the lab that you helped fund, one on the brew deck.

For those trying to turn pro, let me tell you that a bank will look at your SBA application a little more favorably if you can tell them that you co-brewed a commercial beer and have the labels to prove it. Heck, I’ll even write you a letter of recommendation.

Thanks for reading, and I hope to be able to share a pint with all of y’all in my taproom soon!”

So once again, go to the kickstarter page and support him!

Temporarily closed

closed

Three Taverns Brewery is going to be temporarily closed. But rest assured, “the streams of alcohol that come trickling down the rocks” as Harry McClintock once put it, will flow again.

We will be closed for several reasons:.

  1. The Brewery is preparing to relocate. The brewmaster doesn’t want buckets of goodness in a fermentation stage when the move takes place.
  2. The brewmaster doesn’t particularly want to move cases of beer.
  3. Because of the impending relocation our fun money has been halved to $20. That means it’ll take me approximately 2 months to save enough money for one brew batch. I’d rather just buy some books or something.

But the blog will still be maintained and I will continue to discuss many things, especially the Untergang des Abendlandes.

Review: Black Jack Pershing

This past weekend I made it to my old hometown and was able to spend a great time with family and friends. I was also able to bring a 6 pack of my Black Jack Pershing to my brother-in-law who helped me brew it.

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This is an interesting beer. I’d never used Mt. Hood hops before and I don’t know if it was my addition choice or what but I will say this: this beer is bitter and will punch you in the face even when you’re ready for it. I actually would say this is more bitter than my all Columbus hop beer, Silver Bullet IPA.

Overall, I really like this beer/cider. It is delicious, has a very complex flavor and is hard to describe but goes down pretty easy.

I told my brother-in-law (henceforth Mr. Bourbon) it reminded me of a sour apple. He agreed, it has an odd flavor profile like an ESB but then suddenly there is a mouthful of apple flavor and it seems like a granny smith. Mr. Bourbon is not on a gluten free diet but loved the beer so I take that as a sign that yes, this one like many other gf beers, is a legit contender.

If you are interested in something that is bitter but apple-ly, I’d recommend you make this brew!

Christmas in September!

While rummaging around in my brew “closet” in the basement I made a fun discovery: one bottle of the Transfiguration IPA and 2 bottles of my 1st Date Dunkel! So I enjoyed those this week and I have a final update on both of them:

in one word I would describe them as excellent beers.

 

The Transfiguration IPA is probably one of the best beers I’ve ever made; certainly it is in the top 2. I’ll most definitely brew that beer again.

The 1st Date Dunkel is also good, but next time I would not add oak and I think I’d up the chocolate. The chocolate flavor didn’t survive the long term bottle conditioning and once the chocolate was gone, it was definitely missing something. But it developed a monster head! I think I could have put a quarter on it and it wouldn’t have sunk down! I mean look at these pictures!

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Ice cream, books and beer

A few updates and thoughts to share with you, my very small audience. 

 

Ice Cream:

        I made gluten free Cookies and Cream ice cream the other day. It turned out even better than I imagined it would. Sooo good. 

Beer:

       So I haven’t brewed any beer in a while which has resulted in a lack of posts. The simple explanation is that I have more than enough right now. Probably at some point in the early winter I’ll brew another dark beer but right now, what I have is sufficient. I plan on visiting Auroch’s Brewery this month and I’ll probably pick up a growler there and my brother-in-law has a 6 pack of Woodchuck Cider’s Belgian White waiting for me in Ohio which means I’ll have even more and not need to brew any more. 

…That being said since Fall is approaching us I’ll probably make some sort of cider. It just seems like the right thing to do this time of year. 

Books

    I put reading The Drunken Botanist aside so there will be no formal review forthcoming. I do recommend the book if you are interested in botanical history or the history of alcohol or appreciate a good writer. The book is a wonderful resource and I stopped reading it because I decided it would better serve me to purchase it and not check it out from the library. That way, I can make annotations and write in the margins. 

   On Facebook I notice a number of people “challenging” other people to list the 10 most influential books they have read. No one has challenged me to that but I thought it looked like fun so I’ll list them here. In no particular order:

  1. The Bible by God the Spirit
  2. The Leap of Faith and the Limits of Reason by Soren Kierkegaard (without this essay I wouldn’t be a Christian)
  3. The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander
  4. The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen 
  5. A Time of Gifts/Between the Woods and the Water by Patrick Leigh Fermor (okay, technically those are 2 books but..)
  6. The Razor’s Edge by Somerset Maugham
  7. The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
  8. Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton (especially chapter 4)
  9. The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  10. Beau Geste by P.C. Wren

What is up with these prices?

My wife and I want to be smart with our money. So we have a financial plan. You could say it gives us some peace of mind. Our 10 year plan (9 years to go!) is this:

  1. Pay off all student loans.
  2. Build our savings
  3. Buy a vacation/retirement home down south

To keep on track, we have fun money that we can spend on whatever we want every month. Our fund money is necessarily limited to $40/month.

So what the heck is up with these hop prices? How am I supposed to brew beer when it costs almost 4 bucks to get 1oz of centennial hops? I’m trying to get all of the ingredients to make my grapefruit IPA and even with a sale, I could only buy the fermentables and then boom! I’m out of fun money. No hops purchased. I felt a bit like Ron Burgundy.

escalated quickly

 

Aurochs Brewing

I’m not sure if this qualifies as product placement but it certainly is an endorsement. I have been waiting some time for this news but Aurochs Brewing Company is officially open!

Aurochs, for those unaware, is a new ALL gluten free brewing company in Pittsburgh. These guys both are celiac so they understand what it means to be gluten free and they both have a passion for good beer. I had a chance to sample some of their product a while back and it was great.

Here is their official announcement:

As of 4:00pm today, August 7th, Aurochs Brewing Co. will be officially open for business!

Moving forward, our hours of operations will be Thursdays & Fridays 4:00-8:00pm and Saturdays Noon-6:00pm. We will host tastings and growler salesduring that time.

We are located at 8321 Ohio River Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15202 (turn on to Walliston Ave to enter our parking lot).

Our significantly abridged plan from now through the end of the year includes a slight increase in capacity over the next few months, which will allow us to sell growlers from the brewery, a secondary location and service a handful of customers who will work with us to maintain the quality and purity (or gluten-freeness) of our beer.

In 2015 we will aim to make a significant jump in production capacity.

We want to be transparent with our friends, neighbors and customers in regards to growler sales and tastings as we deal with the enviable problem of high demand exceeding our limited supply.

As we grow as a brewery, so too will our capacity, but that will take time, money and resources. We hope to that you will continue with your support, enthusiasm and patience as we experience these growing pains.

Please know that we put our beer and our customers first every day.

Also, know that if you have ideas and suggestions or want to share criticism with us about our product or the way we run operate the brewery, we are always accessible (ok, sometimes it might take us a week or two, or six, to respond but we are always listening).

So if you are in the Western PA area or passing through…check them out!