A Year of Learning
Now that our tasting room has been open for a year, we have a better grip on what we’re doing! We’ve tried to learn from our mistakes, and anticipate issues before they become mistakes. Hopefully our beers will continue to improve as we dial in our process and ingredient sourcing! For example, we’ve started testing the viability of our cultures with a microscope, measuring the amount of oxygen in our wort, and we’ve got contracts for the 2019 hop harvest!
We’re also increasing the range of beers available. That means a more common presence of bottles of barrel-aged sour beer, and dark beers on draft. Right now, we’ve got Bangun (coffee porter) and Leaf Fall Down (fall-spiced dark lager). Waiting behind them is an all-English-ingredient stout based on a 100-year-old recipe (including a few kegs aged in rye whiskey barrels), and a Tmavé Pivo (Czech dark lager). We’ve already ordered ingredients for this winter’s Imperial Stout , essentially a stronger version of Boom, Roasted!
To create the time for us to deal with all of that, we’re looking to hire our first full-time brewer!
First Blush Bottle Release
Saturday October 26th at noon is our second bottle release. First Blush is a unique beer created in collaboration with Old Westminster Winery & Vineyard (Westminster, MD). They are a natural winery, meaning that they ferment their wines with wild yeast from the grape skins. This batch began as a basic pale saison-ish base, fermented with a combination of each of our house cultures. We aged it for three months on Old Westminster’s chardonnay pomace (the skins remaining after the juice is pressed). From there we transferred the beer into three Chardonnay barrels for another six months. To one of the barrels we added a spiral of Spanish cedar wood. Finally, we aged the beer on whole Cabernet Franc grapes to contribute a beautiful fresh fruit aroma.
The result is akin to a rosé or blush wine, dry with moderate acidity, and a fun grapefruit twang from the Spanish cedar. The white and red grapes provide some fresh fruit aromatics that remind us of raspberries. The price is $16 for each 500 mL bottle.
For the release we are excited to host an art show for Dustin Sinner in the tasting room! Dustin will bring with him from South Dakota all of the original paintings he’s created for each of our can and bottle labels! All of the original paintings and prints will be for sale during the day.
In November, our current part-time brewer (Warren Hendrickson) is headed off to be the head brewer at Forward, a new brewpub in Annapolis. As a result, we’ve started our search for a full-time replacement. We’re prioritizing previous commercial brewing experience as it is something the two of us lacked. Resumes are due Friday, October 11th. For more details on the job description, check out our job posting.
Other October Events
Our tasting room is always the best place to find our beers, but we are in the midst of beer festival season:
10/12 – Snallygaster in DC. We’ll be pouring Cheater X (IPA with Nelson Sauvin and Galaxy) and Intertwine (Double IPA with Galaxy, Citra, Enigma and Sauvignon Blanc grape juice). Details/Tickets
10/19 Dank Day at RAR Brewing in Cambridge. We’ll be pouring Verdent Verbana, our saison collab with RAR featuring green tea and lemon verbana, and Intertwine. Details/Tickets
10/26 – No Sleep Till Brooklyn at Jailbreak Brewing in Laurel. We’ll be pouring Boom, Undisputed Coconut/Vanilla! And the rye-barrel version of our new English Imperial Stout alongside beers from Other Half, Evil Twin, Union, and Oliver’s. Details/Tickets
Mike & Scott