Great Lakes Brewing News February/March 2015 : Page 1
All Natural Brewing Co. Sustainable Home Brewing g BEAU BEER. L to R-Beau's founders, Tim Beauchesne and son, Steve Beauchesne, along with head brewer Matthew O'Hara in their Vanleek Hill, Ottawa brewhouse. PHOTOS BY ROBERT HUGHEY ILLUSTRATION BY HANS GRANHEIM By Amelia Slayton Loftus e have so many amaz-ing beers to choose from these days—craft brewed from all cor-ners of America and abroad—and in every style imaginable, so in the midst of our hectic daily schedule it might seem absurd to want to take the time to brew your own beer. Why spend a huge chunk of a precious day off hoisting 5 gallon carboys and creating a sticky mess in your kitchen? If you are a fan of fresh and good beer, enjoy the feeling of slow crafting something by hand, and want your consumptive habits to be as gentle to the environment as possible, you’ll agree on several reasons why it is so very much worth it! For most of the dedicated home brewers I have met, making beer at home transcends the classic reasons to brew, like saving money or having a bottomless vat of fresh beer. Enjoying the process as much as the beer is part of what home brewing is all about. What really drives the most passionate home brew-ers is a joy of craft, the thrill of seeking excellence, and for some, a desire to make beer that is as environmentally sustain-able as possible—something many craft breweries are doing all they can to accomplish today. Brewing sustainably does not compromise quality. Brewing sustainably is all about crafting excellent beer, because excellent beer is never wasted. N By Robert Hughey ot many breweries have a labyrinth of rooms containing the evolu-tion of the brewery, from some 300 hec-tolitres in 2006, its first year, to around 40,000 hectolitres projected for 2014. Beau’s All Natural of Vankleek Hill has much of its brewing heritage intact. From the original 15 barrel brew kettle to its new 60 barrel brew kettle, and various bits in between, Beau’s can chart and show the brew-ery's growth and expansion in its rambling, co-joined buildings totalling some 34,000 square feet. The brewery, situated an hour east from Ottawa, now employs around 100 people. It is both a testimony to their aggressive, free-wheeling style of creating beers and buzz on the fly, and the ability to deliver a num-ber of great beers in a variety of styles from certified organic ingredients. Family owned by the Beauchesne family, father Tim, and son Steve, started the brewery with its flagship brew, Lug Tread Lagered Ale, a Kölsch style beer that has certi-fied organic malts and spring water; this hybrid brew still carries the load with some 80 percent of production, and allows the brewers absolute freedom to be adventurous other-wise, with such things as barrel fermentation in tequila, rum, red wine and ice-wine barrels. Sister Jennifer Beauchesne joined the brewery when it started, doing press releases, copywriting See Beau's p. 6 INSIDE Event Calendar .....................3 Beer Beacon .........................8 Homebrew ............................. 10 Beers To Us! .......................25 Map/Directory................ 18-23 State by State News Pennsylvania . 12 Ohio ............... 13 Michigan ........ 14 SW Michigan . 15 SE Michigan .. 16 Indiana .......... 24 Illinois ........... 26 Chicago ......... 26 Wisconsin ..... 28 N Wisconsin .. 29 Minnesota ...... 30 Ontario .......... 32 New York ....... 34 Locally grown hops. PHOTO BY AMELIA SLAYTON LOFTUS. See Sustainable p 4
Taking Home Brewing To The Next Level
Amelia Slayton Loftus
We have so many amazing beers to choose from these days—craft brewed from all corners of America and abroad—and in every style imaginable, so in the midst of our hectic daily schedule it might seem absurd to want to take the time to brew your own beer. Why spend a huge chunk of a precious day off hoisting 5 gallon carboys and creating a sticky mess in your kitchen? If you are a fan of fresh and good beer, enjoy the feeling of slow crafting something by hand, and want your consumptive habits to be as gentle to the environment as possible, you’ll agree on several reasons why it is so very much worth it!
For most of the dedicated home brewers I have met, making beer at home transcends the classic reasons to brew, like saving money or having a bottomless vat of fresh beer. Enjoying the process as much as the beer is part of what home brewing is all about. What really drives the most passionate home brewers is a joy of craft, the thrill of seeking excellence, and for some, a desire to make beer that is as environmentally sustainable as possible—something many craft breweries are doing all they can to accomplish today. Brewing sustainably does not compromise quality. Brewing sustainably is all about crafting excellent beer, because excellent beer is never wasted.
I’ve been asked this question many times: “Is sustainable brewing a perpetual beer machine, a way to have a never ending supply of beer?”
Although a perpetual beer machine would seem like wishful thinking, from an ecologist’s point of view, in the bigger picture, sustainable brewing helps ensure a forever renewing supply of beer is possible. All of the energy and raw materials that go into producing beer represent a big drain on the battery banks of the environment. Although those battery banks are huge and have many years of life left, all the water, power, and cropland resources that are depleted subtract from the total each time a batch of beer is brewed.Sustainable brewing is all about reducing environmental demand and putting some of that battery life back into the system. Reclaiming water, using renewable energy instead of fossil fuels, and returning spent ingredients to the earth are all ways to do this. The goal is to continue providing the resources needed for making beer indefinitely.
What Goes In
As a homebrewer, it helps to look at the 5 main categories of resources used in any home brewery, and then figure out ways to make use each resource more efficiently. Water is the most conspicuously consumed resource in beer making, and usually the first place brewers look to improve sustainability. Today fresh water supplies are becoming scarce in many parts of the world. Some brewing operations can consume 20 gallons of water per gallon of beer produced. Much of this water is used in cooling and cleaning and can be reclaimed.
For example, use eco-friendly cleaning agents that can break down quickly, so spent cleaning solutions can be used to water plants. Just allow the solution to stand in an open container for a couple of days. Cooling water can also be used for irrigating, or cleaning. I like to run the hot water that exits my wort chiller right into my clothes washer, which saves water and heating costs.
Brewing also requires a significant amount of energy, especially the heat kilojoules required to heat the brewing water and boil the ingredients for an hour or more. More energy is expended in cooling, and in transport of both raw materials and the finished beer. The good news for homebrewers—you don’t need to ship the finished product to the consumer, unless you drive a few bottles to a friend’s house to share. There are many ways to save energy as a home brewer. Use solar or other passive heating to pre-heat the brewing water, and you won’t need to burn as much fossil fuel to boil the beer. Extract brewers can use a shorter 30 minute boil method to cut down on energy consumption. Alternative energy such as solar electric or wood fired heating might also be an option.
There are so many ways to “green up” your homebrew ingredients, but by far the best way is to choose local and organic. The food industry is the second largest consumer of fossil fuels in America (second to the automobile industry), and that includes the growing of beer ingredients like barley and hops. Much of that fuel is burned getting the ingredients from the grower to the processing plant and then from the plant to the distributor, the retailer, and the consumer. So sourcing ingredients produced closer to home is one of the best things you can do.
The classic ingredients in beer, aside from water, are barley malt, hops and yeast.These are listed in order of quantity. The logical place to start is by using local water. Buying bottled water in plastic jugs is a big problem for the environment, and for brewing it is just about the least sustainable thing you could do. Water that comes out of your own tap or a local spring is by far the best option. In most cases a simple carbon water filter is all you need to bring the water up to brewing quality.
Malt is the next most plentiful ingredient in beer recipes by volume, so it makes sense to start by trying to find more local sources of fermentable sugars. Barley malt is a cereal grain which includes enzymes that release fermentable sugars from the starchy grains. Many other sources for fermentable sugar can be used in beer, usually in conjunction with barley malt. Examples include pumpkin, apples, strawberries, honey, molasses, plus other fruits and grains that are grown on nearby farms. If you are willing to think outside the box there are so many possibilities that are as tasty as they are eco-friendly.
Hops are a specialty crop primarily used as a flavor and a preservative in beer. Most of today’s beer drinkers are accustomed to the signature flavor of hops, but that does not rule out the use of other herbs and spices. In the past each brewer had their own particular blend of herbs used to season the beer, and with a resurgence of European and traditional beer styles, the use of other flavors is no longer such a weird thing to do. Everything from dandelion to lavender, lemon, mint, or yarrow can be used alongside the hops or even in place of them to create a unique and regional brew. If hops are your thing, seek out local sources.
Renewed commercial hop production is also springing up in many areas of the country. For the past hundred years commercial hop production has primarily been in the Pacific Northwest, but in the past 5-10 years commercial crops have been successful in places like New York, New England, Wisconsin, and Colorado. Many homebrewers grow their own and are even willing to share, and growing your own organic hops is easy and very sustainable.
The Farmer’s Market
Local farmer’s markets are a fantastic place to look for local ingredients as well as inspiration for your next wild concoction. You can also save a significant amount of money by buying during peak harvest season. Prices tend to drop significantly when fruit and other crops are coming off the fields by the truckload, and this is when a farmer is eager to make a great deal on a bulk purchase... if you are willing to take it now! Buying local and in season fruit can make your next brew affordable, sustainable, and exceptional.
Making great beer requires lots of cleaning, and the cleaning and sanitizing agents used can have an impact on the environment. This practice old school practice of using chlorine bleach is now frowned upon by many modern award winning homebrewers because of the possible nasty taint it can impart to the finished beer if not fully rinsed. It is also less environmentally friendly than other choices such as iodophor or acid based sanitizers, which break down more readily in the environment and do not require a gross polluting industry to manufacture. When choosing cleaning and sanitizing agents, look for ones that are environmentally friendly, biodegrade quickly, and leave little residue on your brewing equipment,
When it comes to equipping your home brewery, these days there is a dizzying array of options to choose from. It helps to start by making a list of what you will need. Not sure?Best bet is to invest in a book or guide first. Since some of the equipment needed can be expensive, you will make a better investment if you know more about the brewing process before you make those purchases. If your budget is tight and you have the time, you can save a heap of money by buying some equipment used. Brew pots, glass carboys, draft equipment and bottle cappers are great items to find used as they can withstand years of wear and tear. Buying used is a very sustainable option, too. Manufacturing durable goods can be very energy intensive and can be a pollution source. Small plastic items are sometimes necessary, and should be purchased new because used items can harbor bacteria that could ruin a batch of beer. To keep your homebrewery as sustainable as possible, look for glass, rubber, or silicone items instead of plastic when possible, as these materials are more environmentally friendly and have a much longer service life than plastic parts do.
Last but not least, some equipment can be handmade. Bottle draining stands and sparging sprinklers are good DIY projects that are reasonably easy to build. Look for a very simple to make bottle draining stand, along with recipes and lots of other stuff, at www. Amelialoftus.com.
Not many breweries have a labyrinth of rooms containing the evolution of the brewery, from some 300 hectolitres in 2006, its first year, to around 40,000 hectolitres projected for 2014. Beau’s All Natural of Vankleek Hill has much of its brewing heritage intact. From the original 15 barrel brew kettle to its new 60 barrel brew kettle, and various bits in between, Beau’s can chart and show the brewery's growth and expansion in its rambling, co-joined buildings totalling some 34,000 square feet. The brewery, situated an hour east from Ottawa, now employs around 100 people.
It is both a testimony to their aggressive, free-wheeling style of creating beers and buzz on the fly, and the ability to deliver a number of great beers in a variety of styles from certified organic ingredients. Family owned by the Beauchesne family, father Tim, and son Steve, started the brewery with its flagship brew, Lug Tread Lagered Ale, a Kölsch style beer that has certified organic malts and spring water; this hybrid brew still carries the load with some 80 percent of production, and allows the brewers absolute freedom to be adventurous otherwise, with such things as barrel fermentation in tequila, rum, red wine and ice-wine barrels. Sister Jennifer Beauchesne joined the brewery when it started, doing press releases, copywriting and late night growler filling, but she was paid in beer. She got her first pay cheque in 2007 when she took over her brother Phil's sales job while he recuperated from a broken foot; she stayed on after that. In January 2014, she officially became Beau’s communications director.
Matt O’Hara, head brewer, formerly of Black Oak and Denison's of Toronto, had moved to the area and, with a bit of happenstance, met Steve Beauchesne over a brew or two and talked his way into the budding brewery project.
A Strong Start
The original 15 barrel brewhouse pushed production to around the 20,000 hetctolitre level, with the new brewing system set to double that. The new 60 barrel brew kettle has an internal calandria, and a hop back is soon to be added. The brewery is outfitted with 17 x 60 hectolitre fermenters, six 240 hectoliter fermenters and six at 300 barrels, with some of the fermenters used for aging and as bright beer tanks. A bright new quality control lab has also been built on-site.
The introduction of a bar and sampling area right in the brewery has made the brewery a destination, getting people to hang out a little longer and try another beer or two, rather than grab a few beers and head out, as was the case before. Ottawa area bars, restaurants and food trucks provide tasty weekend eats at the brewery, another way of keeping people at the brewery a little longer. And while that is one avenue they have pursued to draw custom, Beau’s has also been very busy supporting art and music in the Ottawa area.
Beau’s has been instrumental in a number of initiatives such as the introduction of the ‘B-Side Brewing Label’, which saw internationally renowned brewers brands produced, sold, and delivered from the brewery, under the umbrella of the B-Side label.
Beau’s co-founder, Steve Beauchesne, said in a press release that B-Side is ‘like a record label, but for beer. Not to sound too prolific or anything, but I think this project might totally change the way beer is sold in this province.’ He added: ‘B-Side is not about new beers from Beau’s — it’s us travelling the globe to meet like-minded brewers, and then working with them to create authentic versions of their recipes we can brew fresh right here in Ontario.’
Ander Kissmeyer of Kissmeyer Beer, in Denmark, was the first to ‘sign’ to the B-Side Brewing Label. His B-Side creation, called Kissmeyer Nordic Pale Ale, features a unique northern-inspired medley of ingredients including sweet gale, yarrow, dried heather flowers, rose hips, and cranberries for a balanced fruit-and-herb bouquet, while a maple syrup addition rounds out the character of the beer, according to a press release. The Nordic Pale Ale features an intricate herbal nuance, moderate hop presence, a pleasant dryness, and a crisp finish.
Beau’s also became the first-ever Canadian brewery—joining New Belgium Brewing, Colorado and Bison Brewing, California—to become one of three breweries in the world certified as a Benefit Corporation or ‘B Corp.’ A Certified B Corp is a for-profit entity that has achieved very high levels of social and environmental performance, and has chosen to consider benefit to community and the environment in business decision-making processes, instead of simple profit.
“We’re building on the same values we started the brewery with years ago—essentially, the belief that beer tastes better when you can feel good about drinking it,” said Beau’s co-founder Steve Beauchesne in a press release. “For me, the B Corp certification is about making a public commitment to maintaining our high ethical standards, and to being open and honest with the people in our communities who buy our beer,” he added.
Just Some of the Many Beau’s Beers
Sticke Alt Festivale Plus at 7% abv, from Beau's shows a reddish brown to plum colour. It delivers a rich and malty nose that leads to an oak, woody malt element, and while the hops are suppressed, the hop bitterness is still evident, with a late touch of vanilla. It's a flavourful brew that is aged on oak, and is part of the brewery's 'Wild Oats Series'.
Matt’s Sleepy Time Belgian-style Imperial Stout romps in at % abv. This ebony coloured stout releases a mocha head of dense foam. Aromatics of coffee and rich, dark chocolate are released from its core. On the palate, espresso coffee and dark chocolate co-mingle with hop bitterness and a late hit of alcohol. The finish is extended, warming, spicy, with hints of black licorice and wisps of vanilla extract. This is a fine brew worthy of serious exploration. It is part of the brewery's 'Wild Oats Series'.
Beaver River IPEh, 6% abv, has a twist in it with rum and ginger added before being barrel aged for two months. The result is a hazy autumnal orange coloured beer that releases spice notes, ginger and a depth of malt flavours. The ginger flavour prods the palate awake and it stays in a refreshing manner through from first contact. Ginger sits atop the hop bitterness, while recessed notes of rum tingle late but it’s the ginger that holds centre stage throughout. This is a tasty brew that engages the senses. The beer is part of its ‘Greener Futures Project’.
The Bottle Imp from Beau’s is a 9% abv Russian Imperial stout that pours a glassy ebony colour with a mocha head of dense foam. A nose of deep woods pine, coffee, dark molasses, toast, alcohol and black licorice leads to a mouthful of roast, hop bitterness, alcohol and dark chocolate. An extended dry and bitter finish derived from both roast malts and hop bitterness, has alcohol released from beneath lightly burnt toast. There is also a friendly tussle between roast and chocolate as to which holds the ascendency. The beer is part of its ‘Greener Futures Project’.
Mission Accomplished, a 6.7% abv American IPA that was barrel aged for five months, pours a hazy amber colour with a dense head of almond coloured foam. Lively aromatics of fresh green hops are met by a light spiciness. On the palate, a crisp, citrusy hop forward hop bitterness embraces a sturdy malt backbone. The extended bitter finish has notes of ruby red grapefruit heavily stamped over it. The beer is part of its ‘Greener Futures Project’.
Night Märzen, a 5.5% abv Oktoberfest lager, pours an orange hued colour, pushing out aromas of wet grains and fresh malt. On the palate, it is clearly malt driven with just a kiss of hops. The finish has a sweetish malt start that rolls over into a late dryness. This is the only regularly brewed lager from Beau’s.
Hogan’s Goat, a 6.9% abv bock scented with peppermint, orange peel and juniper, releases an herbaceous nose alongside some spiciness. This reddish-orange coloured beer has sweetish malt on the palate that holds the stage through to the finish.
Find a comprehensive beer list at www.Beaus.ca/beer
Read the full article at http://glbnonline.brewingnews.com/article/Beau+S/1926610/245581/article.html.