Our First Deadline

Part of the motivation to start this blog is to document our progress in opening our own brewery.  We have been working through our business plan for nearly six months now–logging innumerable hours reading,researching, networking, visiting, tasting and touring.  As with all new ventures there are loads of details that emerge and must be accounted for which has prolonged the completion of the business plan.  While our excitement has not diminished, the business plan is still not complete!

With that in mind, we have set our first deadline! On February 25 we are meeting with a consultant to review our business plan and discuss financing options.

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A BIG Beer (briefly)

Beer reviews? Of other people’s beer? Definitely a first on this site, but not a last…at least until everyone is drinking ours! I will however preface this review, and by the transitive property any others henceforth, by saying that I’m no expert. None of us are. We like what we like, and that said, we all like good beer (Eileen?), but everyone’s taste is different. Just because I say that something’s good or bad doesn’t mean I know what I’m talking about. Hopefully you’ll be able to align yourselves with some of our tastes, and share a contrary opinion on others. Please comment! We’d like to know what everyone thinks!

So, I went to Total Wine yesterday, and as usual, spent a bit too much money on perhaps a bit too little beer. For those of you who don’t know, Total Wine is something like the alcohol equivalent of Whole Foods. They have tons of stuff, more than anywhere else in the Marietta area, and they let you “build your own” six packs of single beers. I came home with two. For $43. Needless to say, there were some special things in there, and I’d like to briefly tell you about one.

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I discovered this little gem while perusing the menu at Taco Mac the other night: Great Divide’s Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout. That’s a lot of descriptors. But, as the name(s) implies, it’s big, it’s dark, it’s complex, it’s everywhere. According to the brewery’s website, this is exactly the same beer as the Yeti Imperial. However, it is aged in oak casks (hello Real Ale) to impart a smoother taste accented with vanilla undertones. Clocking in at 9.5% ABV and 75 IBUs, it’s no session stout, and that’s a great thing. You pour it into a glass and are greeted by a strong, frothy head bursting with coffee aroma. Your first sip is similar: strong, and bursting. The mouth-feel is rich, as it should be in a beer of this stature, and the heaviness of the brew totally mellows out the bittering hops, creating a collision of coffee, chocolate, and vanilla (as described above) on the palate that drinks smoothly despite the high alcohol content. Definitely recommended to any who appreciate a little coffee kick in their stout. Also, try pouring a little in the bottom of a mug and top it with vanilla ice cream. Let the ice cream melt for a minute, and enjoy!

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Meltdown, Reactor #1

Woke up this morning to find that the baker’s yeast we decided to throw in our IPA 2.0 last night had, indeed, been working hard. The airlock had blown off the top of the fermenter with enough force to spray IPA about four feet up the fermentation room (coat closet) walls, all around. Fortunately Jamie found this first, for some reason decided not to take a picture, and I rolled out of bed just in time to watch him finish cleaning up the mess. I have no idea what we’ve got on our hands now with this batch…but the yeast is still going strong. We’ve been too lazy and forgetful to make a blowoff hose, and we’re paying for it now.

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What do you mean you don’t know what Zymurgy is?!

OK. We get that you don’t know what a lot of the terms we are using mean. In fact we don’t know them all either. What we do know is that we want you to enjoy reading and learning about beer so to make things a little clearer we have added a glossary of beer and beer brewing terms. The link is there on the right sidebar under “You Can:”. There are a lot of words in there so don’t go trying to learn them all at once, just remember it’s there if you come across something in a post that you’re unsure about.

These Things Come in Threes

Well, we have our first, and second, real problems (that we know of). It seems that GW doesn’t like me thinking about beer instead of the State of the Union. First off, it looks like Jamie left the yeast vial out for too long yesterday while we brewed our IPA 2.0…8 hours may have been a bit much; as of 5pm today, we hadn’t had any real activity from the fermenter. Being resourceful as we are, and thanks to Wikipedia (the jury’s still out on whether or not this is about to be total BS) we learned that baker’s yeast can be used in a pinch to get things going?! You’ll see a lot of interrobangs from me. Actually, we were too lazy to make the 45-min drive to Alpharetta to pick up a new vial of brewer’s yeast, so we’re gonna close our eyes and

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hope.

Second(ary). There was a scary sight in the (second)ary fermenter tonight. We transferred our pitch-black brown ale into secondary fermentation last night and today had what appeared to be mold forming on the surface. We’re trying to figure out where we went wrong, and hoping, more than anything else, that they are just really weird-looking bubbles from the yeast still keeping up their end of the bargain…

What’s next?!