Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Face for Internet Radio

I was fortunate enough to be a guest on the Brew Bubbas podcast. Craig and Jerry were very welcoming hosts and shared a lot of wonderful beers from their collection at the end of the night. Brew Bubbas has quite a backlog of great brewing information so check them out. If you feel like hearing me ramble on about beer and brewing click the link below.

Thanks again Craig and Jerry!

Brew Bubbas Episode #117

Drink good beer with good people.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

One Small Step for Man, One Small Leap for Construction

The metal construction fence has been put up around the future location of Cranker's Brewery in Big Rapids, MI! It is just one small step toward groundbreaking, but it is still very exciting to see.

Break on through to the other side.

In other Cranker's news, we are rounding out our branding and logo concepts. They are coming along nicely and I am very excited to get some beers into packages with these labels!

Until next time kids, drink good beer with good people!


Monday, August 22, 2011

Friends, Beer, and Food!

I just got back from the Michigan Homebrew Festival and had an amazing time! The organizers of the event are to be congratulated. The festival is in it's second year and really beginning to define itself as a must for craft beer drinkers and foodies alike. Despite some rough weather the entire event was a success. This year the festival doubled in size, filling up 50 campsites for the duration of the multiday festival.

The addition of the Friday Feast was perfect. Participants created a wide range of foods incorporating beer. There were excellent chili (shoutout to Shawn Richardson), gumbo (kudos to Lee, Kim, and the Cass crew), smoked salmon, pizzas, rabbit stew, pasta salads, and more. It was interesting that there seemed to be no dish done twice; there is a tremendous amount of creativity in the homebrewing community. Of Friday, Redwood Lodge generously donated some of the Mild they brewed with Lee Cruppenink. This beer will also be entered into the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) as a Pro-Am beer. I would not be surprised to see it medal.

However, Saturday still remains the heart of the festival. The Homebrew Festival serves as the host of the Michigan Beer Cup's awards ceremony. The rain whipped up something fierce but brewers are a hearty sort. As it poured down buckets, a member of the homebrew club I belong to, The Brewing Network, took home the highest honor. My buddy Nelson Gomoll hauled in Best of Show for his american pale ale! This is even a greater accomplishment considering the other 706 beers he was up against!

Saturday also features the various Michigan clubs pouring their beers. Several clubs set up booths of varying levels of sophistication. The Cass River Homebrewers took the People's Choice award for their efforts. The BN booth that we had was decidedly less complex, but beer came out of our taps nonetheless. We had beer donations from several homebrewers and it is much appreciated as we spread the word of the Brewing Network.

I was excited to pilot the beers that I have planned for Cranker's Brewery. I poured our Bulldog Red, our American Pale Ale (as of know un-named), and our Munich Helles. The beers were received well with many people asking for beers that others told them about and had many people returning for specific beers. I was able to pour my beers for some pro brewers, homebrewers, and judges that I have a lot of respect for. I am thankful for their honest and thorough feedback. I was actually pretty nervous pouring this year because a lot of people knew about the brewery and I wanted to impress with my beers. Overall it was a blast! A big thanks to Shawn, Nelson, Pat H, Ray, Raybeard, Phil, Jason, Isaac, Mrs. T, Pat C, Lee, Mike, Rachael, and Rockne!

Even when I am pro, I am going to commit to turn out some homebrew and keep pouring at future MI Homebrew Festivals. As always, the best thing about the festival was drinking good beer with good people!


Monday, August 1, 2011

The Smell of Stainless in the Morning

Exciting day! A good portion of the brewery was delivered today and put into storage. To be honest I wasn't very helpful. I am not sure trusting me to move heavy machinery is the best idea.

Here is one of the fermentors:

It is crazy to think that for years I have drooled over the homebrew sized version of these, and now I am going to have the production size at my disposal.

15bbl and 30bbl fermentors

Someone is excited


The temperature gauge read: AWESOME!

If I post anymore pictures of brewing equipment, I will officially have put more pictures of stainless steel than I have my newborn son. I better stop there.

Drink good beer with good people!