I’ve always heard that brewing is really just cleaning and chemistry, but after our latest brew day at Boneshire Brew Works, I would like to add that it also involves a lot of creativity and problem solving. There are challenges to brewing in different spaces and different types of beers that often have complicated or expensive fixes. It’s really cool to see ingenious ways that brewers solve these problems.
I’ve always joked that once you’ve been on one brewery tour, they’re all kind of the same. However, if you’re spending time with a brewer while they’re working, it’s easier to see the intricate differences in their system. Not everyone has the same tanks, mash tuns, or set ups – especially in smaller start-up breweries. When stepping behind the scenes and brewing, you will see the ways they have built their brew system to solve common problems and create a fantastic product.
Alan Miller is a passionate brewer. It was really fun to actually brew with him and listen to him explain every detail of the process. You can hear the passion in his voice and you can taste it in his beer. I imagined that as ‘non brewers’ when we collaborated it would mostly just be us watching things happen, but Alan made sure this was a learning experience for us too. We carried bags. We mashed. We hosed. We squeegeed. We even pitched the yeast, which is something that previously only Alan had ever done. Along the way, Alan had us tasting the grains, sipping the wort, and checking the specific gravity so we really knew what we were doing and why.
Alan has been giving me samples of the beer anytime I’m in the brewery for the past few weeks. I have to say that this beer is going to be great. It has a lovely oatmeal flavor with a bit of caramel tones and even a little natural raisin flavor. Alan added some cinnamon to it, then soaked raisins in rum and let that sit in the beer for awhile. I’m so excited to try the finished product! It’s been really cool to do this with Alan and the team at Boneshire (Hi Ken!), and I hope we can collaborate again in the future!
Want to try Fresh Out the Kitchen? Come to our Ladies Night Bottle Release! (https://www.facebook.com/events/644250612427618/permalink/679371068915572/)