Jason and I discuss beer naming – sort of.
Jason and I visit Crasian Brewing Company in Brookston, IN. We try really hard to name a beer – listen in to see if we get a beer name on the short list.
|Tom and Michele of Crasian Brewing Company|
Jason and Aaron discuss brewing without software, mead making, and also fail at segues.
Jason and Aaron discuss white label brewing after Aaron figures out what that is.
|Jenn Romaniszak Kant|
We start off by talking about Jenn’s twitter handle – she isn’t mad about someone else having @alesforce with no ‘_’.
We then get into the beer for the show, Bell’s Robust Porter. Jenn comes clean about missing two recording appointments. We learn that Jenn didn’t really like porters until she named her dog Porter. Porter has forced her to train her palate for porters, but she is still not into the stouts. This beer is similar to Jenn’s signature recipe which is a porter.
Jenn talks about homebrewing as an art. As her life has gotten busier, her threshold for success has gone down but her enjoyment of the hobby is still strong. This lead to a fun American Ale with Wheat Yeast (accidentally) called Obsene Tangerine.
Jenn tells the story of the one beer she has dumped. It was a kit saison. It was summer in New York with no temperature control. In New York apartment fashion, the fermentation occurred in the laundry closet on top of th washing machine. It went really sour.
Jenn’s go to beer before homebrewing was red ale, but she definitely has had her share of Miller Lite. She drank a lot of Magic Hat and Dogfish Head in the early 2000’s when she first got into beer. Aaron remembers the amazingness of Magic Hat #9 – how has this not come up on the show?
Jenn shares a story about going on a brewery tour at Magic Hat for her first anniversary – Magic Hat is like Mardi Gras in Vermont. There is an amazing 4 ingredients animated video that Jenn promised to get a link for, however Magic Hat doesn’t have this video published. 🙁
Aaron asks a Salesforce question – and Jenn smartly answers the question with a beer analogy! Turns out that wall color doesn’t have much to do with the type of beer you can serve.
Jenn shares the six pack that she built for the show. 6 point Resin, Bell’s Porter, Oh So Night Train, Central Water Mud Puppy Porter, Tyrannina.
Jenn is a maker – she is an accidental art major. Her approach to art is finding the tools for the thing I want to create. Her brewing is affected by this. She is more into the story of a beer than the science. And for her family, the story often leads her to a Spotted Cow clone. Her husband’s acceptance into her family revolves around his regular contribution of Spotted Cow to the family gatherings. So, it is fitting that Jenn and her husband were engaged at New Glarus.
Jenn implores Jason to make a #shotes bot.
Jenn creates a new mashup word – bejourney – beer journey – Jason will work on it. Jenn is her own Brewbassador. She talks about canning jam, and we have a diversion into the classic game KanJam. Aaron learns that he should definitely be playing beer in hand rules and give up the beer stake holders. But, after having made Jam, she decided beer would be the next frontier. She got a starter kit for her 24th Birthday, a Red Beard’s Red Ale.
Jenn talks about how taking an emphasis off of brewing accuracy really enhances her enjoyment of the art. She likes control everywhere else, but brewing is a release from this need of control. She talks about the issues with measuring specific gravity. She is excited to brew a kitchen sink beer that will definitely be over oaked when she gets into her new house. The oak chips that will be responsible come from a secret Santa.
Aaron talks about how to she creates recipe sans beer software. She starts with Randy Mosher’s book, Radical Brewing, and picks out an interesting recipe and then goes from there. She also has a book called great recipes in beer. We determine that Rye is a great ingredient for a kitchen sink beer.
We then play they said what – but Jenn has some opinions about it. Jenn benefits and drawbacks of having a brewing revolution in Menomonie Valley – which has some odors that overpower the beautiful smell of the Mash. After some ringer clues, Jenn guesses that it is Mocha Java from Third Space brewing. Jenn then reveals that she doesn’t like anything about mocha or smoke beers. And then, she talks about some of the issues with the game – she criticized some of our former guests for being to harsh on the Untappd reviews.
We then talk about Minhas Brewery in south central Wisconsin. It is the oldest operational brewery in Wisconsin. During prohibition, they made soda in order to remain operational. They stilll made beer, but they had underground tunnels to get rid of beer if any cops were on the way. These tunnels allow them to legit lager in the undeground tunnels without artificial refridgeration. To make them more intersting, they recently bought a ‘rail’ grade distillery and they have a tasting room.
Jenn takes the lead on teh Off-the-Wall question. She asks what Aaron’s favorite spice for scrambled eggs is. He reveals that he is a pan stirer and often is very lazy when making eggs. However, when he is trying he uses smoked paprika.
Inspired by some great beer from Heretic Brewing, we discuss historic heretics on this week’s episode of The Sparge.
We name the game – “They Said What” but we think you can do better. Listen in as we guess beers based on their Untappd reviews and help us find a better name for the game!
Aaron and Jason go on location at Round Town Brewery to talk about funk forward beers with Josh Hambright of Central State Brewing. Wine has often been touted as a drink that carries a great sense of place, and Josh says beer is no different, using wild yeast and local ingredient in many of Central State’s staple brews. They talk about adjusting palettes to sour beers, and the difference between funk and sour.
Special thanks to Conjurer for coming in and dooming up the place on the soundtrack to this week’s episode. Check them out on BandCamp, give them a listen, and throw your money at them. Look for upcoming shows on Do317. Infect everything! Milk the funk!
|Josh Hambright of Central State Brewing|
|Andrew Castner and Dustin Sparks of Mashcraft Brewing|
Special Guest Information
The socks are missing as we learn that Dustin worked his way from a volunteer to assistant brewer. The socks were thermal and they are gone.
We discuss the delicious Smokeshow which is a smoked dark mild made with Maris Otter, Crisp Pale Chocolate, and Weyerman Beach Smoked Malt. It is a 4% mild that is very well balanced. The smoky character really makes the mild style shine. Jason notes that this beer is a sessionable smoke beer which he finds uncommon. Andrew describes the beer as quaffable.
Mashcraft has 3 locations. A 15 barrel system in Greenwood. A sour production with two 7.5 barrel tanks on Delaware street, and a 5 barrel brew house in Fishers. The wort for the Delaware Street location is brewed at Fishers and then fermented in the tanks at Delaware St. Andrew talks about the logistics issues of owning three small breweries. Dustin has taken over the wort production in Greenwood and Andrew is managing the pilot batches in Fishers and the fermentation at Delaware Street.
Mashcraft primarily fills their own taps, but when sales are high, like in December, they will source some local beer and have some guest taps.
Andrew brings up the age old question of whether it is better to sell low gravity beer cheaply or high gravity beer more expensively. There are possibly some spreadsheet toting folks that know the answer, but Mashcraft shoots for consistently great variety. They want to make sure that no matter who walks through the door, they have something they can enjoy.
We asked the brewers what their favorite beers have been through time. Dustin started with the light lagers. His palate has changed to include IPA’s and Stouts and he is currently trying to embrace the sour beers that Andrew has fermenting on Delaware St. Andrew started drinking craft beer in the early 2000’s. His girlfriend, now wife, was drinking Sierra Nevada Pale Ale while he was drinking cheap beer. He then got a job at Oaken Barrel as a server. He primarily drank wheat beers. His palate has grown tremendously as well. His current preferences are for light, dry and acidic.
Jason shows some love for the Raspberry Wheat from Oaken Barrel. Andrew goes to their Gnaw Bone Pale Ale.
We discussed the variety of base malts that Mashcraft uses. They use an Irish malt for all of their lighter, hoppy beers. They have a sweeter Irish malt for their big beers. They will also add in different base malts for effect depending on the style. Some brewers stick to one base malt for inventory ease, but Mashcraft is driven by the product quality. For example they used a floor malted Bohemian pilsner malt to make a festbier. It was such a good result, that they will use this malt for some of their single malt beers.
We take a break from our guests to discuss our personal problems, namely, Jason is ashamed to drink beer that I don’t like around me – which is silly. We then discussed this type of peer pressure in the tap room and asked how they manage this culture gap in their tap room. Andrew suggested that you can’t manage it, but you can brew for it. Their gold and their amber, for example are built for light lager drinkers, but their lineup certainly has beer for more traditional craft drinkers.
Newcastle brown tastes like popcorn butter taste on purpose, but Aaron didn’t know this Aaron then fails to remember how to keep diacetyl levels in check. Basically he makes up science in lieu of remembering an article he read.
We asked about the non-glam of owning a brewery. Andrew suggested its all non-glam. The glam is very small and the to do list is never ending. His job is basically finding good stopping points that he can sleep during. The non glam includes things like servers telling you that line 7 isn’t pouring correctly knowing that you can’t fix it. We then did discuss the glamorous feeling of adding hops and watching the airlocks start to crank on first fermentation. One of the best moments for Andrew occurs during the lagering process. When he looks down and sees the fermentor at 51 degrees and good action from healthy yeast – he knows it is going to be exciting to drink in about 5-6 weeks. He compares owning a brewery to being an artist, a publican, and a manufacturer.
After all of the non-glam talk, we ask why they chose to open two more breweries in spite of all the difficulties. Andrew talked about how he has been lucky to surround himself with amazing people who are committed to the mission of great beer. His passion for brewing beer shows through in his commitment to all three locations. We learn that a Rock Bottom lease discrepancy begins the story of the Mashcraft brewhouse. They got a great deal on the system. They planned on Delaware St. right away to keep the over the bar sales in house and avoid the costs of distribution. Fishers was more of an accident, but a brewery was looking to sell their assets and it was to good of a deal to pass up. Andrew believes in his program and his people so he is confident that the added locations will grow their brand as a great neighborhood bar. Also, brewers should always wear their own shirts!
Mashcraft taps a new beer every Tuesday, tap a Fast Friday infusion every Friday, and a new pepper beer every month. This helps them address the drive for new experiences among their customers. They also do 4 different coffee beers on the last Sunday of every month. They are focused on making new beers in a wide range consistently. He talks about how the 2 sized brew houses allow them the flexibility to keep this variety. For example, he can do NE IPA’s on his 5 barrell system and sell through them before they clear up.
We talk about Indiana brewery laws. In a lot of ways they are favorable for Indiana Brewers thanks to Broad Ripple Brew Pub. So, brewers can sell locally if they manufacture locally. However, there are some issues with collaborations as you can’t sell beer to go (growlers/crowlers) that you didn’t make. So one brewer on the collab will lose out on this ability.
Andrew gets into the question asking and asks Dustin about his experience as an assistant brewer. He takes out a notebook to improve his employee relations. We learn that Mashcraft uses steam heat dodges the question. His favorite part of the job is brewing, but also enjoys heading to the taproom and meeting regulars. He likes their feedback and has even created a basil beer based on volunteer Gary’s feedback.
We then play “They Said What” which is a new game where we read untappd reviews and the guests try to guess the beer. After some hints they guess the beer – dark star.
Jason’s off the wall question features a time traveling fox with whom the guests are roommates. He doens’t like chores- but we do determine that his dad’s name is Gene, Richard, George or Edward. And then we posed the question – what does the fox say?
We come back for more of “They Said What” During this segment Jason continues his arm wrestling challenging ways – this time he he invites Andrew Luck and we determine that George Fountain Square is not the name of the owner of Fountain Square Brewing. Andrew correctly guesses Lift Off after two clues!!!
Special guest chimes in about the Mashcraft lineup. He loves the variety and the ever present balance in the beers at Mashcraft. He often has the opportunity to share beer at events of with local and international guests. He is also responsible for the naming of one of the beers “roxy ninefingers”. Listen in for the story.
We do Orval for the third run at “They Said What”. They struggle to guess it because of some bad reviews with inaccurate information and their lower level of enthusiasm for Belgian beers.
We finish up the Podcast talking about a collaboration with Duke’s Indy – a Baltic Porter. A nice roasty beer with a lager yeast – this will be released soon!