Brewing has begun.

The brewers day starts early.

This morning we began the brewing process of our EVOO 20 IPA, a collaboration with Cambridge Brewing Company to make a beer celebrating EVOO’s upcoming 20th anniversary.  The crew at CBC accommodated us with a later than normal brew start time, having us arrive by 8am; they often start brewing at 6am.

Brewmaster Will giving us instruction

Local grains for our locally brewed beer.

Having previously met with CBC’s brewmaster Will Meyers deciding the style and flavor profile of the beer, he and his crew had the 750 pounds of local grains from Valley Malt, in Hadley, MA, ready to go.

Brewing beer is hot, physical work.

The grains are added to the kettle, one 50 pound bag at a time, stirring each bag into the 185 degree water. The water is slowly sprayed into the kettle through a rotating spigot at the top of the kettle. Using a large paddle, not unlike a rowboat oar, each bag of grain is mixed in completely with enough hot water making a smooth porridge before adding the next bag. We all had the opportunity to get up on the movable steps to stir in a bag of grain. Phil Bannatyne, CBC founder, a true pioneer in the craft beer movement, stirred in a bag, ensuring that EVOO 20 IPA will be an exceptional beer..

Some photos of us mashing.


Phil Bannatyne, CBC founder and beer guru, checking out our progress

After all of the grains were mashed we took off, getting out of the way of the CBC crew who needed to set up for lunch service.  Later in the day gravity will transfer the wort (grain infused liquid) into an adjacent kettle where it will be simmered before adding the first round of hops. The wort will then be slowly cooled before adding a second round of hops.  It will then be transferred into one of their fermentation tanks.  A third round of hops and some yeast will be added at precise times and temperatures to the wort, adding even more flavor and carbonation.  The wort (or is it now beer?) will rest for two to three weeks letting the ingredients and science do their magic.

I hope to stop by CBC next week to taste the beer in process.  I will write a bit about that when it happens.



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