Winter Brew

Written by David Thuss on January 20, 2013

It’s that familiar sound when the power comes on – a loud, single beep emanating from the smoke alarm. I normally associate that with summertime and aggressive thunderstorms. But it’s not summer, it’s winter. I get it up and look at my phone – it’s 4:28am. I walk downstairs to survey the situation. While looking around I hear Radiohead’s “Exit Music (For a Film)” playing on my phone. It’s 4:30am and that’s my alarm. Why am I up at 4:30am on a Sunday? Because it’s 2013 and I’m trying to start a brewery.

The brew day is starting with just me. That’s because after a long meeting the night prior, some well-deserved rest is being had by the others. Aaron and Marcus crafted the recipes for today and cracked the grains for the first brew – a wheat base that will have local elderberries added during the secondary fermentation stage. It’s a cold day outside but the brewspace – a converted garage for the time being – is warm enough to brew in. Our original system, a built-from-scratch, three-tiered, propane-powered, 80 litre system was certainly not ideal in cold weather as adequate ventilation meant equally cold temperatures inside. Our inaugural brew on the current system was 11 months ago and despite the range of temperatures, has proved itself rather worthy.

I should likely talk about our visions, values, and plans given that this is the first post. Yet, we return to these things so often – to talk about how we can further our ultimate vision of local, sustainable brewing that it’s likely to come up again.

So, for now, at the end of a brew day – it’s 6:30pm; I’ll leave you with the sensory thought of bread baking in the kitchen – bread that’s been made with some spent grains from our second recipe, an oatmeal stout. It smells good.


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