I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not always on the leading edge of what’s cool these days. I still get my kicks listening to old Phish shows and rarely find a day when I don’t listen to at least 1 Yonder Mountain String Band song. I recently discovered Pandora. Yes, I know, took me a while. But, now that I’ve found it I must admit, it’s pretty damn cool. I am aware that there are some 5 or 6 other businesses out there doing exactly what Pandora is, and probably better, but I’m new to this so cut me some slack.
I’ve always been a huge fan of music. I do have my preferences but I’ll generally give anything a shot, at least twice. I’ll be the first to admit that every once in a while I love to hear some George Straight and in the very same sitting I’ll rock out to Allison Krauss followed by a long electronic session from Elliot Lipp. At the brewery we listen to music every day and I do mean every, single, day. I think the rhythm that music affords is something that helps to keep us all moving in sync with the rhythms of the brewery. We also tend to stay more upbeat and motivated with music playing. With the exception of the far too occasional interruption from Pandora to make sure that we are “still listening”. Those moments of silence are classically akward and very quickly remedied by a fast sprint to the stereo to ensure the fine folks at Pandora that “we are indeed listening” and “why the hell did you stop in the middle of a song to ask me that?”.
We’ve been keeping a very steady beat at the brewery over the past few months. We are selling as much beer as we can make and are in eager anticipation of the 5 new fermentation tanks that are on their way to us as well as our shiny new canning line that should be arriving sometime later this summer. We also just picked up 2 more 30 bbl lagering tanks to help age our Alt-eration as well as some new lagers that’ll be making their way into our year-round lineup sometime this summer. So, over the course of the next 6 weeks we’ll be effectively tripling our current capacity. Something that we are incredibly excited about and we hope that you share the same excitement at the prospect of finding our beer at most of the places you would expect to see it rather than the shelf tag for Hops & Grain beer and an empty shelf of sold out product behind it. You see, we can our beers by hand and at a staggering speed of 8 cases per hour. We are canning as absolutely fast as we can and there just aren’t enough hours in the day to keep up with the thirst that Austin establishes this time of year. All in all, good problems to have. And you can be rest-assured that we are doing everything in our power to remedy our current inventory problems.
On to our special Greenhouse Projects…
Towards the end of this month we’ll be releasing our very first editions of our Volumes of Oak Series. As the name implies all of these beers have been aged in various oak barrels. We currently have 12 barrels that we’ve been aging three different beers in since the beginning of March. We also have another 16 barrels on their way to us next week. Volumes of Oak #1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 will all be making their Austin debut at the end of the month. Where you ask? Keep up with our twitter and Facebook pages for updates on where they’ll be released! Here’s a run down on what each volume entails
#1- Alt-eration aged in Maker’s Mark Bourbon barrels
#2- Pale Dog aged in Maker’s Mark Bourbon barrels
#3- Barleywine aged in Maker’s Mark Bourbon barrels
#4- Alt-eration aged in French Oak Red Wine barrels
#5- Pale Dog aged in French Oak Red Wine barrels
#6- Barleywine aged in French Oak Red Wine barrels
We are very pleased with how each of these beers has matured in the oak homes that they’ve been residing and we are very excited to begin blending them. Here are a few shots from our most recent Sunday afternoon barrel tasting, nice way to spend an afternoon!
We’ve also been working on a few hop projects in the Greenhouse. There are currently 2 different IPA’s in circulation in Austin right now that are a product of our most recent experiments. The first one that we released is an IPA using 100% of a fairly new, New Zealand aroma variety that is incredibly dense with citrus and resinous fruit and a mild bit of pine spice. We were very happy with how this beer turned out and look forward to the next versions. We’ve also got an IPA on tap right now that utilizes 5 of our favorite varieties for dry-hopping. These beers have been using around 2 pounds of hops per barrel to dry-hop and another 1.5 pounds per barrel during the time spent in the kettle. As always, they are tapped in our tap room first and served to our loyal fans every Friday from 2-6 and Saturday from 12-4 pm.
Join us in the fun! Oh yeah, we’ve also got some sweet new can shaped pint glasses for sale. This is the second order of these glasses that we’ve placed and they are flying off the shelves.
See you soon in East Austin!