Mid Atlantic Brewing News October/November 2014 : Page 1

October / November • 2014 Volume 16 / Number 5 “ ILLUSTRATION BY: HANS GRANHEIM Kilning is the fi nal step in malting barley, after steeping and germination. PHOTO COURTESY OF RIVERBEND MALT HOUSE By The Brews Brothers (Steve Frank & Arnold Meltzer) By Greg Kitsock e’re partying like it’s 1814 at Right Proper Brewing Co. in Washington, DC, commemorating a series of events that led to the penning of our national anthem two centuries ago. Waiters are serving period delicacies (such as johnnycakes—cornmeal pancakes—topped with pork), and a half-dozen local brewers have contributed recreations of beers that American and British combatants might have quaffed between rounds of grapeshot. o It’s a highly appropriate way to er, e celebrate the Star Spangled Banner, ion n given the song’s intimate connection e with alcohol. It originated because See Anthem p. 3 INSIDE of a drinking bout; it was inspired by an artifact manufactured in a brewery; it was set to the music of a bawdy drinking ballad; and its first public performance was in a taproom. Nathan Zeender, Right Proper’s head brewer, has brewed a 3.3%-abv small beer flavored with spruce tips that he clipped from his backyard. It’s spritzy and refreshing, like a ginger ale, with earthy notes from a wild fermentation. fermen nt The War of 1812 began partly p rtl y as a result of the British pa impressing American seamen i m im in i n service aboard their into s ships, and spruce beer (an im m important source of vitamin C) w would have been a familiar beverage b e in both navies. beverage eing a maltster is six times harder than being a brewer,” laments Bryan Brushmiller, founder of Burley Oak Brewing Co. in Berlin, Md. Nevertheless, he plans to begin malting his first batches of barley (1,000 pounds each) at the end of 2014. Having studied the art for three years, he explains, “The main reason is to get a better-quality malt, while supporting local farmers” by giving them a new cash crop. “Malt is my passion. I’m now obsessed with it.” In the meantime, he works with a local farmer to grow barley, rye and wheat, which are sent to Valley Malt in Hadley, Mass. for processing. This accounts for about 10% of Burley Oak’s malt bill. A pale ale named Loakal is the first in Brushmiller’s series of Home Grown Ales. Despite all the hoopla over hops, the essence of beer comes from the malt. Malt gives beer its body, color, its alcoholic content, much of its flavor, and sometimes even a uniqueness that comes from the terroir . America’s craft breweries use over 88 million pounds of malt each year, and about 99% of this comes from a few large suppliers like Briess or Cargill. But a new breed of craft maltster is arising, supporting local agriculture while providing high-quality raw ingredients not only to brewers but also to distillers and bakeries. They produce a full spectrum from pale to black, as well as unusual malts made from spelt, amaranth, quinoa, teff and even sunflower seeds. One small producer, Grouse Malting and Roasting Co. in Wellington, Colo., offers 100% gluten-free malts made from buckwheat and millet. See Maltsters p. 4 Book Review.................................. 8 Fairy Hopmother ........................10 Strength Matters ........................11 Homebrew ...................................12 Maps ...................................... 18-21 Event Calendar ............................39 State by State News Virginia ...........14 Maryland ........29 C. Penn ............22 Baltimore ........31 Philadelphia ...24 D.C. ..................33 E. Penn ............26 New Jersey .....34 W. Virginia ......28 Delaware ........36

From Wine Song To Stein Song

Greg Kitsock

We’re partying like it’s 1814 at Right Proper Brewing Co. In Washington, DC, commemorating a series of events that led to the penning of our national anthem two centuries ago.

Waiters are serving period delicacies (such as johnnycakes—cornmeal pancakes—topped with pork), and a half-dozen local brewers have contributed recreations of beers that American and British combatants might have quaffed between rounds of grapeshot.

It’s a highly appropriate way to celebrate the Star Spangled Banner, given the song’s intimate connection with alcohol. It originated because of a drinking bout; it was inspired by an artifact manufactured in a brewery; it was set to the music of a bawdy drinking ballad; and its first public performance was in a taproom.

Nathan Zeender, Right Proper’s head brewer, has brewed a 3.3%-abv small beer flavored with spruce tips that he clipped from his backyard. It’s spritzy and refreshing, like a ginger ale, with earthy notes from a wild fermentation.

The War of 1812 began partly as a result of the British impressing American seamen into service aboard their ships, and spruce beer (an important source of vitamin C would have been a familiar beverage in both navies.

“Indigenous North Americans have a long tradition of making spruce beverages to prevent scurvy, among other things,” commented Zeender. “My understanding is that then early colonials learned the trick and began flavoring beer with spruce. I believe the British Navy then started making ships' beer with spruce.”

Zeender called his effort The Invisible City of Bladensburg, after the Maryland town where the British routed American militia before marching on an undefended Washington, DC. (August 24 was the bicentennial of the Brits torching the Capitol and White House. One DC chain, Pizza Paradiso, marked the event by tapping a selection of smoked beers.)

Birth of an Anthem

Meanwhile, in Upper Marlboro, Md., a few drunken stragglers were looting local farms and harassing the citizens. Dr. William Beanes, a prominent citizen, had the Redcoats tossed into jail. According to some accounts, Beanes himself was in his cups, having consumed liberally of a homemade punch to celebrate rumors of an American victory.

Either way, Major General Robert Ross,commander of the British forces, retaliated by taking Beanes captive. It was an errand to free the elderly doctor that brought Francis Scott Key, a Washington, DC lawyer, to Baltimore on that fateful evening of Sept. 13-14. Key was successful in his mission, but because he and Beanes had overheard the Brits’ battle plans, they were forced spend the night aboard ship while the invaders pounded Fort McHenry, the harbor’s primary line of defense. At dawn, when Key spied the stars and stripes still flying over the fort, he knew that the British objective had failed.

Measuring 42 by 30 feet, the fort’s banner was so big that the seamstress, Mary Pickersgill, had had to spread the individual strips of cloth on the malthouse floor of a brewery owned by George I. Brown. (Under various owners, the brewery would continue to churn out ale until its closure in 1877; the building, on East Lombard Street, would be destroyed in the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904.)

After disembarking, Key took lodging in the nearby Fountain Inn, where he set to paper a few verses of a poem he called The Defence of Fort McHenry. He borrowed the meter and rhyme scheme from the 18th-century ditty “To Anacreon in Heav’n.” This was the official hymn of the Anacreontic Society, a fraternal society of upper-crust Londoners that met once a fortnight for some convivial elbow-bending at the Crown and Anchor Tavern. The opening verse reads:

To Anacreon in Heav’n, where he sat in full glee, A few sons of harmony sent a petition That he their inspirer and patron would be, When this answer arrived from t he jolly old Grecian.Voice, fiddle and flute No longer be mute,

I’ll lend ye my name, and inspire ye to boot.And besides I’ll instruct ye, like me, to entwine The myrtle of Venus with Bacchus’ vine.

(Anacreon was a sixth-century BC Greek poet who celebrated wine, women and song in his works. He’s said to have choked on a grape seed at the age of 85.)

Malt Showcases

An actor and musician named Ferdinand Durang is reported to have given the first public performance of Key’s opus at Captain McCauley’s Tavern in Baltimore in October 1814. Durang belted out the song while standing on a chair, with the crowd joining in by the time he reached the now rarelyperformed third verse (“their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution”).

It’s likely that the revelers were fortifying themselves with tankards of strong ale, perhaps from George Brown’s brewery. At Right Proper, brewer Bobby Bump from Bluejacket is serving his 1812 Project Strong Ale, which he formulated in conjunction with local homebrewer Mike Stein. Patterned after early nineteenth-century beers, the murky brown ale is brewed with English amber malt, Cluster hops and Whitbread yeast, with molasses added to boost the alcohol and Brettanomyces introduced towards the end of fermentation.

Tom Flores, brewmaster for Brewer’s Alley and Monocacy Brewing Co. In Frederick, Md., has contributed a similar effort, 1812 Double Brown Ale. “What I wanted to do was brew a malt showcase. They didn’t have a lot of big hop bombs,” he explains. “I was thinking of something chewy and full, but not with a cloying sweetness,” he says of his chocolaty, mildly roasty brew.

Beers to Make You Sing

And what became of General Ross, who set this whole series of events in motion by arresting William Beanes and ordering the invasions of Washington and Baltimore?Ross got too far ahead of his troops during an attempted land invasion of Baltimore, and was ambushed by American sharpshooters. His body was returned to British soil pickled in a barrel of Jamaican rum.

There are no rum barrel-aged beers at Right Proper, but the Brewer’s Art in Baltimore has come up with Bread and Cheese, a 4.4%- abv mild ale made with oats and wildflower honey. Owner Volker Stewart named the beer after Bread and Cheese Creek in Dundalk, Md., where American militiamen rested and ate before confronting Ross’s troops. “It’s a point of pride for Baltimore residents that they rebuffed the British when Washington failed,” comments Stewart.

Bread and Cheese has a strong herbal aroma from a spicing with rosemary. “Herb brewing was still popular then,” asserts Stewart. “It wasn’t until the second half of the nineteenth century that hops took over.”

Sadly, most of these historic beers are limited editions and likely won’t be around by the time this issue appears. But you can still buy Anthem Golden Ale, a year-around offering from Union Craft Brewing Co.In Baltimore. “The malt bill is traditional, the hops are not,” explains brewer/owner Kevin Blodger of his cream ale. Evoking the multigrain beers that our forefathers brewed when barley was in short supply, Anthem contains a blend of barley, flaked oats, flaked maize and red wheat. The hops, though, are modern aroma varieties Columbus and Mosaic.

“Just the thing to make you sing,” reads the label. After a pitcher or two, no one will notice if you miss that high note on “land of the free.”

Read the full article at http://mabnonline.brewingnews.com/article/From+Wine+Song+To+Stein+Song/1836572/229063/article.html.

Against The Grain

The Brews Brothers

Being a maltster is six times harder than being a brewer,” laments Bryan Brushmiller, founder of Burley Oak Brewing Co. In Berlin, Md.

Nevertheless, he plans to begin malting his first batches of barley (1,000 pounds each) at the end of 2014. Having studied the art for three years, he explains, “The main reason is to get a better-quality malt, while supporting local farmers” by giving them a new cash crop.

“Malt is my passion. I’m now obsessed with it.” In the meantime, he works with a local farmer to grow barley, rye and wheat, which are sent to Valley Malt in Hadley, Mass.For processing. This accounts for about 10% of Burley Oak’s malt bill. A pale ale named Loakal is the first in Brushmiller’s series of Home Grown Ales.

Despite all the hoopla over hops, the essence of beer comes from the malt. Malt gives beer its body, color, its alcoholic content, much of its flavor, and sometimes even a uniqueness that comes from the terroir.

America’s craft breweries use over 88 million pounds of malt each year, and about 99% of this comes from a few large suppliers like Briess or Cargill. But a new breed of craft maltster is arising, supporting local agriculture while providing high-quality raw ingredients not only to brewers but also to distillers and bakeries. They produce a full spectrum from pale to black, as well as unusual malts made from spelt, amaranth, quinoa, teff and even sunflower seeds.

One small producer, Grouse Malting and Roasting Co. In Wellington, Colo., offers 100% gluten-free malts made from buckwheat and millet.

This artisanal malting movement is similar to craft brewing in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with the same bootstrap startups motivated by boundless energy and high hopes. Quite a number of craft maltsters reside in the Mid-Atlantic region, including Riverbend Malt House in Asheville, NC, probably the largest floor maltster in the country. Founder Brent Manning admits that when he hatched the idea in October 2010, he “had a business plan but no investors, no location, no training and no equipment.” Output has soared from 40,000 lb its first year to a projected 400,000 lb in 2015.

Riverbend malts wheat and rye as well as barley. The varieties of wheat used, such as Turkey Red and Appalachian White, deliver stronger flavors than traditional “soft” wheats and contribute “a pronounced nutty character,” states the company website.

In starting up, Manning and his partner Brian Simpson consulted with Rick Wasmund of Copper Fox Distillery in Sperryville, Va. Copper Fox floor-malts barley grown on its own farm, purveying nearly 60 tons to breweries across the country, including about a dozen in the mid-Atlantic. Some of these malts are smoked with applewood and cherrywood. Copper Fox plans to malt barley grown by Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery in Maltsters continued from cover Goochland, Va. And return it to the brewery for beermaking.

Shoestring Maltsters

Still another nascent maltster is Barry Wood, who grows barley on his 300-acre Woodridge Farm in Lovingston, Va. “I built it by the seat of my britches and on a shoestring,” says Wood of the makeshift apparatus he cobbled from farm equipment over the past three years. Wood has arrangements to plant an additional 1,500 acres of barley next year.

Burley Oak isn’t the only Maryland brewery interested in doing its own malting.Scorpion Brewing Co. In Owings successfully used a recent Kickstarter campaign to purchase malting equipment for its new brewery, set for an Oct. 11 opening. “I want to turn local ingredients into beer,” says owner Brian Dailey. He has a local farmer growing Thoroughbred six-row winter barley for his malthouse.

Tom Flores, brewmaster for Frederick’s Brewer’s Alley and Monocacy Brewing Co., joined with Greg Clabaugh, a local farmer, to start Amber Fields Malting and Brewing in 2001. Early experiments included using Mrs. Clabaugh’s clothes dryer for drying the soggy grain (she got a new dryer out of it). Amber Fields produced its first commercial batches of rye malt about three years ago. All of the grain is used to make Monocacy Brewing’s Riot Rye Pale Ale.

Deer Creek Malthouse, a new malting company in Chester County, near Philadelphia, will start full-scale production in early October after several years of development and pilot work. Initial products will be floor-malted but expansion plans include pneumatic malting (see sidebar). Goals are to produce malted barley, wheat, rye and other grains, and to provide local farmers with cultivars suitable for growing conditions in the mid-Atlantic.

That’s a problem, admits Deer Creek’s president and chief maltster Mark Brault. He notes that there are no commercial winter barley varieties with the hardiness necessary to thrive in this region. What’s more, the normally high humidity leads to many diseases. (Most of the barley grown in this country comes from drier states like North Dakota, Montana, Idaho and Washington.)

In spite of the hardships they face and their still relatively meager output, small maltsters constitute “a groundbreaking area of our industry,” says Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association. “I don’t think anyone realizes how important they could become to the future of craft brewing. They will change the face of craft beer in a big way. ‘Local’ will gain new meaning.”

Read the full article at http://mabnonline.brewingnews.com/article/Against+The+Grain/1836581/229063/article.html.

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