So last week when we gathered around the campfire to sing Kumbaya and drink beer made by “gypsy brewers” was that Joe Stange singing out of tune? He suggested we might might ask these guys who’ve been getting some pretty sweet press, “So, um, since your beer’s so good . . . when are you going to start your own brewery?”
For the record, he pointed out Stillwater Ales, with the help of friends, is putting excellent beers in the glass. I haven’t had any of those, but I have enjoyed a couple of offerings from Pretty Things that were just terrific. Additionally, brewer/owner (but not brewery owner) Dan Paquette has spent nearly 20 years proving just how much he really cares about beer.
But I’m a simple guy. I like the idea that there’s a rhythm to every brewery. Not the same at Abbey Saint Sixtus in Belgium where monks brew two to three batches every other week — as at Bell’s in Michigan, where brewers in three separate shifts might drop 16 mashes in a 24-hour period. But a rhythm. If somebody isn’t in the brewery almost every day, maybe even cleaning filtering or mopping up after a boil over, is that brewer part of the rhythm?
Isn’t it easier for a brewer who owns his or her own kit to ask for malts made with particular varieties of barley or to have met the guys who grow their hops? OK, not all of them can or bother, and you may not think it even matters. I do.
Nothing simple here. Nobody wants to bad mouth quality beer or good-guy brewers. But I’m glad Joe Stange asked.
Someone’s drinking, Lord, kumbaya.