May 3, 2014 is Mash Tun Festival: The New Wave Brewers Bash

mashtunnewwave

Mash Tun Festival: The New Wave Brewers Bash

May 3, 2014  3-7pm
Co-Prosperity Sphere
3219 S Morgan Street

Join us as we celebrate the release of Mash Tun Journal # 5 and meet the new generation of breweries that have recently launched in Chicagoland. You get a copy of the new issue of the mag, a tasting glass, and pours of brews by New Wave breweries like: 18th Street, One Trick Pony, Horse Thief Hollow,  Dryhop, Off Color, Ale Syndicate, Slap Shot, Atlas, Lake Effect, BuckleDown, Une Année  and others. Complementary vittles and other surprises in store.

Admission is $35  ( $25 for Mash Tun Society Members – What is that? ) •  You must RSVP and purchase tickets online via our Eventbrite site or in person at Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar.  Major credit cards accepted. No Refunds.

After purchasing admission your name will be on our RSVP list at the door. Please bring your ID and show your receipt from paypal.
 
Eventbrite - Mash Tun Festival’s New Wave Brewers Bash
 

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A Conversation with Tom Korder and Eric Hobbs of Penrose Brewing Company

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Tom Korder and Eric Hobbs know craft beer. They know how to make it, know how to sell it, and certainly know how to talk about it. Mr. Korder and Mr. Hobbs have partnered to open Penrose Brewing Company this fall in Geneva, IL, hoping to create both great beer and a great beer community.

Korder and Hobbs have over a decade of experience in the industry—most recently at Goose Island, where Korder was the brewery manager for 4 1/2 years and Hobbs was a market manager. When Hobbs started thinking of opening a brewery—the kind of brewery he wanted—he knew that it could only exist if Korder signed on to join him.“ I was a good home brewer at the time but that was about it. I was not a professional brewer and I did not want to enter this market—even knowing three years ago how crowded it was getting—without a partner that really knew how to make great beer all the time, build a brewery, manage a brewery. That was what I was looking for and Tom was the guy.”

Interviews are condensed and edited for clarity, but not for content.

Let’s start with the name, Penrose.

HOBBS: Tom found the Penrose tiling pattern when we had shifted away from our original name after trademark concerns. He showed me the tile and got really excited, explaining how the math and the science create this balance between art and science—pretty fitting for a brewery.


And you have an engineering background?

TOM KORDER: Yes, mechanical engineering.


So, how’d you go from engineering into brewing?

TK: I went in a different direction than most people. Most people start home brewing and really get into it; I started professionally at the largest brewer in the world, Anheuser-Busch, and worked for them as a manager for about a year and a half. I learned all about beer and I got a very scientific look at how to make consistent beer, time after time. From there I went to one of their bigger breweries in Georgia, and I decided it was getting a little too big and factory for me. I wanted to go to a craft brewer and really make my mark, so I ended up going to Goose Island as the brewery manger running day to day operations. I helped grow and define their barrel program. Then it was really time to branch off on my own. I was looking at some other opportunities but Eric and I met up, and I started listing off things [I wanted in a brewery] and it just meshed there, so we ran with it.

EH: We spent a lot of time figuring out how we wanted this thing to look and feel. We knew right away that we wanted to brew Belgian styles. We started thinking about what we wanted to do with recipes but it was always in the back of our minds that we had to get the whole business side of it figured out.We did months of business planning and delivered a plan to our investors – and these are the same guys we’ve got today. They’ve been with us now for almost three years.


When I think art meeting science, I think creativity, innovation, complexity. Are these things that you want to inspire your beer?

EH: Absolutely. The hardest thing about brewing is doing something very simple, very clean, making it well, and being consistent. It’s like laying a canvas. Then you can introduce complexity with things like alternative fermentation, wild ales and barrel aging, and that’s where you show that “I really understand the rules and here’s how I bend them.”

 

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Do you have a plan for what you are going to start with?

TK: Yeah we’ve got our four main beers dialed in that we’re working on: “Proto Gradus” and “P2,” a Belgian single and a Belgian pale ale will be our first two. Once those two kind of hit the market, we’ll roll out “Navette,” which is a Belgian Black Ale made with toasted buckwheat. It’s not really a stout, but it has a very dry, nice malt body, and a lot of Belgian yeast character. The fourth will be our French Saison, “Levant.”

EH: We decided to go with the French version of the saison, rather than the Belgian: when we were doing our test batches we just found ourselves gravitating more towards the French style.

TK: Yeah. I mean it was really clean and the Belgian Saison is very spicy at times. It’s kind of the typical saison aroma that most people think of but this one is just a little cleaner and not as spicy.


You’re also going to have your own in-house lab?

TK: Yes, we’ll be able to do all of our own micro, all of our own cell counts, and make sure what the consumer’s tasting is what we’re tasting. It’s one thing to taste your beer fresh every time but then when the consumer is tasting it, it might be six weeks later, so you need to be doing the same thing. So we’ll do comparative taste panels and all that stuff in house.

EH: There’s too many great brewers out there these days to not have really great beer. That’s why when Tom said he’s going to put a lab in I was like “Yes. That’s awesome.” There’s inevitably going to be somebody that’s gonna be on untappd (the social beer drinking app and service) and say they feel something is wrong with our beer. Context is important: we need to know exactly what a customer is drinking and when they’re drinking it, and when it was made. That way, if there is something wrong we can check; or if they’re just not used to tasting beers — or they don’t like beers like that — we can quickly help them understand that we’ve got the same beer sitting in our lab right now, that we’ve tested it and we’re confident in it.


And you’ve mentioned barrel aging? It looks like you’ve got good space for a program.

TK: Yeah, we’re gonna get a good size barrel program rolling right off the bat so that way we can get some good beers cranking out — not just have two barrels and call it our “barrel program.”

EH: What we think is important in a barrel program, and what Tom has done so well over at Goose over the years is create vision for what a beer should be, then take different barrels, of varying amounts of oak or funk or acidic character, and blend it into a specific, intended, style. That’s tricky, a lot of people just throw stuff in oak and whatever it is…it’s that.


Is that where you’re primarily trying to put your footprint?

TK: Well, I wouldn’t say primarily. You’re obviously not going to be able to do that right away. You look at a local distillery, they produce gin and vodka first and they worry about bourbon later because they can. We have to have a year round core line up so that we can do those things. We’re going to start off with “sessionable” Belgian beers that kind of filter into that same vein of barrel aging and alternative fermentation, things like that.


Are you sourcing the barrels anywhere local?

TK: We’re working on a lot of different avenues for them. Obviously, a lot of the bigger distilleries have more bourbon barrels. Nobody local really has that many bourbon barrels.

EH: Wine barrels are coming from upper Michigan and Wisconsin. We’ve got a lot of different irons in the fire.


Are there are plans for distribution?

TK: Absolutely. We’ll roll out some market and kegs first. Which is a great way for us to get our name out there and keep the beer fresh.

EH: Right –we want to see what people want to drink. That’s important for us because we know what WE like to drink and we have a pretty good idea of what we anticipate our relative sales being. We think we know which styles people will gravitate towards but you never know so the last thing we want to do is assume what the market wants. Eight counties of the Chicagoland area will be our primary focus and really that is all we’re thinking about right now. The way the whole craft beer industry is going, if you start up now, it isn’t all that likely that you’ll be a big national player. I think you really have to try to go deep in your home market and if that doesn’t work, you’re going to have to take a hard look at yourself and figure out if this is the right thing. So our goal is just to go deep in Chicago because we know that we’re not going to be the most popular, highly rated beers on RateBeer and BeerAdvocate because we’re rolling out really simple, really clean styles with a low ABV. But we do think a lot of craft beer drinkers are gravitating towards those styles more and we’d like to be a little more accessible, a little more available. A lot of the beers we’re going to do are going to play really well in the oak program. So it’s sort of a little cross pollination between projects.


So do you take any influence from places like Untappd or RateBeer?

EH: Sometimes that might influence us, but it doesn’t change anything. It might help us plan for production amounts and quantities — but you can watch rating websites and drive yourself insane.

TK: If we developed our business based solely on Beer Advocate ratings we’d be only brewing Citra Hop beers and barrel aging everything.

E: There’s a time and a place for that, and we intend to do some of it, but we love sessionable beers. If I sit down at a place that has only beers with an ABV above 7% that disappoints me. We’re looking towards folks that want to drink some sessionable beers as the starting point.

T: Plus there are 9 million other breweries doing Citra Hop beers, Citra Hop pun names, and that’s just not our style.


So why Belgian inspired session ales?

TK: From a brewing standpoint there’s a lot of freedom. There aren’t so many set rules. Even a Belgian blonde ale has so many different taste profiles that is nice to know that we can have loose set up guides and just play from that. So that’s why we say “Belgian-inspired” brewing. We play around with a lot of different yeast strains but it’s not like we’re just going to make a double and a triple and a Witte beer, you know? There are so many other ways we can take this.


Are you going to do any Lambics?

TK: Absolutely. I mean, obviously we’re not in lambics because we’re not in Brussels but we’ll definitely do a lot of wild ales a lot of sours.

EH: We’re going to have 10 handles in the tap room. Eight along the cooler which will be direct draw, but then we’re going to have a separate tower for sours, wilds, and barrel aged stuff. The best part about the tap room is we can be like “you want to come by and taste this? Because we just threw it on, and it’s only going to be on for two days, and we want to see what people think.” It’s like a beautiful focus group. Except people seek it out and then they pay you for it, which is even better


You guys use “community” a lot in describing your beer and your brewery.

EH: The only way this is successful for any of us is if we grow the community. That has to be everybody’s goal—day one. If we don’t, we all keep going to fish in the same fishing holes. Bangers and Lace has a ton of handles and Ria will always have great beer on there, but that’s just one place. We all have to keep going and finding two or three more Rias to make sure that we figure out how to introduce the rest of the world.

TK: As far as the craft beer community, I mean these are people we’ve been working with for the last 10 years and a lot of the guys that are opening up places now, were at Goose Island when I was there. John Laffler (Off Color Brewing) and Jared Rouben (Moody Tongue Brewing Company), these are guys I’ve been working very closely with for a long time. It’s just a matter of supporting everybody and helping everybody else out.


You recently did a collaboration with Perennial, do you have any other ones coming up?

EH: The Perennial collaboration we did—this batch that we brought for Chicago Craft Beer Week and some events around here— that was really just kind of a trial to see how it was received. The full-scale collaboration, which will be at retail in bottle and on draft, will be out in October. We’re going back down to Perennial here in a couple weeks to brew with them to get that done. You should be able to get at any of the good craft spots around Chicago.


Will you have any guest taps in the tasting room?

EH: Wish we could. Legally we’re not allowed to. We were really aware of our position in the community of Geneva. We wanted people to want to sell our beers down the street and so we always said we’re not going to be a brewpub. We’re not going to have food, we’re going to have limited hours. The only way for us to have guest taps would be to have a brewpub license. So no guest taps, at least not for now.


Do you like the direction everything is going in?

EH: Oh yeah. I’ve been very pleased with how Tom is dialing in on his styles.

TK: Right now it’s just a matter of tweaking. Do I like 10 percent buckwheat or 15 percent? It’s just kind of seeing the little subtle differences.

EH: We’ve played with some flavors too. We might do one for the market and then we might add lemon grass or green coriander or something like that just to kind of change it up a little bit [for our tap room.] And if we think this is something we like better, then we can just do it that way.


So, you’re starting with the kegs and market, then the tap room, then package and distribution. What’s next after that?

EH: Honestly, for us, like I said we want to go deep in Chicago. There’s no reason to rush.

TK: We don’t want to rush it. It’s a matter of doing it well here and then we can worry about other stuff later.


I’m sure anyone who home brews, brews professionally, they probably dream about being able to do this. For you, it’s almost here. How do you feel?

TK: Everyday there’s something more exciting. Like yesterday when I was pulling those (fermenters) in, it was just crazy. And when I get to be in here and I mapped out and taped out everything. It’s another step. And one of these days we’ll have beer and it will be just surreal. I’ll look back at these last three years and think “where’d that time go?” I mean hundreds of pages of business plans and recipe development and just thinking about what we want to do and different properties we’ve looked at. It’s just kind of surreal right now.


For more information visit penrosebrewing.com.

Interview by Kathryn Baker in Issue #4 of Mash Tun Journal.

 

 

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Drinking in Amsterdam

Unless you are a local, finding cool (non tourist laden) places in Amsterdam to drink in is a pain in the ass. But part of the fun of Amsterdam is wandering around, getting lost, retracing your steps, losing your rental bike, and pissing in the canals after drinking a place dry. If you only had a day in the ‘Dam these are my  go to places to grab a cold one.

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De Bierkoning

It’s worth a break in the tumult to get over to de Bierkoning, the best beer shop in Holland. Founded in the 80s, it’s located right off Dam Square. They feature some of the greatest beers in the world and carefully cellar such rare and delicious brews that any beer geek may cry, get down on their knees and thank Ninkasi. The sours cellar may have made me giddy, but their American craft beer selection made me laugh. The only good stuff they have is smuggled in by beer nerds who trade American brew for stuff we think is rare.

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I spoke with the super friendly and awesome managers, Jan and Alice, who will happily show you the way to Beervana. Although a difficult task, they gave me their top ten favorite beers that they have in the store:


Jan’s Top Ten:

  • Oersoep The Brute, the Brett and the Funky
  • Christoffel Blond
  • De Molen Hemel & Aarde Bruichladdich BA
  • Emelisse Brett Blond
  • Rooide Dop Daily Grind
  • Ramses Hop
  • Jopen Ongelovige Thomas
  • Schans Saison
  • Bronckhorster Nightporter
  • De Proefbrouwerij Snaterende Arend Tapuit

 

Alice’s Top Ten:

  • De Schans Saison
  • De Eem Tasty Lady
  • Christoffel Nobel
  • Jopen Meesterstuk
  • Emelisse Blond
  • Duits en Laret Winterstout
  • De Molen Amarillo
  • Volenbier Pijtje
  • SNAB Roock
  • Rodenburg Terra Incognita

Paleisstraat 125  1012 ZL Amsterdam, Netherlands
+31 20 625 2336
http://bierkoning.nl

 

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Brouwerij de Prael

This brewpub is located near the north end of the Red Light District, down one of many narrow side streets. If memory serves, it was just around the corner from the Dildo Experience.  De Prael is set in a former auction house and wheelwright shop on the Prinsengracht Canal. It’s a pretty sweet brewery, using traditional methods 100% organic grains.  But De Prael is more than a brewery, it is also a social institution, providing jobs for people with psychiatric handicaps –the first of its kind in the Netherlands. De Prael is beer with a social mission, something I really admire.

Oudezijds Voorburgwal 30  1012 GD Amsterdam, Netherlands
+31 20 408 4470
deprael.nl

 

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De Wildeman

This legendary bar in a former distillery is a place you’ll find beer guru, Michael Jackson, hanging out with the Dutch beer cognoscenti on another cute-as-fuck side street. They have 18 drafts and about 250 bottles from around the world. For a taste of local, they have a lot of small Dutch brews from the likes of De Molen and Emelisse on draft.  So if you want to go Dutch, make it happen here. [Editor’s note: If you ain’t Dutch, you ain’t much.] I do not remember how I got to this magical place, so good luck Google-Mapping it.

Kolksteeg 3  1012 PT Amsterdam, Netherlands
+31 20 638 2348
indewildeman.nl

 

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Brouwerij ‘t IJ

Obviously [see adjoining article] Brouwerij ‘t IJ is my favorite place to enjoy a beer in Amsterdam. The brewery is only open from 2-8pm and it is simply amazing to sit under the windmill by a canal and drink an afternoon and evening away. The brewery serves cheeses that are made by a farmer who uses the brewery’s spent grain to feed his cows and goats. And Patrick knows the best butcher in town, so the menu also features his articulate charcuterie.

Funenkade 7  1018 AL Amsterdam, Netherlands
+31 20 622 8325
brouwerijhetij.nl

 

The Beer Temple

The owner of Dutch beer bar Arendsnest (another bar you should check out), opened this American craft beer bar in 2009. They have 30 draft lines and around a hundred American bottles on their list. But why in the hell would you want to drink American craft beer while you’re visiting Holland? For the impressive draft list, of course; those genius mother fuckers from Mikkeller and Evil Twin often have their stuff here. But don’t think it will be more affordable. The good shit costs the same in Holland as it does in the US, if not more. Fucking Euro.

Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 250, 1012 RR Amsterdam, Netherlands
+31 20 627 1427
beertemple.nl

 

- By Edmar Mash Tun Journal 3

 

 

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Feb 22: Floyds & Friends Beertacular!


Floyd’s & Friends Beertacular

This music art and beer freak out will be benefiting the Mash Tun Journal!! Besides the great work on the walls, David Yow will be performing live with the band, White Powder! How is that for awesome?

February 22, 7pm-11pm
Co-Prosperity Sphere
(3219-21 South Morgan Street, Chicago Illinois, 60608)

Join us for a very special evening of art and performances programmed & curated by Three Floyd’s Brewery as part of their their week-long celebration of craft beer in Chicago-land. This Beertacular features an exhibition of work by many of 3Floyds friends  and is a visual and aural exploration of work that inspires the liquid dreams of the brewery. Attendees will receive copies of the Mash Tun Journal, yer friendly craft beer culture magazine, and a complementary pour of 3floyds latest juice.

The event features work by : David Yow, Tim Kerr, Win Wallace, Ian Shults, Jeff Swanson, 666 Photography, Abi Daniel, Bill Jeffrey, Lance Bradley, Don Rock, Billy Baca, Jason Morales, Jon Langford, Carl Jamie Berger and others.

Admission is $20. You must be 21yrs and older to attend. Proceeds of the event go to the Public Media Institute, a non profit grassroots arts organization based in Bridgeport, the Community of the Future.

PMI publishes the Mash Tun Journal and hosts the Mash Tun Festivals.

After purchasing admission via paypal your name will be placed on the RSVP list. Please show your ID at the door.
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Mash Tun 5 Call For Submissions

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Hey kids! Mash Tun Journal is seeking submissions —written and photographic — on the exploding craft beer scene worldwide.

Mash Tun covers anything and everything about the craft and art of alcohol with a specific focus on how the industry intersects with food, culture and society. Past issues have included travel essays from Brazil to Holland; interviews with some of the world’s leading brewers; essays on the history and chemistry of beer; and how-to pieces aimed at everyone from the beginner to the expert. Some of the leading writers on food and beer have contributed to Mash Tun — and now we’d like to hear from you.

Submissions should take the form of a one or two-paragraph pitch. Photography is accepted on review; a sample slide is expected. Submissions can be sent to any of the emails below with “Mash Tun query” in the subject header. Submissions will be reviewed within 48 hours.

Mash Tun is four-colour, 160 pg. perfect bound journal published three times a year. Mash Tun is a published by the non-profit Public Media Institute by Ed Marzewski (edmarlumpen@gmail.com) and is co-edited by Jamie Trecker (jamie.trecker@gmail.com) and Shanna van Volt (shannapants@gmail.com)

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Get the First Four issues of Mash Tun Journal for $20

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Mash Tun Journal 4 Packs!

Think about yer Beer Geek buddy. (S)he needs the first 4 issues of Mash Tun Journal – our bad ass magazine about the culture of craft beer. You can now buy them online at our new shop. The four pack costs $20.

Purchase Link: http://underthecounterculture.bigcartel.com/product/mash-tun-4-pack

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A Conversation with 18th Street Brewery’s Drew Fox

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18th Street Brewery is located in the Miller Beach neighborhood of Gary, IN. A veteran of Chicago’s Pipeworks, and a passionate believer in the power of community, Fox has fought to bring high-quality craft beer to the Steel City. Funded partially by a Kickstarter campaign, 18th Street is now up and running. This interview is featured in the latest issue of the Mash Tun Journal.

 

EDMAR: So what first attracted you to making beer?

 

DREW FOX: It was my trip to Brussels. I was working at the Swiss Hotel at the time, burned out in the hospitality and food industry and my wife said I should take a trip. So I went to Europe, and went to Belgium. I stayed at a hostel that had a phenomenal wheat beer. I fell in love with it, and I did a couple brewery tours when I was there. I stayed in Brugges for a couple weeks, I was in Ghent, then I went up to Zurich.

 

E: You went to Zurich, Switzerland as well for beer?

 

D: Yeah.

 

E: I didn’t even know the Swiss made good beer.

 

D: Not really [laughs]. I just fell in love with it. I came back home and couldn’t find any of the stuff they had out there, literally nothing. Small import stores, didn’t really have a huge selection, but a lot of European beers… Polish beers.

 

E: How long ago was this?

 

D: Probably 9 or 10 years ago. I came back home and said I love this. Blue Moon had just came out so I drank the shit out of Blue Moon, and slowly but surely craft beer started turning around. Half Acre was opening up so I stopped in to get some beer once and had a brief chat with Gabe and just followed what was going there as much as I could while I was still working in hospitality. Then I got a promotion at work taking over the Lobby Lounge at the hotel as assistant food and beverage manager and I started slowly introducing craft beer into the hotel. My boss saw that and liked it and asked me how much money we would make that year. I told him we would probably do about $1 million. He didn’t believe me. But I teamed up with Summit, Bells, New Holland, and a few other smaller breweries; we got a two-head kegerator behind the bar and we got six steel barrels. Every week we cranked through them because a lot of Europeans love American beers, so whether it was Budweiser or any American beer they want it. Between wine and beer sales we actually end up hitting $1.2 million in sales that year. My bosses still didn’t believe it, but the previous year we had only done $200,000 in sales. It was all craft beer.

 

I started home brewing later part of 2008 and in 2009 I started getting really serious about it. I told my wife that I was going to quit my job and build a brewery. She said, “If you think we are secure enough to do it then do it.” I told her we weren’t  secure by any means but we’ll figure it out.

 

E: So you got the inspiration for this in 2009, you started home brewing, When I first met you I remember you saying you had a SABCO system[1] and you just started fucking around on that. It seemed like you were one of the first people I knew that was starting your own brewery.

 

D: It was probably right around the same time as Pipeworks. They were probably a little further in their build-up and plan than I was, and they jumped out of the gate really fast. Then Revolution, then everyone else came behind that.

 

E: Well, one of our main focuses at Mash Tun is helping people get into beer. And we’d like to get your advice on starting a brewery: what were the steps that you took, how was your process, what were the first things when you were thinking about, was it about location, was it about funding, or was it about recipes — or was it about all these things?

 

D: It was all of the above. I built a test batch facility which I was going to use as a brewery behind my house. We got that Alcohol, Tax and Trade Bureau approved, and then we went to the city and they had no clue what a tack room brewery was. So they said no and it kind of broke my heart a little bit. Right around the same time I met Garrett and BJ and I volunteered over at Pipeworks. And that was great: I was able to get into the business by meeting two great guys who kind of struggled [starting their brewery] and seeing that from day one, seeing how they did it and came through it was amazing.

 

But I still had this tack room I couldn’t use, and I started to think, well, what the fuck am I going to do now? Funding became an issue, because running my numbers on the SABCO, I knew I could squeeze it — but you need the customers to drive your sales and your beer. I didn’t customers because Gary, IN didn’t have any craft beer market at all. And I had $10,000, enough money to get me started, but $10,000 is only scratching the surface of what you need. So I finally came on full-time with Pipeworks and that was where I really started to understand the funding. It takes a lot of money to run a brewery and people don’t get that. It’s not just equipment, it’s infrastructure. You need the product but you also you need the accounts. If you don’t have any of that you are sort of brewing all day long and not really getting anywhere.

 

Another thing was that I am probably one of the shyest guys you will ever meet, so it took me a while to learn how to build relationships with people. And I had to get people to know who I was and what 18th Street was is all about.

 

E: So it’s about developing relationships with possible places to sell your beer,  it’s about having enough money in the bank for your burn rate, you have to have an infrastructure, and the gear cost a lot,  and you gotta make great beer. What you’re saying is that this is actually one of the most challenging small businesses you can open.

 

D: Absolutely.

 

E: So the interesting thing about Pipeworks is that they did this Kickstarter campaign and they were able to raise significant amount of cash to help them purchase equipment. That is also something you also did. Is that something other people should pursue?

 

D: I was really against doing a Kickstarter in the beginning, I didn’t really want to source funds that way but I didn’t really want to take out a bank loan either. It worked out in our favor — we were able to double the amount of money that we raised — but at the end of the day it still wasn’t enough money to do what I am doing, $23,000 is still scratching the surface.

 

But what’s unique about it is I had the opportunity to contract brew beer at Pipeworks and at Spiteful. So you talk about camaraderie and helping each other out: that’s truly helping each other out. Those guys were taking money out of their table to help subsidize me and I think that was probably the greatest gift I have received thus far. You know everyone has been helping out but it really is a fierce, competitive business. And I think you have to go into it knowing that.

 

You also have to have a great product. If you look at the shelves now at a Maria’s or a Benny’s, they are full to capacity. I had a conversation with one of the buyers at Benny’s and he told me that with shelf space like that, it’s not sustainable. So you you have start looking two years out and think about how to get ahead of the curve. Say you go to cans: but then cans become saturated so what do you do next? And it’s hard. So while I’m always thinking about getting my beer into the market, I also wanted to open a taproom because that’s where you really can gain revenue.

 

E: Well this other question is this notion of volume. Everyone started out with three barrel system, going to seven or ten. Do you volume is the only way out of this?

 

D: Not necessarily, a lot of people have asked, why did you just not go into production right away. We could go into production right away but you gain a little more revenue when you have a taproom and when you can self distribute your own beer. With a taproom you keep that money in house. I remember Gabe saying that the taproom and bottle shop really helped sustain Half Acre, and I never forgot it. If we were just to do production I would have to rely on shelf space and kegs but with a taproom I have best of both worlds: I can still distribute my stuff in bottles and the taproom is going to give me the extra income to help sustain 18th Street Brewery. It cost a little more money up front but I think it’s probably the smarter move.

 

E: Right, the taproom is the best model for return on investment the beer that you are making, so brewpubs, taprooms, and the like are really the only way to generate significant income to cover your costs. Almost all the cats who open up these smaller breweries right now, they all have a taproom component or growler filling station or whatnot. But the biggest issue too, even at Maria’s, is: “is there shelf space?” And then, as a retailer, you have to hand-sell and advocate for certain beers, and that becomes really difficult. And that brings up the bomber market which a lot of people feel is the only way to generate significant income.

 

D: The bomber market is a double-edged sword. I think there is some saturation in the market but one thing I’ve looked at is the cost of difference in selling my beer in bomber vs. a keg. The profit margin is higher in bottles. Now, you lose a little bit on kegs but then you gain that back because you don’t have the label cost and you don’t have the bottle cost. Putting it in kegs is a one-stop shop; but the flip is that you loose the marketing component on store shelves. So, us small guys have to find a balance. Do we keg 50%, do we bottle 50%? At the end of the day, you have to create ROI somewhere and a lot of the smaller guys including myself are still trying to find a way how to do that and still be profitable.

 

E: The location that you have chosen is actually one of the most interesting things about your brewery. I believe that breweries or brewpubs provide amazing function for community development or a way to provide economic, social, cultural development of a neighborhood. Great Lakes in Cleveland transformed a downtown neighborhood, and you look at what’s happening in all these Michigan Lake front breweries –

 

D: The Livery in Benton Harbor.

 

E: — right, and you’re going to Miller Beach which is a part of Gary, IN. Miller Beach has been a community that has been kind of fighting for decades to reinvigorate that small downtown area. By creating a brewpub there you provide an additional reason for someone to come out to Miller Beach. So was that something that you were aware of when you were planning the brewery?

 

D: Yes and no. We always knew that we were going to be in Gary. We looked at downtown Gary because we knew that downtown definitely needed some revitalization but the problem was we would be only source of business infrastructure. Our survival rate probably would have been nil, even though [the location] was close to the train station. So we met with some city folks and they advised us to consider Miller Beach. I had been to Miller Beach several times with my kids and we did more research and the income level there, the foot traffic, and the train station made the decision easy. Everyone still says we have one of the best locations for a new brewery in Indiana. We are half a block from the South-shore train station, less than a quarter mile from the beach, and being in affluent area gives us the best of both worlds.

 

But we just don’t want to be this Brewery stuck in this affluent neighborhood and out of touch with the people on the West side of Gary or the people in Glen Park, because the brewery is not just for Miller Beach, the brewery is for Gary. I want people to understand that.

 

E: I am excited by that. Now I know that you have run into some problems with –

 

D: No shit.

 

E: – developing the brewery so what are the things that you would suggest to keep in mind before signing the dotted line on that lease?

 

D: Well make sure you have a fucking architect. You need a licensed architect, it’s really expensive and that’s one lesson I learned. Don’t depend on the city to do shit for you. We have never asked Gary for money and we never will. But initially we thought we would get some support and that it would continue. We don’t want the keys to the city but we have a great business model and we thought they would support that business model a little bit better than they have. And so that has kind of turned me off in the last couple months. But, never depend on the city: take your business model to the city and let them know who you are, what you are, and what you are going to do. Make sure you have the proper funding. And then, hire an architect because when you have to build another bathroom or you have to put in additional plumbing –

 

E: – licensed plumbers, licensed electricians, the license to charge you double.

 

D: Yeah, in our case I didn’t plan for certain things because I thought we didn’t  need them, and then the city said no, no, no, no.

 

E: So you are saying the architectural plans would have saved you money. How?

 

D: Because you go to the city, with your architectural plans, and they have a clear understanding of what you want to do. We had an architect, but we had an architect that wasn’t licensed in the city of Gary or the state of Indiana. We had someone from Chicago do our drawings, and we weren’t told [that this was a problem] — and I didn’t ask the question. So the money that we were going to use to build out the brewery immediately went to an architect which immediately put us in a rut again.

 

At that point were are already knee deep in and you can’t pull out so I sold my Harley, I sold some stocks and bonds, and thank god we didn’t have a mortgage on the house. We thought about putting a second mortgage up, but thankfully through the Kickstarter campaign we found some people who really understood our concept and really wanted us to get off the ground. We had some local ONE8 members who donated some funds, we had our contractor do a little bit of the work pro-bono for us, and all that helped. That doesn’t mean that we were not in a rut, and all of these things cost money and time.

 

I think the time issue for me is what drives me nuts because every day that you are not open you lose money and the city doesn’t care because they don’t understand. But everyday we’re not open is a day I can’t hire one or two or three employees in a city where our unemployment rate is at an all-time high of 70%. That’s the highest anywhere in the country. And you would think the city would understand and be like, hey, here is a guy who is bringing business — but they don’t get that. As you said, the brewery is cutting edge when it comes to economic and social development, and I think as brewers we have to do a better job of explaining that.

 

E: The role of a brewery in a community.

 

D: Absolutely.

 

E: That’s a really good point. One of the things you actually helped me out was helping me out with my licensing through the Alcohol, Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). I would say that’s another super important thing. Right?

 

D: Hell, yeah. But the thing is: you really can’t even do that application process until you have the architectural plans until you have a lease — which is utterly insane because you have your architecture plans, you have a lease, but then the TTB has to look at your shit and determine whether or not you are going to get your license. That’s three or four months of waiting for them  – so you just burn three to four months of your lease.

 

It’s one of those things that I’ve learned and it’s what everyone says: you really have to know your state, local, and federal laws. TTB is just a component of that and if you don’t have that piece of paper, you can’t even brew beer. You can home-brew but you can’t brew beer for sale. TTB was definitely a hurdle for me. Luckily we had a good agent that helped us out through our process. I always share that information with new breweries because TTB seems very daunting. Yet, you have to do it right the first time. It’s daunting, there’s tons of paperwork — but it’s really simple.

 

E: Really? One of the key things is you have to find a consultant.

 

D: It may seem daunting but it’s one of the easiest processes to go through. It will take you an hour to go through all that paper work it’s not really that difficult.

 

E: So the other hurdle at this point is money. Based on your estimates and of course everything has changed at this time, how off were you on your estimates?

 

D: As Gerrit said to me, to open a small nanobrewery on this scale you need about $100,000, roughly. If you find a good deal on your lease, you find some used equipment and you have people donating things to you, you can get away with $50,000. In our estimate, and based on what we wanted to do, we were roughly about $30,000 short. If everything had gone as planned we would have been open two months ago. Again, you have to know, yes, you need an architect, you have to know that you need two bathrooms. Being off as much as I was, I still think we will recoup that in the first 3 months we will be open but without the taproom or bottle shop we would have struggled.

 

My goal was not to take a bank loan out, and I don’t like asking people for money. There are enough people out there that are interested in our project and wanted to invest in our project, but I thought it was important for me to own 100% of the company. So I thought it was important for me to source the funding the way I have and I think it’s important for people to look at. There are a lot of venture capitalists out there that want to give you money but they all want something in return. I also think there are a lot of people out there that have money and want to give to a project like 18th Street Brewery. They are not asking for a return, they believe in it. I found that more important and more giving, I think that is what true community is. They want to support your business and I think if you have a great business model and plan they I don’t want to say have nothing to fear but they want to support you.

 

E: That’s pretty rare.

 

D: It is very rare, sometimes I get choked up about it because there will be a day when I walk into the brewery and I say, shit I wasn’t expecting this and now how am I going to get $2000 to do this? Luckily we have been able to make up some ground. We’re still about $10-15,000 short.

 

E: It’s going to happen.

 

D: We already started construction and we are going to keep going. We have all the gear. Whether we get the production side open first, the taproom open a little bit later, we are right where we need to be.

 

E: That’s fantastic. What else do you think would be important for someone to do when they are starting their brewery?

 

D: Learn as much as you can about your local laws and state laws and if you can afford to do it, hire a really good excise attorney who understands liquor and beverage law and stuff like that. Indiana is a little bit different from the state of Illinois, and both are different from every other state. When you apply for your paperwork you want someone who knows how that works and that will help you through the process as well. Have a good lawyer so that you are not getting screwed on certain things.

 

E: My suggestion if you were to read this article, if you are looking to start a brewery and you need a consultant, call Drew.

 

D: There are a lot of people out there. I think it’s important that we keep our doors open, and it’s a very competitive market but I don’t want to see anyone fail when they are starting this business. I am always willing to give up my time because people have done so much for me already and that’s the least I can do. We are still going to be competitive no matter what but –

 

E: The ultimate competitor is Budweiser, Miller, and Coors, it’s not each other. So we are fighting on multiple fronts, in multiple battles, in different communities everywhere do help proselytize quality for beverages, beer, etc. That’s the main battle.

 

D: Exactly.



[1] SABCO makes scalable brewing systems. They were initially designed as a pro-level recipe development system for breweries and today are commonly found in nanobreweries; or as a pilot system in an established brewery.

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Level Eater 3.5 Art of Drinking and Gaming Event

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We are super excited about the party at the Co-Prosperity Sphere on November 15. It’s a Dungeons & Dragons inspired art show and happening featuring a beer made by Three Floyds, especially for the event. The delicious sessionable Amber Ale will pour all night as you enjoy the sounds of Sun Splitter and Sybaris. The event is from 7pm -11pm with an 8-hour D & D gaming tournament afterwards. More info at http://www.leveleater.org

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Mashtoberfest / Mash Tun Journal Release Party October 26, 2013

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Mashtoberfest

Mashtoberfest
October 26 – 8pm-Midnight
Co-Prosperity Sphere 3219 S Morgan St

Mashtoberfest is the release party for issue number four  of The Mash Tun Journal. Our Halloween costume ball will be held at the Co-Prosperity Sphere featuring complementary pours of the finest libations offered by Half Acre, Dry Hop,  Solemn Oath, Pipeworks, Revolution, Lagunitas, Allagash, 18th Street, Stone, Greenbush, Three Floyds and others.

Maria’s will also be providing tastes of a wide variety of fruity, spicy, tart and pumpkin beers .  Hardcore Craft Beer  will be featuring their Alechemy project during the night and  we will be giving out prizes for best costume, so make it happen, cholo.  Food will be provided by local Bridgeport chefs and our favorite fried food: Popeye’s Chicken. You can enjoy live music by geighties cover band Members Only, Population, and DJ Hector and Co.

Admission $40 •  Purchase tickets at Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar or the Co-Prosperity Sphere (21+). Major credit cards accepted. No Refunds.
Admission gives you membership to the Mash Tun Society, our not so secret beer club.

Mashtoberfest is a celebration of the release of Mash Tun: A Craft Beer Journal issue #4. The Mash Tun is a publication put out by your buddies at Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar and The Public Media Institute, a non profit arts and culture organization based in Bridgeport.  Mash Tun is our paean to craft beer. It follows the pleasures and aesthetics of craft beer and how it intersects with food, culture, and society.

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Serving Art

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Tom Marioni has been drinking beer with friends and calling it art for over forty years. In 1970, he invited friends to the Oakland Museum of Art to hang out and drink beer, leaving the bottles and other detritus behind for the museum-going public to behold. He called it The Act of Drinking Beer With Friends is the Highest Form of Art and traced the work’s genesis to his art school days, when the sociable meeting of beer-altered minds produced situations and experiences akin to those ordinarily understood to belong exclusively to art. After the show at the Oakland Museum, Marioni began to host weekly drinking nights in his studio where he gave away beer for free.

 

Since then, when The Act of Drinking Beer returns to art institutions, it does so as a free bar. When it was installed at San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art in 1979, Marioni served Anchor Steam Beer. Uniquely appropriate for the venue, Anchor Steam has been brewed in San Francisco for over a hundred years and is perhaps the best known of a type of beer called California Common. The necessity of brewing without refrigeration in the late nineteenth century led many West Coast brewers to use normally cold-fermented lager yeast with warm brewing methods usually reserved for ales, producing a beer that retains characteristics of both ale and lager. California Commons are experimental hybrids that flout traditional wisdom and taste good anyway.

 

Anchor itself is no less important in the history of craft beer. After World War II, Anchor held out against industry behemoths like Anheuser-Busch only by cutting costs and compromising its original formula. That led to low-quality beer. But in 1965 Fritz Maytag III, heir to the Maytag washing machine fortune, bought the brewery and began restoring the operation by slowing things down and making smaller quantities of high-quality beer. (In the seventies, he also occasionally supplied Marioni with free cases of Anchor Steam for his art.) With an infusion of capital and Maytag at the helm, Anchor began operating with a new set of values: artfulness, experimentation, and a keen awareness of history—all of them hallmarks of craft brewing today. Maytag’s success in turning struggling Anchor into a successful and respected brewery provided an inspirational blueprint for other brewers, helping to spark a paradigm shift away from macrobrews and towards craft beer.

 

Craft beer categories are even more well defined than categories in art. With precisely measured qualities like alcohol-by-volume, international bitterness units, and specific gravity, one could easily describe a Pilsner in a few lines. Describing a movement in art, Cubism for example, would likely take a few paragraphs. But at the same time that it establishes standards, craft beer open-mindedly subjects its standards radical mistreatments of its established standards, allowing for the birth of new hybrid categories. Anchor Steam is one example of these proliferating hybrids. Much of the time, these recategorizations are the result of accident and necessity, but they are just as often produced by intentional experimentation. And it is, in the experimental process of making, where craft beer and art share common cause. The Act of Drinking Beer refused inflexible categories—Who could say if it is merely a performance? A sculpture? Ordinary life in masquerade?—and allowed the social form of beer drinking to exist as an artwork in its own right. This impulse to disregard rules without permission, abandoning the urge to patrol boundaries, is what truly opens up new productive avenues for artmaking. Only this kind of freewheeling experimentation can keep art, and brewing, vital.

 

Marioni continues to exhibit The Act of Drinking Beer is the Highest Form of Art, most recently at Chicago’s Smart Museum as part of the exhibition Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art. Instead of Anchor Steam, Marioni now uses Pacifico. An echo of Anchor Steam’s hybridity comes out in the origin story of Marioni’s new beer of choice. German immigrants established the original Pacifico brewery in Mazatlán, Mexico in the early twentieth century. Like many other North American cities (including Marioni’s childhood home of Cincinnati), Mazatlán bears the influence of its German population to this day. Pacifico’s style, a pale lager originally made to suit a Central European palate, is but one mark of this influence. But for Marioni, this backstory often takes a backseat to what the beer does aesthetically. While it evokes his identity as an artist of the Pacific Rim (and a kid from the Midwest), Pacifico also matches the overwhelmingly yellow visual identity of The Act of Drinking Beer: yellow wood for the bar, yellow beer and label, and special yellow lighting to compete with the merciless white lights usually employed in art museums. At this point in Marioni’s career, the aesthetic qualities of the beer take a backseat to the act of drinking it.
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Since Marioni first served beer at the Oakland Museum as an artwork, many artists have trod a similar path. As the Feast exhibition demonstrates, experiences and scenarios that ordinarily exist simply as a part of life are nowadays routinely refashioned into works of art. Plenty of these artists have also worked with beer. If Marioni tapped the barrel, the artist and homebrewer Eric Steen is working hard to extract every last drop. Like Marioni, Steen’s work also developed west of the Rockies. He studied at a special MFA program at Portland State University called Art and Social Practice—one of a handful of MFA programs in the United States where artists go to study art practices that slither between the slippery domains of life and art. These days he lives in Colorado Springs, a city that (like Portland) takes craft beer seriously. Steen’s deployment into the world of beer does takes a few cues from Marioni, especially when it comes to his interest in the way a beer-focused social gathering functions. Beer primarily serves Marioni as a readymade product, a convenient tool used to lubricate social encounters. But for Steen, it is also a well-crafted substance with a specific history that posesses the remarkable power to both loose people up and bond them together.

 

A project he organized last year, Beers Made By Walking, showcases these qualities. Steen gathered naturalists and homebrewers for seven hikes in the rugged landscape surrounding Colorado Springs. The public was invited to come along. The naturalists led the hikers along trails and pointed out significant plants like yarrow, rose hips, and wild hops. With the naturalists’ help, each of the homebrewers selected edible or medicinal plants as the base of a new recipe. They experimented with the foraged ingredients and then produced larger batches at two local breweries. There were seven beers in all, including a bright pink prickly pear cactus wheat beer (called Opuntaie Deorum), a double Belgian IPA with chokecherry (Monk Choker), and a stout flavored with sarsaparilla, hazlenuts, and spruce (Old Man of the Woods). After a full summer of hiking and brewing, Beers Made By Walking culminated in the fall with public tastings at a local brewpup. Each link on the beer’s chain of production became a site for rethinking brewing as an artful process.

 

The pub is an equally important site for Steen’s work. “Pub” comes from shortening the Britishism “public house,” a near oxymoron that weds the private—house evokes home, and what could be more private?—with its opposite. Historically, pubs were places where people gathered to do much more than anonymously mull over a pint in silence. In villages across the United Kingdom, pubs were like houses that belonged to the local populace, indispensable local institutions where communities gathered, holidays were celebrated, and news from the road was exchanged. Resurrecting this lively dynamic is a key purpose of Pub School, a project Steen organized in Glasgow, Scotland over six weeks in 2010. Weekly homebrewing demos, beer tastings, lectures, and pub crawls were all hosted by a local art space. Through these educational programs, the gallery became a sort of public house for Glasgow’s beer scene, bringing homebrewers together with each other and with professional brewers in the area. One of the homebrews was even chosen to go into production at a local brewery. The project gave the public an opportunity to recognize and directly partake in the nuanced beer culture fermenting right under their noses.

 

Whether it exists in a gallery or on a neighborhood corner, the pub is, at its best, a place where the familiarity born of a community creates a favorable atmosphere for the unexpected to occur and for experiments to happen. Under one roof, Steen gathers professionals and amateurs, strangers and friends, and asks them to drink beer. But, in this case, the act of drinking is but one facet of a many-sided artwork. Where beer is a readymade for Marioni, for Steen it is a magic stuff with qualities that open up a broad range of experiences—both from the beer itself and the scene of its consumption.

 

This tracks with the history of craft beer. Since the sixties, the answer to the question “what to drink?” has become complicated in the best sense. Where one might have once chosen between beer, wine, or liquor, there’s now stout, saison, or IPA. And it’s even subtler than that; the choice today may just as easily be among an IPA flavored with fruit essence, a double IPA, or an imperial IPA. Steen’s work benefits from and mirrors this ongoing sophistication of beer-drinking culture. Among this bounty of possibilities, the artist asks beer drinkers to not only conceive of their beverage symbolically—as a emblem of conviviality—but to also understand beer as a complex aesthetic object in its own right, capable of both the utmost sophistication and the most sublime sloppiness at the same time. As an object of fascination it routinely outstrips categorizations, whether it’s sloshing over the rim of a glass after a generous pull on the tap or exploding out of a shotgunned Coors Light. Attempting to domesticate beer’s non-hierarchical tendencies would mean watching it go flat. And, in that case, what would be the point? Most of us would take a foamed up, flavorful beer over a dormant and stale one any day, even if it makes a mess. As Steen muddles the boundaries of art and craft beer, he encourages people to bring to beer the attentiveness they might otherwise bring to art (and vice versa). And just as beer loiters on the threshold between sobriety and inebriation, so it exists as a liquid medium through which one might pass cheerfully from art to life and back again.

– by Bryce Dwyer – From issue 1 of Mash Tun Journal

Top Photo: Tom Marioni, The Act of Drinking Beer is the Highest Form of Art, 1970-2012. Courtesy of The Smart Museum of Art.

Second Photo: Eric Steen, Beers Made By Walking, 2011. Courtesy of Eric Steen. Photo by Daniel Flanders.

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May 3, 2014 is Mash Tun Festival: The New Wave Brewers Bash

Mash Tun Festival: The New Wave Brewers Bash May 3, 2014  3-7pm Co-Prosperity Sphere 3219 S Morgan Street Join us as we celebrate the release of Mash Tun Journal # 5 and meet the new generation of breweries that have recently launched in Chicagoland. You get a copy of the new issue of the mag, a tasting glass, and pours of brews by New Wave breweries like: 18th Street, One Trick Pony, Horse Thief Hollow,  Dryhop, Off Color, Ale Syndicate, Slap Shot, Atlas, Lake Effect, BuckleDown, Une Année  and others. Complementary vittles and other surprises in store. Admission is $35  ( $25 for Mash Tun Society Members – What is that? ) •  You must RSVP and purchase tickets online via our Eventbrite site or in person at Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar.  Major credit cards accepted. No Refunds. After purchasing admission your name will be on our RSVP list at the door. Please bring your ID and show your receipt from paypal.    

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A Conversation with Tom Korder and Eric Hobbs of Penrose Brewing Company

Tom Korder and Eric Hobbs know craft beer. They know how to make it, know how to sell it, and certainly know how to talk about it. Mr. Korder and Mr. Hobbs have partnered to open Penrose Brewing Company this fall in Geneva, IL, hoping to create both great beer and a great beer community. Korder and Hobbs have over a decade of experience in the industry—most recently at Goose Island, where Korder was the brewery manager for 4 1/2 years and Hobbs was a market manager. When Hobbs started thinking of opening a brewery—the kind of brewery he wanted—he knew that it could only exist if Korder signed on to join him.“ I was a good home brewer at the time but that was about it. I was not a professional brewer and I did not want to enter this market—even knowing three years ago how crowded it was getting—without a partner that really knew how to make great beer all the time, build a brewery, manage a brewery. That was what I was looking for and Tom was the guy.” Interviews are condensed and edited for clarity, but not for content. Let’s start with the name, Penrose. HOBBS: Tom found the Penrose tiling pattern when we had shifted away from our original name after trademark concerns. He showed me the tile and got really excited, explaining how the math and the science create this balance between art and science—pretty fitting for a brewery. And you have an engineering background? TOM KORDER: Yes, mechanical engineering. So, how’d you go from engineering into brewing? TK: I went in a different direction than most people. Most people start home brewing and really get into it; I started professionally at the largest brewer in the world, Anheuser-Busch, and worked for them as a manager for about a year and a half. I learned all about beer and I got a very scientific look at how to make consistent beer, time after time. From there I went to one of their bigger breweries in Georgia, and I decided it was getting a little too big and factory for me. I wanted to go to a craft brewer and really make my mark, so I ended up going to Goose Island as the brewery manger running day to day operations. I helped grow and define their barrel program. Then it was really time to branch off on my own. I was looking at some other opportunities but Eric and I met up, and I started listing off things [I wanted in a brewery] and it just meshed there, so we ran with it. EH: We spent a lot of time figuring out how we wanted this thing to look and feel. We knew right away that we wanted to brew Belgian styles. We started thinking about what we wanted to do with recipes but it was always in the back of our minds that we had to get the whole business side of it figured out.We did months of business planning and delivered a plan to our investors – and these are the same guys we’ve got today. They’ve been with us now for almost three years. When I think art meeting science, I think creativity, innovation, complexity. Are these things that you want to inspire your beer? EH: Absolutely. The hardest thing about brewing is doing something very simple, very clean, making it well, and being consistent. It’s like laying a canvas. Then you can introduce complexity with things like alternative fermentation, wild ales and barrel aging, and that’s where you show that “I really understand the rules and here’s how I bend them.”   Do you have a plan for what you are going to start with? TK: Yeah we’ve got our four main beers dialed in that we’re working on: “Proto Gradus” and “P2,” a Belgian single and a Belgian pale ale will be our first two. Once those two kind of hit the market, we’ll roll out “Navette,” which is a Belgian Black Ale made with toasted buckwheat. It’s not really a stout, but it has a very dry, nice malt body, and a lot of Belgian yeast character. The fourth will be our French Saison, “Levant.” EH: We decided to go with the French version of the saison, rather than the Belgian: when we were doing our test batches we just found ourselves gravitating more towards the French style. TK: Yeah. I mean it was really clean and the Belgian Saison is very spicy at times. It’s kind of the typical saison aroma that most people think of but this one is just a little cleaner and not as spicy. You’re also going to have your own in-house lab? TK: Yes, we’ll be able to do all of our own micro, all of our own cell counts, and make sure what the consumer’s tasting is what we’re tasting. It’s one thing to taste your beer fresh every time but then when the consumer is tasting it, it might be six weeks later, so you need to be doing the same thing. So we’ll do comparative taste panels and all that stuff in house. EH: There’s too many great brewers out there these days to not have really great beer. That’s why when Tom said he’s going to put a lab in I was like “Yes. That’s awesome.” There’s inevitably going to be somebody that’s gonna be on untappd (the social beer drinking app and service) and say they feel something is wrong with our beer. Context is important: we need to know exactly what a customer is drinking and when they’re drinking it, and when it was made. That way, if there is something wrong we can check; or if they’re just not used to tasting beers — or they don’t like beers like that — we can quickly help them understand that we’ve got the same beer sitting in our lab right now, that we’ve tested it and…

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Drinking in Amsterdam

Unless you are a local, finding cool (non tourist laden) places in Amsterdam to drink in is a pain in the ass. But part of the fun of Amsterdam is wandering around, getting lost, retracing your steps, losing your rental bike, and pissing in the canals after drinking a place dry. If you only had a day in the ‘Dam these are my  go to places to grab a cold one. De Bierkoning It’s worth a break in the tumult to get over to de Bierkoning, the best beer shop in Holland. Founded in the 80s, it’s located right off Dam Square. They feature some of the greatest beers in the world and carefully cellar such rare and delicious brews that any beer geek may cry, get down on their knees and thank Ninkasi. The sours cellar may have made me giddy, but their American craft beer selection made me laugh. The only good stuff they have is smuggled in by beer nerds who trade American brew for stuff we think is rare. I spoke with the super friendly and awesome managers, Jan and Alice, who will happily show you the way to Beervana. Although a difficult task, they gave me their top ten favorite beers that they have in the store: Jan’s Top Ten: Oersoep The Brute, the Brett and the Funky Christoffel Blond De Molen Hemel & Aarde Bruichladdich BA Emelisse Brett Blond Rooide Dop Daily Grind Ramses Hop Jopen Ongelovige Thomas Schans Saison Bronckhorster Nightporter De Proefbrouwerij Snaterende Arend Tapuit   Alice’s Top Ten: De Schans Saison De Eem Tasty Lady Christoffel Nobel Jopen Meesterstuk Emelisse Blond Duits en Laret Winterstout De Molen Amarillo Volenbier Pijtje SNAB Roock Rodenburg Terra Incognita Paleisstraat 125  1012 ZL Amsterdam, Netherlands +31 20 625 2336 http://bierkoning.nl   Brouwerij de Prael This brewpub is located near the north end of the Red Light District, down one of many narrow side streets. If memory serves, it was just around the corner from the Dildo Experience.  De Prael is set in a former auction house and wheelwright shop on the Prinsengracht Canal. It’s a pretty sweet brewery, using traditional methods 100% organic grains.  But De Prael is more than a brewery, it is also a social institution, providing jobs for people with psychiatric handicaps –the first of its kind in the Netherlands. De Prael is beer with a social mission, something I really admire. Oudezijds Voorburgwal 30  1012 GD Amsterdam, Netherlands +31 20 408 4470 deprael.nl     De Wildeman This legendary bar in a former distillery is a place you’ll find beer guru, Michael Jackson, hanging out with the Dutch beer cognoscenti on another cute-as-fuck side street. They have 18 drafts and about 250 bottles from around the world. For a taste of local, they have a lot of small Dutch brews from the likes of De Molen and Emelisse on draft.  So if you want to go Dutch, make it happen here. [Editor’s note: If you ain’t Dutch, you ain’t much.] I do not remember how I got to this magical place, so good luck Google-Mapping it. Kolksteeg 3  1012 PT Amsterdam, Netherlands +31 20 638 2348 indewildeman.nl   Brouwerij ‘t IJ Obviously [see adjoining article] Brouwerij ‘t IJ is my favorite place to enjoy a beer in Amsterdam. The brewery is only open from 2-8pm and it is simply amazing to sit under the windmill by a canal and drink an afternoon and evening away. The brewery serves cheeses that are made by a farmer who uses the brewery’s spent grain to feed his cows and goats. And Patrick knows the best butcher in town, so the menu also features his articulate charcuterie. Funenkade 7  1018 AL Amsterdam, Netherlands +31 20 622 8325 brouwerijhetij.nl   The Beer Temple The owner of Dutch beer bar Arendsnest (another bar you should check out), opened this American craft beer bar in 2009. They have 30 draft lines and around a hundred American bottles on their list. But why in the hell would you want to drink American craft beer while you’re visiting Holland? For the impressive draft list, of course; those genius mother fuckers from Mikkeller and Evil Twin often have their stuff here. But don’t think it will be more affordable. The good shit costs the same in Holland as it does in the US, if not more. Fucking Euro. Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 250, 1012 RR Amsterdam, Netherlands +31 20 627 1427 beertemple.nl   – By Edmar Mash Tun Journal 3    

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Feb 22: Floyds & Friends Beertacular!

Floyd’s & Friends Beertacular This music art and beer freak out will be benefiting the Mash Tun Journal!! Besides the great work on the walls, David Yow will be performing live with the band, White Powder! How is that for awesome? February 22, 7pm-11pm Co-Prosperity Sphere (3219-21 South Morgan Street, Chicago Illinois, 60608) {PURCHASE TICKETS HERE VIA PAYPAL}   Join us for a very special evening of art and performances programmed & curated by Three Floyd’s Brewery as part of their their week-long celebration of craft beer in Chicago-land. This Beertacular features an exhibition of work by many of 3Floyds friends  and is a visual and aural exploration of work that inspires the liquid dreams of the brewery. Attendees will receive copies of the Mash Tun Journal, yer friendly craft beer culture magazine, and a complementary pour of 3floyds latest juice. The event features work by : David Yow, Tim Kerr, Win Wallace, Ian Shults, Jeff Swanson, 666 Photography, Abi Daniel, Bill Jeffrey, Lance Bradley, Don Rock, Billy Baca, Jason Morales, Jon Langford, Carl Jamie Berger and others. Admission is $20. You must be 21yrs and older to attend. Proceeds of the event go to the Public Media Institute, a non profit grassroots arts organization based in Bridgeport, the Community of the Future. PMI publishes the Mash Tun Journal and hosts the Mash Tun Festivals. After purchasing admission via paypal your name will be placed on the RSVP list. Please show your ID at the door.

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Mash Tun 5 Call For Submissions

Hey kids! Mash Tun Journal is seeking submissions —written and photographic — on the exploding craft beer scene worldwide. Mash Tun covers anything and everything about the craft and art of alcohol with a specific focus on how the industry intersects with food, culture and society. Past issues have included travel essays from Brazil to Holland; interviews with some of the world’s leading brewers; essays on the history and chemistry of beer; and how-to pieces aimed at everyone from the beginner to the expert. Some of the leading writers on food and beer have contributed to Mash Tun — and now we’d like to hear from you. Submissions should take the form of a one or two-paragraph pitch. Photography is accepted on review; a sample slide is expected. Submissions can be sent to any of the emails below with “Mash Tun query” in the subject header. Submissions will be reviewed within 48 hours. Mash Tun is four-colour, 160 pg. perfect bound journal published three times a year. Mash Tun is a published by the non-profit Public Media Institute by Ed Marzewski (edmarlumpen@gmail.com) and is co-edited by Jamie Trecker (jamie.trecker@gmail.com) and Shanna van Volt (shannapants@gmail.com)

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Get the First Four issues of Mash Tun Journal for $20

Mash Tun Journal 4 Packs! Think about yer Beer Geek buddy. (S)he needs the first 4 issues of Mash Tun Journal – our bad ass magazine about the culture of craft beer. You can now buy them online at our new shop. The four pack costs $20. Purchase Link: http://underthecounterculture.bigcartel.com/product/mash-tun-4-pack

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Contact

Need help with your subscription? subscriptions@mashtunjournal.org

Do you have a question about your membership? marian@mashtunjournal.org

What to contribute to the magazine? ed@mashtunjournal.org

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