Mash Tun Journal and Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar have teamed up with Chef Won Kim of Brew Ha Ha to bring you another counter-cultural visual and brewery arts exhibition and happening. This edition, called Over The Influence: The Art of Beer, takes place May 18, 2013, 5-9pm at the Co-Prosperity Sphere ( 3219 S Morgan Street) during Chicago Craft Beer Week. Join us for an evening of imbibery and art. Enjoy work from artists and designers inspired by the aesthetics of craft beer and how it intersects with food, culture, and society. Complementary beverages by Half Acre Beer Co., Solemn Oath Brewery, Spiteful Brewing , Journeyman Distillery, Maria’s Ginger Beer and outsider brewers. Flesh for Food will be vending vittles. Admission is $30 and is by rsvp only. 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. Over The Influence: The Art of Beer includes work by: Catie Olson Phineas Jones Rebekka Erin Moran Eric Olson Chaos Brew Club Jeriah Hildwine Michael Kiser Scott Holterhaus Scott Shellhammer Nathan West Ben Laskov Uriel Correa Jose Alejandro Rodriguez Joey Potts Anne Heisler Shawnimals Ruben Aguirre Solo rm Czr prz Vyto Max Bare Erik Brown + others
- by Ed Marszewski Some readers of Mash Tun Journal might know that we are building our own brewery here in Chicago. So in late March I went to the annual Craft Brewers Conference in Washington DC to see how the revolution in craft brewing looks in person. By taking a snapshot at some of the trends and fads currently in the industry I hoped to come back better armed with insight and guidance as I embark with my brothers and our friends on our collective liquid dreams. [ Disclaimer: All crappy photos in this post were taken with my Iphone ] The conference took place in the lovely Washington Convention Center taking over the main exhibition hall and dozens of conference rooms that featured seminars on everything from: Writing your own Brewery Business Plan; to Surviving the Bubble: Analytics for Strategic Decisions, to Brewing with Wood. I went to a few of the sessions for Start Ups. For newbs and recently inspired brewery entrepreneurs, these panels were helpful in giving some basic facts and structural advice. It was nice to hear from brewery owners regarding return on investment formulas and warnings of hidden costs. It was also good to remember that new breweries are going to have a hard time buying simco, citra and mosaic hops. But for the most part the couple of Start Up panels I attended seemed rather pedestrian and imparted some low level info. If you are starting a brewery my suggestion is that you talk to a brewery owner. Or talk to super pros in the industry, like Mash Tun contributor and Master Cicerone, Dave Kahle. This is one of the best reasons for putting out our Mash Tun Journal. We get to talk to these amazing guys. And I know you’ll glean more information having a one hour conversation with them than by going to a Start Up seminar. But then again our endeavor is no longer a brewery in planning. We are about to make some beer. So perhaps I should have gone to other panel tracks. Which I did. In between sessions I visited the Trade Show which featured over 400 vendors and businesses. The $400-600 price of admission was probably worth just this facet of the Craft Brewers Conference. It is important to meet the people that make the equipment that help you brew beer and talk to the people that sell you the raw materials. I systematically went through the hall and met some of our current and perhaps future vendors. For a brewer there is nothing more exciting than seeing piles of hops strewn all over the tables and floors of a convention center (unless you have a stainless steel fetish, and if you do, you will have a field day here). The one big thing I noticed about this year’s trade show is that it was a huge opportunity for many vendors to drum up some new business. To date there are 2,347 breweries in operation. 409 of them just opened in 2012. And there are about 1300 of them in planning mode right now. Most of the businesses at the trade show are going to make some nice coin re-selling tanks made in China and hops grown in the great northwest. And I am certain hundreds of hoppy-eyed dreamers were trying to figure out where they were going to spend their imaginary investment capital while walking the aisles of the trade show drinking free beers and stuffing schwag in their bags. On a side note, the Made in China quip is an interesting facet of the craft brewing business. I love the fact that making craft beer creates American jobs ( over 108,000 in fact!). But unless you have been sleeping for the past twenty years, you must know that China makes almost everything we use in manufacturing. And the same holds true for the brewing universe. Tanks are made in China. Brewhouses are made in China. Glassware is made there, too. I asked many vendors about this China thing and they pointed to labor and material costs. Some talked about a deficit in skilled labor to do all that welding and forming. I shrugged. I do know that the quality of equipment made in China varies, and you have to ask around to figure out which vendors have shitty gear. I also know that most of the big stainless is tricked out and assembled here in the States by a few companies. I saw one shit head vendor at the show who was touting that their tanks were dedicated to American Veterans and that if you purchased from them you would be supporting the troops. They of course failed to disclose that their tanks were not made in the USA. Also at the show were some Canadian, German and Czech manufacturers that make good equipment, albeit at a higher cost. Everyone knows that “You get what you pay for.” So if you are a capital strapped cholo and you want to save a few thousand bucks buying a hybrid Chinese/ US manufactured product, go for it. For nano brewery guys the most interesting booths were probably those featuring small brewhouse and test batch systems. If you are undercapitalized you may want to start small and check these guys out: Sabco has been selling their Brewmagic 1/2 barrel system (6K) since the late 90s and they work pretty well from what I have heard from the peanut gallery. Many a retired brewer has one of these in their garage. At their booth the Sabco guys were touting a new two barrel system they just developed called Nano Magic. It comes complete with fermentation tanks and other gear for about 55K. If that is too steep a price tag then you might want to go with a More Beer! Braumeister system. They are all electric and come in two barrel and four barrel configurations costing between 16K and 36K respectively, but…
The third edition of the Mash Tun Festival will take place June 22, 2013 in neighborhood of Bridgeport, the Community of the Future. The festival features some of the world’s best breweries . Flagship and rare beers will be poured alongside one-of-a-kind concoctions at the stunning Bridgeport Art Center at 35th and Racine. The festival will be held in the 19th century loading dock and the center’s sculpture garden. The festival is a celebration of the release of Mash Tun: A Craft Beer Journal issue #3. 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. We are hosting an awards ceremony this year. Mash Tun will be giving out at least four awards to brewers that make the best beer in these categories: Hopped and Confused The Bold and Beautiful Every Day is Like Sunday ( session beer) WTF Is This (experimental) Participating breweries and beers to be poured will be announced in May. Tickets will go on Sale in May.
Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar and Mash Tun Journal are teaming up with Chef Won Kim of Brew Ha Ha and a bunch of brewers to bring you a new visual and culinary arts happening called Under The Influence: The Art of Beer. This counter-cultural culinary and art event takes place Saturday, November 3, from 5-10pm, at our gallery, the Co-Prosperity Sphere (3219 S Morgan Street). You can read about the underground craft beer scene in Chicago in the current issue Mash Tun Journal. The Under the Influence show features work from artists and designers inspired by the aesthetics of craft beer and how it intersects with food, culture, and society. The exhibition comes paired with unlimited pours of over 2 dozen beers including brews from Revolution Brewery, Sixpoint Brewery, Duvel, Ommegang, and 6 secret guest brewers. This curated selection of art, food and beer is our first foray into experiencing ways artists of all stripes are influenced by craft beer. The exhibition features mixed media, photography, painting, live painting and live silk screen printing. Visual Artists include: Michael Kiser, Ben Laskov, Sixpoint, Peter Boutsikakis, Eric Olson, Scott Marvel, Chris Hammes, Revise cmw, Joey Potts, Shawnimals, Ruben Aguirre jr., Veggiesomething, Czr Prz, Solo rm, Uriel correa and others Liquid Artists: Sixpoint, Duvel/Ommegang , and 6 secret guest brewers. Culinary treats are provided by Food For Flesh. You must RSVP for this event. Tickets for this one day event are $25 and include unlimited pours and complementary food. Please purchase tickets online by going directly to this link to paypal. Or visit the Under the Influence website You may also purchase tickets in person at Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar.
Chicago’s Underground Homebrew Counter-Culture By Jessica Murphy (firstname.lastname@example.org ) There is a certain allure in attending an event that is outside of the mainstream; to being one of a select few who are in the know. This attitude has been present for years in the realms of underground music and art but has just recently occurred in the world of craft beer. While the craft beer scene is booming in Chicago and beyond, so too is the independent and creative spirit of homebrewing. And if you have had a chance to attend one of Chef Won Kim’s homebrew events over the last year, you know that Chicago is a hotbed of small-batch brewing talent. While Chicago has a long history of homebrewing spearheaded by clubs such as Homebrewer’s Pride of the Southside (HOPS) and Brewers of South Suburbia (BOSS), homebrew events have not expressed the indie spirit quite like Won Kim’s Brew Laughter Series. These events had their origins in February 2010, when homebrew collective Low Dive Brewing approached Kim to see if he would be interested in pairing their beers with hisfood. They started hosting intimate beer dinners with each course paired with a Low Dive beer .That culminated in a few barbeques with Kimmanned the grill and Low Dive passed out their beer. In July of 2011, Chef Kim and about five homebrewers and homebrew collectives came together to participate in the first of the official series of homebrew events, Brew Ha Ha. “It all started with such a simple idea to pair good beer (that you can’t find anywhere) with food and has escalated into a full-on curated fest,” said Kim. So, why have such events become so popular? According to Josh Garrett of Powell Brew House, the reason any indie scene is interesting (whether it be music, art or beer) is because established producers end up stamping out creativity in their attempt to appeal to a large customer base. “I think more and more people are insulted by these companies suggesting that their tastes can be reduced to such common denominators,” said Garrett. “So they are all about craft beers and spirits, rappers that say ‘f you’ to Def Jam and release their albums on a Tumblr site, and higher quality, more unique experiences across the board.” According to Andrew Lautner of Low Dive Brewing, this underground movement is a community at its purest. “Craft beer is obviously a booming market right now; there’s an interest in quality and uniqueness in many aspects of life, and that goes for beer as much as anything else.” But Chicago is undergoing a craft beer renaissance right now with established breweries popping up at a record pace; why the desire for these underground homebrew events? Well, it goes back to wanting to feel a connection to the brewing community and a desire to support local, homegrown initiatives. “It’s refreshing to be able to experience the possible future of beer as some of these homebrewers are on the cusp of turning professional,” said Kim. Most (if not all) brewers at established craft breweries started their careers as homebrewers, and the homebrewers and homebrew collectives that have participated in the Chef Won Kim events will be the established breweries of tomorrow. Or sooner. Ryan Burk participated in the Brew Ho Ho event under the moniker 2nd Story Brewing and now he is a cider maker for Greg Hall’s Virtue Cider. “I’ve reached my aspirations, for the time being, and I credit Won [Kim] for getting me excited enough about this culture to make it my life,” said Burk. Jason Klein and Brad Shaffer participated in the Halloween-themed Brew Hey Hey and are now almost ready to begin brewing professionally as Spiteful Brewing. And Heavy Hand, the grand prize winners of August’s Iron Brew, will be brewing their coffee IPA at Stone Brewing Company for distribution throughout the United States. Just remember, you had it at a Chef Won Kim event first. There are many benefits for these brewers to participate in such events, most importantly to get their beer in the hands of thirsty Chicagoans. “We never had the chance to pour our beer for more than 10 people outside our beer geek circle of friends and family. The homebrew series gave us exposure to hundreds of new people and additional critical feedback from people outside our circle,” said Mark Levy of Bent Grid. But these events mean so much more than just serving their beer at a fest. “Being involved in a large, vibrant culture of homebrewers is definitely my favorite part of these events,” said Garrett. Similarly, Burk said:“My favorite part has been meeting so many inspiring people that I now call friends. I feel like we’ve been creating our own culture here in Chicago and it seems to be growing; it’s really exciting.” As amazing as these events are, they are in danger of going by the wayside thanks to conservative interpretations of the liquor control laws. Earlier this year, festival goers were astounded to learn that event organizers of the Peoria Jaycees 20th Annual International Beer Festival were told by the Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC) that they needed to exclude the homebrew tent that had been a part of the festival for the last 19 years. While the legalities of late have been providing barriers for homebrewers to participate in festivals, I have no fears that these events will continue to grow and flourish thanks to the creativity of festival planners in how these types of events are organized and marketed. “We can exist in the legal gray area of private clubs and events,” said Garrett. Ashley Brandt, an attorney who writes the Libation Law Blog, offered some guidance on this issue. “The bottom line is that if these statements reflect some policy, it would seem that the state may be interpreting the Illinois statute in too narrow a fashion with regard to where homebrewers can let their family and guests…
We had a great time at our Mash Tun Oktoberfest party last October 5, 2012. It was held in conjunction with the the Bridgeport Block Party, a neighborhood wide arts happening that took place at the Zhou B Center, The Bridgeport Art Center and at our gallery the Co-Prosperity Sphere. We held the festival at the Bridgeport Art Center’s Atrium which is a perfect place to have a party… Our friend and Mash Tun contributor, Michael Kiser, did a great recap of the event. We hope you check his blog out. We are sending issues of the journal all over the country. Hopefully you find it at your favorite place for good beer. Expect to purchase them via our site or at Quimbys in Chicago. And Michael has a shop where he is selling them as well. If you want to purchase copies wholesale, drop us a line.
A great brewing event will take place at the Co-Prosperity Sphere on August 25th. It’s private and requires an rsvp.
You have a few days left for your pitch. If you are interested in contributing to Mash Tun, please send us a one paragraph pitch. Send it to edmarlumpen at gmail.com. Enclose some writing samples and/or links to your other work. Our deadline for proposals is August 1, 2012. And we will need texts by August 21, 2012. We are looking for historical essays, interviews with figures in the industry, reports from different cities on where to find the good stuff as well as essays on the art of beer. We are also inaugurating a craft spirits section to cover small batch distilleries as well. We will release issue 2 on October 5, 2012 during the Mash Tun Oktoberfest event at the Bridgeport Art Center.
From the shores of Chicago’s only naturally fermenting river rises a homebrew contest and event unlike any other. A keg vs. keg faceoff for the ultimate prize: brew the winning beer with Pete Crowley at Haymarket Pub It’s also your chance to taste and rate each beer entered in the contest and choose one winner. You’ll receive an official scorecard and a souvenir tasting glass. Plus, you can learn more about judging and find out how to become a judge from HOPS! members and BJCP judges. Several prizes will be awarded. The Best Of Show Award will be selected by BJCP judges. One winner will brew his or her recipe with Pete Crowley. The People’s Choice Award will be chosen by popular vote. The winner will receive a $200 gift certificate, with 2nd and 3rd place winning Haymarket gift cards. To have the opportunity to be a judge, sample Chicago’s best homebrew and be a part of the first-ever Barrel Brawl, visit http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/230671 The Bubbly Creek Barrel Brawl Saturday, July 28, 2012 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM The Co-Prosperity Sphere 3219 South Morgan Street Chicago, IL
ATTENTION ALL ILLINOIS HOMEBREWERS Want a chance to fly to Stone Brewing and have your beer brewed and distributed by Stone? Mail or deliver your homebrew to Maria’s Packaged Goods and Community Bar in Bridgeport, the Community of the Future. Maria’s Packaged Goods and Community Bar 960 W 31st St Chicago, IL 60608 The official event date will be 8/25 and will be a competition in Bridgeport (at Co-Prosperity Sphere). The first round deadline is 6/30 and is limited to one beer per brewer and has to be mailed to or delivered to Maria’s Packaged Goods in Bridgeport. The bottle has to include the name, contact info, abv, etc. 20 brewers will be chosen to participate and compete on 8/25 where an esteemed panel of judges including Greg Koch from Stone will judge. The 1st Place Prize is a trip for two to Cali to collaborate on a beer with Stone and Two Brothers. Your beer will be brewed at Stone, bottled and distributed…..BOOM! * official rules and more details coming soon..stay tuned!!! *for more information email @ email@example.com