This morning, as we were getting coffee on Market street before going to the office, Kate and I noticed that the door was open at the Iron Hill brewery, steam was rising off the giant copper kettle, and something was being poured from a spout in the ceiling. So we stuck our head in.
Now, a friendly local microbrewery doesn’t mind if you wander through the open door with your morning coffee and ask "Hey, what are you guys doing today?"
A REALLY friendly local microbrewery lets you climb up on the ladder, stand on the platform, and look down into the hot kettle.
An AWESOME local microbrewery lets you stir the mash and make a pirate face, then takes a picture of you doing it with your own iPhone:
I’m standing on a stainless-steel platform about five feet up, stirring barley as it’s poured into the brew kettle using a long auger that brings the ground grains from the grinder all the way in the back of the building (those augers usually move chickenfeed!)
I know there’s a correct name for what’s in the kettle: "Mash?" "Kibble?" "Proto-beer?"
Anyway, it looks and smells like oatmeal. Which is, I guess, because that’s exactly what it is (except with barley instead of oats!)
Larry Horwitz, Iron Hill’s friendly brewer pictured in my last blog post, says they’re making about 300 gallons of Hefeweizen in this tank.
It’s really cool seeing this beer being made. The kettle is huge, of course, but inside, it’s just, you know… food! There’s a really normal kitchen vibe — “Oh, yeah, that’s just barley! I’d eat that!” Kate and I are going to have to come back and try the beer sampler again.
While we were in the back looking at the barley grinder on our impromptu tour, Kate spotted a bunch of big woven-plastic sacks. “Oh yeah!” said Larry. “We go through about 100 of those a month. Do you want to take one with you?”
I can’t wait to see what Kate sews up with this graphically bold German sack.
Look out fellows, we’re all gonna be ETSY MILLIONAIRES! 🙂