Here is where we begin our brewing process. Almost any grain can be used in the production of beer, but we choose to use Barley, the preferred grain. Our maltsters supply us with the finest malted barley. To this we add other specialty grains from around the world in order to produce our unique beers. The malted barley comes to us in 55 lb. grain sacks, and are hand loaded into our mill. Unlike many other breweries that purchase their grain by the tanker and then pump it into silos, we prefer these small grain sacks. By using these we are able to inspect, smell and taste all the grain as we begin the brewing process. In this process the grain is loaded into the grist mill (the red machine) and cracked open to expose the starches inside the grain. These starches will give the beer flavor, color, body and some will be fermented into alcohol. As the grain is mill it is augured into a holding vessel called the grist hopper.


The milled barley is now placed into the Mash Tun. Here, hot water is mixed with the grain starting an enzyme conversion process. This converts the starch in to two different sugars - both fermentable and non-fermentable. The mash tun has a slotted screen false bottom. This allows us capture the sweet liquid called "wort" and leave the grain husks behind. These husks or "spent grain" still have nutritional value and is given to our local organic farmer. As we capture the wort, hot water is sprayed "sparging" on the top of the grain insuring extraction of most all the sugars. Form here the wort is pumped to the brew kettle.


Here the wort is vigorously boiled for one and a half hours. Three major things happen in brew kettle. First the heat sterilizes the wort. Second, evaporation reduces the volume and makes the flavors much more intense. Lastly here is where we add the hops to the beer. Hops give the beer the bitterness needed to balance the sweetness from the grain. Once boiling stops we circulate the wort in a swirling motion, called "whirlpool". By mechanical action any particulates are driven to center, just like when you swirl tea leaves in your cup. Once settled, from the side of the tank we draw off the clear wort. Before leaving the brewhouse the wort must be cooled to about 65 F. This is done by pumping the hot wort through a heat exchanger. Then its off to the fermenters.


As the cold wort is pumped to the fermenters yeast is added. This single cell micro-organism metabolizes the fermentable sugars in the wort producing alcohol and carbon dioxide. Fermentation generates a lot of heat so to maintain a constant temperature our tanks are "Jacketed" with a cooling system. Depending on the style of beer being made fermentation can take from ten days to six weeks. As the fermentation process comes to an end we chill the beer causing the yeast to fall to the bottom of the tank and leave the beer bright and clear.

Upon completion of fermentation, some of our beers are filtered, then held in conditioning tanks. Here extra carbon dioxide may be added "polishing" to replace what was lost in filtering. Now the beer is ready to be packaged and is now ready for all to enjoy!!