Damaged Lagunitas Equipment In Petaluma

When last we looked, the damaged Lagunitas brewing equipment was at the dock, at the Port of Stockton. Earlier today I stopped by the Lagunitas Brewery to pick up some samples for a tasting tomorrow for the Celebrator Beer News and, not surprisingly, the broken lauter tun was around the back of the brewery. Having traveled so far — the equipment, not me — I wanted to see it close up and snapped some photos, too.

At the Lagunitas Brewery.

The damaged brewhouse in Petaluma.

Some of the damage, up close and personal.

Close-up mayhem.

Fullsteam’s Brewery Porn From Space

Regular Bulletin readers already know I have an unnatural, some might say unhealthy, love of brewing equipment — a.k.a. brewery porn — so I was thrilled to see Fullsteam Brewery’s new brewhouse from space. I especially love the artists rendering of where his brewhouse might have ended up had it not been for the hand of fate stepping in and cutting NASA’s budget.


Recently, the reworked-for-full-gravity brewhouse was “docked” at the Fullsteam space in Durham, North Carolina.


To see more of it, check out the original post or the Flickr gallery.

Lagunitas Tweetup

Yesterday I attended my first Tweetup, organized by Ashley Routson — a.k.a. The Beer Wench — and Fred Abercrombie from Ünnecessary Ümlaut. Though we’ve attended at least one beer event together, I’d yet to meet either blogger. So this seemed like a good opportunity to do just that, and also drink some tasty beers and meet some more like-minded tweeters. In case the term is new to you — it was to me — a Tweetup is a get together in the real world that’s organized using Twitter.

Tweetup organizer Ashley, a.k.a. The Beer Wench, with Ron Lindenbusch, from Lagunitas
Tweetup organizer Ashley, a.k.a. The Beer Wench, with Ron Lindenbusch, from Lagunitas.

The Tweetup took place at Lagunitas Brewing in Petaluma, Calif. Between 40 and 50 tweeters attended the event. It was a lot of fun. I’ve been to Lagunitas countless times, but it’s a great place to hang out. Ron Lindenbusch gave a tour to the many people there who’d never been to the brewery. I ambled around the brewery, talking to people I knew there, and snapping photos of the brewery because … well, you can never see too much brewery porn in my opinion. It was another great example of Twitter bringing people together instead of keeping them apart, as many of Twitter’s critics have argued it does.

Me and The Beer Wench
Me and The Beer Wench.

Below is a slideshow of the Lagunitas Tweetup. This Flickr gallery is best viewed in full screen. To view it that way, after clicking on the arrow in the center to start the slideshow, click on the button on the bottom right with the four arrows pointing outward on it, to see the photos in glorious full screen. Once in full screen slideshow mode, click on “Show Info” to identify each photo.

Boscos Opens Production Brewery

Boscos, the small brewpub chain with locations in Tennessee and Arkansas, has completed work on their new production brewery in Memphis. The first batch of beer was brewed December 31 of last year by my friend Chuck Skypeck, who also sent along a few photos of the new facility. If you’re like me, you can’t get enough pictures of brewing equipment.

The outside of Boscos new production brewery, where the headquarters were moved about a year ago. The building itself is curved to follow the distinctive path of the road in a part of Memphis south of downtown currently going through a resurgence. It used to be a meat packaging plant with some elements they needed already in place and the rest they remodeled, keeping a number of the retro industrial architectural elements intact, like green tiled walls and chrome swinging doors.

Head brewer Mike Campbell, formerly with Tractor Brewing in Albuquerque, New Mexico, who’s been on hand to help build the brewery since the beginning.

The production brewery will be used primarily for off-premise sales of growlers and kegs, which is not permitted from their brewpubs under Tennessee law, and also to provide beer for additional Boscos that will not have their own breweries. The first of these, in Cool Springs, Tennessee (south of Nashville), is slated to open this spring. They’ll also begin distributing their beer to a select number of area restaurants.


The New Brewhouse at Lagunitas

I stopped by Lagunitas Brewing Friday afternoon to see the new brewhouse that I’d heard they’re in the process of installing. They’re in week three of a nine-week installation of a new 80-barrel system from a German company, ROLEC Prozess-und Brautechnik GmbH, along with many new pieces of equipment. Peter Moroskow and his team, who also recently installed new breweries at both Stone Brewing and Victory Brewing, had taken over the place and there were miles of pipes and other equipment everywhere, with blueprints dotting the walls and a Bavarian flag hanging overhead.


The Bavarian flag hanging from above, with just a fraction of the pipe remaining on the floor below.

For more photos of brewing equipment being installed at Lagunitas, visit the photo gallery.

Anderson Valley Gets Real

I’m not entirely convinced of their claim of combating global warming, but Anderson Valley Brewing announced that they have begun brewing real ales and have added a beer engine to their tasting room, and that’s certainly good enough news for me.

From the press release:

Anderson Valley Brewing Company (AVBC) proudly added to their award-winning line of handcrafted beers, “Real ale”—a natural ale created in a traditional and environmentally-friendly style. Real ale is a beer that highlights Anderson Valley Brewing Company’s continuing efforts to make high quality beers in an environmentally responsible manner. Real ale is:

  • * A truly “organic” ale with only four natural ingredients: malted barely, hops, water and yeast and absolutely no additives.
  • * Served at 10-13 C degrees via a human-powered “hand pull” it’s naturally cool, resulting in far less energy being used for cooling.
  • * Naturally carbonated through the yeast’s effervescence — no additional carbon dioxide is added.
  • * Reducing packaging by using casks which can be reused for up to 20 years.
  • * Created using solar power which provides 40% of Anderson Valley Brewing Company’s annual energy needs.

Though Real ale is environmentally responsible, the traditional method of brewcrafting also results in a more robust, stimulating, and fresh taste that can’t be found in traditional brands. Real ale’s unique flavors and aromas are partly due to the process of fermentation.

While a great many breweries remove yeast before the beer reaches the glass, Real ale differentiates itself by retaining the yeast in the container from which the beer is served. Though the yeast settles at the bottom of the cask and isn’t poured into the glass, the yeast is still active in the cask where the process of fermentation continues until ready to serve. Real ale is currently available in Anderson Valley Brewing Company’s visitor’s center.

In other Anderson Valley news, they will be having a special event on February 2 to celebrate their 20th Anniversary. And the 12th annual Boonville Beer Festival will take place in 2008 on May 10.



Tender Is The Beer

Here’s an interesting looking gadget. Heineken teamed up with Krups, the people who make those high end coffee machines, to create the BeerTender. Essentially, the BeerTender is a mini kegerator that holds 5-liter kegs. As fr as I can tell it’s already available in eight European nations and beginning March 1 will be sold in the U.S. at Williams-Sonoma stores. At least that was the announcement made at this year’s CES in Las Vegas, which began on Monday.

It’s a beautiful looking piece of equipment and would be great if it could be used with those 5-liter kegs of German beer you see everywhere. I sort of doubt they will, though, they’ll probably only work with Heineken mini-kegs and the other brands they deign to package them in the minis.

Here’s some info about the BeerTender from the Unofficial Heineken USA BeerTender Fan Site, BeerTenderUSA:

Imagine…fresh Heineken and other European beers on tap whenever you want it.

The Heineken BeerTender … is a personal draft beer (or draught beer, if you prefer) system for home use. The system consists of a draft beer dispenser and the exchangeable BeerTender kegs each holding and chilling four liters of premium European beer. While at-home beer taps are nothing new, the BeerTender system is unique in its size, style and function.

The recyclable BeerTender four liter keg is inserted from above into the BeerTender, which keeps the beer cold and fresh for up to 30 days from the first glass. Then run the keg’s plastic tube to the BeerTender’s tap and you’re done. It’s that simple. Inserting a keg takes less than 15-seconds.

Heineken has also made the Krups BeerTender sold in France and the ones coming to the US compatible with its standard five liter DraughtKeg kegs (which are available in most US supermarkets) by using a special tube (a five-pack comes with the BeerTenders sold in France and to be sold in the US). Replacement five-packs will be available after March 1 at www.BeerTender.com.

In the US, Heineken is preparing for the launch of the BeerTender on March 1, 2008 after performing a market test in Rhode Island. The current US DraughtKegs, while compatible with all BeerTenders (with the special tube) will not dispense all the beer. To answer this, Heineken is introducing a BeerTender compatible US DraughtKeg (five liters) that comes with the special tube and has a bigger carbonator inside. That keg is will be available nationwide in both Heineken and Heineken Light. Other European beers are available in Europe.

Operating the BeerTender is a snap. While some models have computer operation and temperature controls with an LCD display, pulling a beer is as simple as pulling the BeerTender’s handle. And if you’ve got kids, you can easily remove the BeerTender’s handle. Best of all, the beer only touches the easily removable spout under the handle, making clean-up between kegs a breeze.

BeerTenders are not cheap. List price in the US will be $400, with street prices down to $299. European versions are just as expensive.

It would certainly look great sitting on the bar, if only it didn’t have that Heineken label on it. Damn.


Urban Brewery Construction

Hopworks Urban Brewery, the new brewery owned by Christian Ettinger — the award-winning former brewmaster at Laurelwood Public House — it not yet open and looks to be several weeks away, especially the public area upstairs in their location at SE 30th and Powell. The brewery, which is located downstairs under the bar and restaurant area, is a little closer to completion and apparently the bottling line has already been delivered and is just waiting to be installed. Christian and his assistant brewer, Ben Love (who recently left Pelican Brewery), held an open house for OBF attendees to show off their progress in getting the brewery up and running. They were pouring their IPA (which was, of course, brewed elsewhere) and grilling brats outside the brewery in the back. It was great fun seeing their enthusiasm for getting it up and running. They’re feeling like it’s so close they can taste it. It will certainly be fun to see it next year when it’s fully operational.

HUB brewers Ben Love and Christian Ettinger.

For more photos of the Hopworks Urban Brewery under construction, visit the photo gallery.

Kitsock on Cans

A colleague of mine, Greg Kitsock, has been published a few times in the Washington Post lately, and that’s great news since so few beer writers break through through the wine glass ceiling of most major newspapers. Kitsock is now doing a biweekly column in the Post. And if that wasn’t terrific enough for him and the beer community at large, his column is also being syndicated, presumably by Post-affiliated papers. For example, I just stumbled on an article he did about canned beers and Oskar Blues in the Courier-Journal from Louisville, Kentucky. The original piece ran in the Washington Post a little over a week ago. That’s great news as far as I’m concerned.