Monday, June 24, 2013

Brewing (and pouring) homebrew at The Beer Diviner's grand opening

If you’re a fan of the Capital District craft beer scene you’re probably familiar with “The Beer Diviner,” a line brewed by Dr. Jonathon Post at his nanobrewery in Cherry Plains. The beers have been available for sale in the area and in select markets downstate for about a year (you can read my reviews of five of them here). And now there’s an official Beer Diviner Tap Room in Stephentown, where you can choose from eight of their eccentric brews by the pint, bottle, case, or growler.

On Saturday, June 22, they held a shindig to celebrate the opening of the tap room. It was essentially a mini beer festival as there were several other vendors pouring samples, including: Adirondack Winery; Helderberg Meadworks; Albany Distilling Company; and Albany Brew Crafters homebrew club. There was also a food truck and a bluegrass band performing live music. I’d estimate upwards of 300 people came by throughout the afternoon.

RyanI wasn’t there as a blogger or even as a beer drinker, no sir, I was there representing Albany Brew Crafters. I’m the club’s “Social Media Strategist” and was manning our tent with fellow ABC member Ryan Hope. We were pouring samples of Ryan’s “Pointon’s Proper,” an English Mild style all-grain homebrew Ryan brewed just a few weeks ago. We dispensed dozens of samples, and everyone who tried it liked it. At only four percent alcohol by volume it was nice and refreshing in the hot summer sun. A few people were a bit intimidated when they saw the brown color, but were then surprised by the beer’s easy drinkability. It was a great educational opportunity as I was able to explain how color really has nothing to do with a beer’s strength (that particular beer is lighter in alcohol than Bud Light but has so much more flavor).

As fun as handing out samples of homebrew was, Ryan and I were actually there on a mission. The Beer Diviner provided us with a recipe and the ingredients to make a five-gallon batch of his “Very! Brown Ale” (watch the video below to see the brewing in action). This was a really exciting opportunity since we were brewing something that’s sold commercially, but obviously brewed on a bigger scale. Homebrew stores sell various pre-packaged kits that are supposedly “clones” of commercial beers, but this was different since the brewer himself put it together using the same malts, hops, and yeast he uses himself. The only difference is we used bottled water and we didn’t adjust the PH or mineral content. We’ll find out in about a month how well the beer turned out. It will be interesting to compare the homebrew to a bottle of the commercially-produced beer, and to get Dr. Post’s feedback since he knows that recipe better than anyone.
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The Beer Diviner Tap Room & Market
15950 NY Route 22
Stephentown, NY 12168
HOURS: Thursday – Sunday 1pm – 8pm

Watch my vlog of the event and the brew here:

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