New Years Eve, 1988; it seems like a month ago this week started. The busiest week in the brief history of the brewpub, far busier than any that preceded it. Everyone’s tired. But everyone’s still game for what is to come. I’m tired, really tired, but relieved that people still want to come out and see us. I’m tired because my Christmas day was largely spent with a hot water hose held on the cone of one fermenter we are still trying to get started. Fortunately, I have a great wife and great parents that kept me company for a large part of that day. Even more fortunately, it seems like we might survive this week, and this first year (6-months really) and, although we’re battered, we’re still here, still in business. I’m excited for our new bookkeeper who is starting in a week. It’ll be the third we’ve had in the first 6 months and I don’t need to be hiring another one. So many things to do and all I can think about is getting some rest. Oh well, no one asked me to be here. I guess I’ll keep going and look for things to improve. We got our beer to the Mountain (Bachelor) and they seem to be happy. I haven’t skied yet, but, then again, don’t think I’ll have time this winter. We have a city league team that I’m on and I think I can get to the race, then come right back to the pub, if I time it right. It’ll be nice to ski, but I’d sure like a warm up run, or two….
A couple of weeks ago our team made the annual trek out to Denver, Colorado for the granddaddy of beer fests, the Great American Beer Festival, otherwise known simply as GABF. We joined over 600 breweries on the Colorado Convention Center floor, pouring 20 of our damn tasty beers for around 49,000 craft beer fanatics. The Brewers Association folks who put on the festival say over 3,100 different beers were poured, one ounce at a time, for thirsty festival goers. But that’s not all…
We have been making beer for 25 years but remain students of beer. That might be one of the more fulfilling parts of this job - the never ending learning, head scratching, ah-ha moments. It‘s the fact that creativity if a part of the job description. One would think that being in the business for so long we would have exhausted all styles and variations of styles out there, but just like millions of musicians can still create unique combinations of sounds with the notes available to them, so can our brewers invent their own styles, combine past and present, and resurrect recipes and make them their own. Such is the case with the Deschutes Gose.
Gose is a traditional German beer that belongs to the Berlinerweisse / Witbier family, and similarly takes a fair amount of wheat in the grist bill. It is lightly soured by Lactobacillus and uniquely spiced with coriander and salt. Sounds like a margarita beer, right? Why the heck did it take us so long to brew one?
Last week I pulled from every corner of my arsenal of clothing to combat the weather; ski jacket, shorts, rain gear, flip-flops and the requisite fleece, so I know that spring is here.