Seen Through A Glass

Susquehanna Brewing is open and running, has been for a few months, and i always like to give a brewery a couple of months before attempting the beer…but this was getting ridiculous: two good buddies have been on the brewing side — Jaime Jurado and Guy Hagner — and i hadn’t made the time to rise up the highway two hours to see this operation? That I knew was superb? Critically, the technical side of it is off the hook…but I’m getting forward of myself.

hydrochloric acidWe went on trip in the Poconos in late July, just a few month ago, and i contacted Jaime and Man to see if there was any place I could try their beers as we have been on our manner up, then stop by the brewery or a distributor and choose up a sixtel for the cabin. Jaime graciously invited me to come tour the brewery, and stated he’d get me some beer. So my mom and i went up that Saturday afternoon, and Guy gave us a tour.

Wow. First eye-opener was the mill, the place the barley husks are largely separated from the grist earlier than wetting in the mash tun, what Jaime called endosperm mashing integration. The husk is sent to a ‘husk case’ above the lauter tun, and dropped in “only instantly prior to…being required for its important role in refining mash.” Jaime mentioned SBC is the seventh brewery on the earth to do this (in addition they do it at Trumer in Berkeley, which Jaime oversaw in his function with Gambrinus).

The 50 bbl. BrauKon brewhouse includes a devoted decoction kettle (used to make the Goldencold). However the massive deal is that the main brew kettle makes use of…effectively, as Man stated, you’ve seen a calandria, proper? And the external calandria, like Victory has? This is one thing different. “This” is the PDX system, which circulates the wort outside of the kettle and injects reside, excessive-pressure meals-grade steam into the stream. It actually goes supersonic, which is a key part of the entire thing: the turbulence created by that will get the heat into the wort in an amazingly environment friendly manner. The PDX saves a ton of energy (together with the cool, tremendous-efficient good boiler Jaime spec’d for the brewery (the same sort Flying Fish has in their new brewery, BTW, and do not you ever imagine that Casey Hughes isn’t a really shiny boy)), and, well, it sounds really cool, too; “Like a jet airplane taking off,” Guy described it. Susquehanna was the primary brewery on the earth to have it designed into a new brewhouse from day one (Shepherd Neame in the UK had been the pioneers on retrofitting it; SABMiller’s using one of their large brewhouse in South Africa, Radeburger has one, and Miller is also testing one on their pilot brewery.

Fact is, Jaime put an incredible amount of power and materials-saving tweaks and gear into this brewery. He instructed me that he realized that he would not get too many extra possibilities to utterly design a brewery with this kind of freedom in his career, so he needed to make this one proper…and the energy financial savings and carbon footprint have been crucial to him. That is why the brewery has the brief bottles, not longnecks, as an example: they weigh 1.4 oz. much less, and have a 20% smaller carbon footprint. The labels are 30% recycled paper (submit-shopper), will quickly be 50%, and that should enhance every year.

It isn’t all about vitality, although. Guy confirmed us an incredibly complicated Moravek BC-30 Carbonator, the thing that puts the CO2 into the beer as it is packaged, and it measures the temperature and gravity of the beer to precisely match the pressure to the job to have it consistent…but I loved what Jaime said about why he obtained it: “I chosen the BC-30 carbonator/nitrogenator because it produces beer with superior bubbles…unusual however true.” Extremism within the protection of superior beer is no vice, Jaime. He also put in a massive hopjack (BrauKon’s second), it appears like one thing from the powerplant of a nuclear sub.

Okay, so all that…how was the beer? Fairly frickin’ awesome. The walkaround bottles of Goldencold that Guy gave us for the tour (sure, my mom, too, and she requested for an additional!) reminded me of one thing Travels with Barley creator Ken Wells stated: “One factor you possibly can say about lagers: the nice ones don’t make you work very arduous to like them.” This was one of the best American-brewed hellesbiers I’ve had, which is superb contemplating how new the brewery is…and never wonderful, considering how much expertise Jaime and Guy have between them. Sure, Man, because Jaime offers Guy full credit for formulation on this one.

That is Guy Hagner, meself, and Jaime Jurado.

The pattern of 6th Era Inventory Ale we acquired? Not so good, flat, a bit harsh…however that got higher. After some extra chatting, Man informed me to pull my automobile (heavy-laden with vacation crap) into the loading bay, and put three cases of Goldencold and a low-fill sixtel of Inventory into it. Yeep. “You get samples, right? These are samples!” I’ll be trustworthy, I was taking a look at that sixtel of Inventory and thinking…I might simply as quickly have more lager and skip the Inventory, but, okay, I’ll smile. So we thanked him, and drove off to the north.

As soon as we received to the cabin, I stocked the fridge with a case of lager, and iced down the keg of Inventory Ale…and tapped it. Much better. (Jaime advised me later that the keg within the brewery was tapped for at the very least 3 weeks…I think a brand new regimen of beer care has since been instituted.) The inventory was sweet, bitter, floral and citrusy, and had a wonderfully fresh/bready character to it. We did critical damage to it and finished it off Thursday night time.

So about two weeks later, Jaime emailed me: they’re having their first beer dinner at Lucky’s Sportshouse…in Wilkes-Barre…would we like to come? Well, it is almost 2 hours’ drive, but Cathy’s been wanting to satisfy Jaime for years, and wanted to see Guy again, so yeah, we went. It wasn’t simply Susquehanna’s first beer dinner, it was Lucky’s, too. I wasn’t optimistic.

Boy, was I incorrect. Lucky’s is certainly a sports activities bar, plenty of screens and a excessive ceiling and open flooring plan, but the meals was fairly a notch above sports bar: all ready on-site, freshly-made meals. However once more, I’m ahead of myself: we obtained glasses of the new SBC Oktoberfest. Very nice, dry malt character (not the caramel sweetness you get in too many American fests), and fairly pleasant indeed. Clearly these guys know their approach round a lager.

They know find out how to have some enjoyable, too. That extremely red beer you see here is a mix of Ofest and Goldencold, dosed with coffee, peaches, raspberries, and orange oil. It was dry, fruity — the orange oil actually made the other fruit aromas burst out of the glass — with notes of coffee and dry cocoa. Very nice, and startlingly crimson.

So, in regards to the food. The plate you see above was the principle course: two “honking huge items of meat” (as Uncle Jack at all times describes the main courses of the dinners at Monk’s Cafe) in the form of completely carried out pork schnitzel, with broccolini and a mattress of mild sauerkraut (and a dressing of deliciously caramelized onions). The pork was achieved by way of, juicy, with a crisp, thin coating that wasn’t oily/gross…very nice, particularly given the variety of plates — about 50 — that they had been serving. (Two of those 50 have been Chip The Beer Guy and his woman (fiance!) Diane, who Cathy also bought to satisfy; good occasions as always, Chip!) That was actually one of the issues we famous, and Chip mentioned it first: the meals all came out on time, simultaneously, and it was all sizzling and able to go. Nice coordination for his or her first beer dinner!

We might started with passed items: battered cod bites, some green bean tempura-type of thing (that was actual good!), coconut shrimp, and…I can’t remember the fourth thing. I DO remember the breads that came afterwards, as a result of we all devoured them, great contemporary-baked stuff, and Cathy took some residence. We bought a beer cheese soup next, and it had little bits of ham in it, nicely completed, and never too gruel-like; I hate that.

Last was the bananas foster you see above: nice whipped cream with that, too. The entire dinner was excellent, easily the perfect meals I’ve ever had at a sports bar. I’m hoping that Susquehanna involves Philly soon (I do know Memphis Taproom obtained some samples), as a result of we’re nearly out of Goldencold…