On tap this week:

Howdy folks – turns out the tasting room expansion was a good idea. I only had spill over once last week. But forget about the indoors, with nothing but sunny weather predicted for the rest of the week, I’m looking forward to making the most of the patio. As far as the taps are concerned, I’ll have the CDA, Pale, Rye IPA, and Bee’s Wine upon opening, with the new Imperial IPA going on line Friday. Also, as soon as the previous batch of CDA runs dry, I’ll be moving on to the new iteration of it, which is 9.5%. It is big, and it is righteous. See you all soon.

On tap this week, and more taproom space!

Running a little slow on the post this week. I’ve spent the last few days building an extension on the bar, moving the serving area, and generally wrapping up improvements that should solve the space and output problems. As such, I lost a few days to projects that needed to happen, rather than brewing. If I get a little slim on product shortly, this is why.

The good news is that the 5th fermenter is up and running, and there’s about 75% more space in the tap room, now. I’m kegging up more Rye and Pale today, and the keezer is still rockin’ the West Coast IPA, CDA, and Bee’s Wine. Come get yourself some beer and soak up a few rays on the patio!

In defense of supporting the little guy

I try to keep my political opinions detached from business, but sometimes things have to be dealt with when they threaten the existence of said business. If you haven’t heard, the big beer news over the last few weeks is that Gov. Inslee is proposing the extension of a temporary tax on brewers, and the removal of a small brewer exemption, which helps enable small craft brewing in Washington state. I won’t go too deep into the details because they’ve been written about eloquently over here, here, and here. If you’re interested in getting some perspective on the original tax proposal, rewind to 2010. You will note that the original tax was almost a tripling of the tax rate at that time, that the 2010 tax brought us into the top handful of states with the highest beer tax. The author of the article was correct to comment “yeah, right” in response to the notion that it would be temporary.

Small brewers operate on a very different scale than big brewers do. There is a reason why you pay a little more for beer produced on a small scale. When you spread out your fixed expenses (rent, utilities, etc…) over every pint you produce, they skyrocket as you scale down to the tiny brewery. Ingredients cost a lot more when you buy by the lb, rather than the ton.┬áIn addition, the amount of labor a tiny brewery has to put out goes through the roof. These things cannot be avoided, but they can be mitigated by a government that cares about growing industries and supporting homegrown entrepreneurs. I can’t speak for other brewery owners, but my goals aren’t to be working 70-80 hrs a week forever. If I can’t afford to hire help, if I have to raise prices and lose customers, I won’t be capable to investing in equipment and production that then allows more jobs, more sales, more taxes paid.

Seattle’s tiny brewery list isn’t all that small: Peddler’s, Populuxe, Epic Ales, Machine House, NW Peaks, Reuben’s Brews, Foggy Noggin, Spinnaker Bay (soon), and a few others that are slipping my mind. Nevertheless, how much revenue does the state stand to raise with this blunt tool? I can’t imagine it would be enough to justify destroying a fledgling corner of an industry that Washington state excels at. Where Inslee’s beer tax doesn’t destroy, it will injure tiny breweries enough to kill our dreams of growing. I certainly don’t want to be fighting against funding education, which is where the money is slated to go. I am not particularly anti-tax in general. I want to put in a share to support things that we all want for our society, but I think we should be able to demand a little more precision in how we apply these taxes.

Right now, there is a rally in Olympia. I really wish I could be there, but I have to go open the tap room, breed yeast, keg a batch, clean, do paperwork. Please get involved if you can. If you can’t, please come down tonight and drink some hand made beer made down the street. I’m there from 4-8pm Wednesday through Saturday.

On tap this week:

I just kegged up another batch of the CDA, and I gotta say, this recipe is dialed in. Come and get it! I also have a few kegs of the Pale, Rye IPA, and Bee’s Wine still going from last week. For those of you disappointed that I ran out of West Coast IPA on Saturday, I just stumbled across an overlooked keg in the walk in.

On tap this week:

I just kegged up another batch of the Pale and IPA, and the Rye IPA will be back on by Friday. I still have the Session Pale, and a couple pints each of the Wheated Red Ale and the CDA, and plenty of Bee’s Wine ginger beer.

So there you have it. The week was productive, and I’m getting closer to catching up. Putting together another fermentation chamber has taken up some brew time, but by the end of the week, my capacity should be up about 25%. I plan to run brew days before serving Wednesday, Thursday and possibly Friday, so if my sentences aren’t forming properly, it’s all for the good of the beer.

This week’s offerings:

Back open today at 4pm, and on tap I have a new batch of the CDA, the aromatic Session Pale (dry hopped with Northern Brewer, Simcoe and Cascade), as well as Bee’s Wine, Red Wheat, and a pint or two left of the Rye IPA. Growlers will be sold only of the CDA, Bee’s Wine and Session Pale.

ToIMG_1345 those of you who have been clamoring for somewhere to set your pint in the patio, I’ve put up a “bar” that should help a bit. One step at a time …

Oh, and if you haven’t heard, 3 awesome people are opening up the old All-Purpose Pizza joint up the street. Hell yes.

Brew School: Hop chemistry

I just watched this Beersmith Podcast episode for the second time, and if you want to know more about designing hop aroma and flavor, it may interest you. Skip ahead to about 10:00 if you want to start at the good stuff, and about 16:00 for the meat. Warning, it gets plenty nerdy.


Tasting room open today!

After a little delay, I’m kicking open the doors again today from 4pm to 8pm. I’ve got another fresh batch of the Rye IPA on tap, as well a new brew, the Wheated Red Ale. With 15% each of Carared and wheat, and a pinch of rye, it has a complex maltiness. This beer highlites Mt Hood hops, which are quite earthy and spicy. Supported by Cascade and Citra for some bright citrus notes, this one is a great early spring beer. There happens to be a handful of pints of the CDA from a partial keg I had in the back of the walk in, as well as a dozen or so pints of the Pale Ale. Neither of these are available by growler, until I can make more. As always, you can find Bee’s Wine here as well.

The weather is looking like it’s going to be beautiful, so I’ll have the patio open. I wired up a speaker out front, as well, so you can enjoy some tunes with your sunshine and beer. See you all soon!

Upgrading and delayed reopening (now Thursday)

I’ve decided to make a few quick upgrades to respond to the higher than expected demand, as well as take a moment to put a few finishing touches up before reopening. As such, I won’t actually be reopening until Thursday. Besides, a couple of batches are finishing a little slower than I expected, and you wouldn’t want me to serve you unfinished beer, would you?

I’m upgrading my mash tun volume and picking up an extra fermentor, among other improvements. As a result, I’m off-loading my 30 gal mash tun with false bottom and Blichmann Top Tier stand (stand only, no burners). If you are interested in purchasing them, follow this link. Otherwise, I’ll see you all Thursday!

I still have beer

Hey y’all –

Thursday came and went, and while it was cozy and festive, it was no beer crazed frenzy like opening Wednesday. While I’m thrilled about the early response, I’m also happy to say that I am able to stay open for Friday business. Weird spring hail seems to be good for keeping your beer in your kegs. The Rye IPA, CDA and West Coast IPA are not available for growler fill until next batch, but I’m happy to pour them as pints on site until they are gone. For growlers, I can only pour the Pale this week, at least until it is gone. Thank you everyone for making such an auspicious start to Standard Brewing!

Look for the Session Pale and Wheated Red, as well as more Rye IPA next Wednesday!

Holy cow, people. I love you all.

Thank you to everyone that came out yesterday!

And to everyone that might be trying to visit on Friday or Saturday, I should warn you that there is a chance that I may have to close for a few days while I stock up on kegs. As the night progressed, I had to limit sales on a few things to make sure that I could keep a little variety for Thursday patrons. I will have a limited supply this week, so please check in here to make sure that I’ll be open before coming down. I should be fairly stocked up by next Wednesday with the Session Pale, Wheated Red Ale, and more Rye IPA.

Again, a huge thanks to the CD community for such a great kick off. Time to go brew my pants off!

Opening Party!!

Hey all.

It turns out that opening an establishment is every bit as much a pain in the tuckus as I expected it to be. As the long haul is wrapping up, you are all invited down to have a pint, chat about beer, and share in some good cheer. I’ve met a lot of great neighbors since press started going out, and if they are any indication of the friendliness and excitement I’ll be faced with over the coming months, I’m thrilled to be making and serving beer to our community. The party will be Wednesday, March 20th from 4pm – 10pm, or whenever things slow down. See you there!

Late News Flash: It’s Official!

It happened on Friday, but I’ve been too busy to take a second to write about it. Standard Brewing LLC is approved to occupy the building at 2504 S Jackson St for the purposes of making beer and selling it for on premise as well as off premise consumption. It’s been a long, hard battle, but I’m pretty stubborn. As it stands, the opening party is on Wednesday, March 20th. I’ll be open from 4-?pm that night, but 4-8 Wednesday through Saturday to start. Hope to see you there! I look forward to meeting all my neighbors.

2 inspections down, 1 to go

Today, the Fire Department signed off on Standard Brewing, and that paves the way for my final inspection with the DPD, scheduled for tomorrow. This one doesn’t seem like a tough one, but let’s not grow optimistic, lest the we be caught off guard.

In fermentors I’ve got a barrel each of the Imperial IPA, Rye IPA, and CDA. The Rye IPA is almost done, and it’s quite nice. The grain bill includes 2 Row, Rye, Caramel 40L and Chocolate Malt. It’s dry hopped with Simcoe, Centennial, and Citra. I’m currently giving White Labs’ San Diego Super Yeast a spin with this one, and so far I’m loving it. It’s clocking in at about 6.7%, which is right where I wanted it.

The CDA is getting close to wrapping up as well. My take on a CDA (or Black IPA, if you must) is much lighter in color than most. It’s an undefined category of beer, and still getting hashed out by the community. I feel like it’s a good time to play with the boundaries of this style, perhaps even differentiating the CDA (Cascadian Dark Ale) from the BIPA in some way. I prefer mine to be both a touch more roasty and sweet than a typical IPA, but aromatic and bitter. I don’t want just an IPA that is dark, and I don’t want the hops to get lost in a porter-like frame. The deep brown red hues on the lighter end of the black IPA spectrum appeal to me, and so this is where I’m aiming. This guy should finish around 9%, and features Cascade, Chinook, Columbus and Willamette.

Last up is the Imperial IPA, which is going to finish around 8%, so it’s riding the line between regular style and Imperial in my book. This beer gets to play with the new hop known as “Belma”. First-worting Cascade, Columbus and Belma, and whirlpool hopping with Belma and Willamette, this should be a fun way to highlight what it brings to the table. Smelling them fresh, Belma is a hard hop to pin down. Some say “strawberries” or “melon” or “pineapple-tropical”. I’m staying agnostic for the moment, but this should be a fun trial. Dry hopping will be determined once I get a feel for what the fermented wort wants.

Stay posted for neighborhood events. Opening parties (very plural) should be cascading through very shortly.

Update: Good News!

So I’ve been tied up lately tuning up the equipment lately and haven’t had time to post anything. It definitely isn’t for lack of things to write about. The Department of Public Health inspected and approved today. I’m still waiting for the Fire Department and the DPD final inspections, which should hopefully come within the week. Official opening will hopefully be next Saturday, the 16th. Hooray!

So it turns out the moving to a completely new system means a cascading deluge of issues you’ve never seen before. I’m using a RIMS setup (stands for “Recirculating Infusion Mash System”), which involves recirculating your wort during the mash from the top to the bottom, creating a tight grain bed to filter your final runoff with. Well, I also made myself a kick-ass mill, if you’ll remember from the early posts. It turns out the Crankandstein’s 3 roller mill crushes more fine than one can use with a RIMS setup. Even on the coarsest grind setting I have been getting stuck mashes. I called Don, who makes them, and he is a fantastic fellow, offering to take a return if it doesn’t work out. He suggested removing the 3rd roller, so I’m going to give it a try. Nevertheless, I’ve stuck 3 mashes now, and I’m getting very tired of it.

It also turned out that I was running my mash burner too hot, which was creating air as it boiled the wort under the false bottom. That air would get sucked into the pump, slowing it down and creating wild temperature fluctuations as the controller inappropriately read the wort temperature. I think I’ve got it all figured out now, after tossing 3 batches. As a result, I may be a little shy on variety at opening time, but I’m working to crank out batches, so hopefully everything will even out when I run with 2 rollers on the mill.

Has everyone heard that Chuck’s Hop Shop is moving into the CD? Uhmayzing. I can’t tell you how great this is. They have the best selection in town, and they have permitting to allow drinking in the store. You might think I’d be bothered that there is somewhere else opening at the same time offering beer in growlers and on site drinking, but I’m not. I’m a firm believer that more is better. Bringing a critical mass of beer interest to the neighborhood can only get people out, being social, engaging in beer conversation. I also love the idea that the CD is working toward being a little hotspot for craft beer. Along with the CDBC, we now have a tiny cult of beer fanatics brewing away.

Lastly, the always awesome Ian Hunter is painting my logo on the wall this week, which will surely make it obvious to the neighborhood what’s been going on. Feel free to stop by if you’re in the neighborhood!

Brew School: Wyeast discussion

I feel like every time I bring up yeast at a bar, somebody gives me the stink eye. If you don’t brew or make wine or distill (or make kombucha, cheese, bread or yogurt) you’ve probably never considered the awesome little world of microorganisms. You probably also think it’s a dirty word. Let me tell you something … it is fascinating. At the end of the day, it’s my second favorite thing about brewing (first being drinking the beer, natch). I’m going to start sharing links to informational videos and articles that I think every brewer should know about under the title “Brew School”. Here is the first. It’s a talk with Owen LIngley from Wyeast (with White Labs, one of the two most important brewing yeast companies) done at Northern Brewer (an awesome brew store in Wisconsin). If you brew, you should watch this.