Growlers

Posted: October 26, 2011 in Uncategorized

One of our favorite and most popular ways of selling Mad Anthony beer for carryout is “the growler”.  This option allows you to take home any of the flavors of beer that we have on tap, not just the 4 brands that we bottle and also provides the added benefit of giving you the “fresh” flavor of draft beer as opposed to the slightly different flavor that bottling beer imparts.  I refer to Wikipedia for a definition and history of the growler as I can’t tell it as well as this:

A growler is a glass jug with a capacity of 0.5 US gallons (1,900 ml) used to transport draft beer in Australia, the United States and Canada. They are commonly sold at breweries and brewpubs as a means to sell take-outbeer. Some breweries also offer a one-litre or one-quart version. Growlers are also used by homebrewers as an alternative to kegs or smaller bottles for carbonating and storing their beer.

Growlers are generally made of glass and have either a screw-on cap or a hinged porcelain gasket cap, which can provide freshness for a week or more. A properly sealed growler will hold carbonation indefinitely and will store beer like any other sanitized bottle. Some growler caps are equipped with valves to allow replacement of CO2 lost while racking. The modern glass growler was first introduced by Charlie and Ernie Otto of Otto Brother’s Brewing Company in 1989. [5]

The term likely dates back to the late 19th century when fresh beer was carried from the local pub to one’s home by means of a small galvanized pail. Often the inside of the pail would be coated with lard to decrease foam and allow for slightly more beer to be in the pail. It is claimed the sound that the CO2 made when it escaped from the lid as the beer sloshed around sounded like a growl. [6]

 

We fill the growler directly from the tap of your beer of choice and as noted above the carbonation can be maintained indefinitely, but when you open it for the first time it is best to finish the growler as soon as possible as it will decline in carbonation and freshness as a result of opening it.  Another important thing to note is that our Harry Baals Irish Stout is not a very good candidate for growler fills. Our Irish Stout is very lightly carbonated compared to our other beers due to being poured from the special nitrogen tap giving the beer it’s nice creamy head and as such when poured in a growler , stored and then reopened the beer will have a very flat character due to lack of carbonation. This beer is best enjoyed for its full character by the pint in one of the pubs!

Growler sales are legal on Sundays in Indiana only at the point of being brewed, meaning our Fort Wayne pub only. This law was passed a few years ago to help breweries compete with wineries which were allowed to sell wine on Sundays from their winery locations for  many years.  If you have a craving for your favorite MABC beer on Sunday stop by Fort Wayne and take home a growler!

 

2 Breweries?????????????

Posted: September 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

For those that are new to “The Mad Anthony Brewing Company Experience” I thought I would use today’s blog post to introduce you to our 2 different breweries and explain how they work in conjunction with each other. We use the terms “Pub Brewery” and Production Brewery when referring to one or the other. The “Pub Brewery” is our original and smallest brewing system and is located behind 4 large windows in our restaurant on the corner of Broadway and Taylor in Fort Wayne. It consists of  a 6 barrel (12 kegs) batch size brew house and four 6 barrel fermenters. In 1999 we added a 14 barrel (28 kegs) fermenter and conditioning tank to help us meet increasing demand. This brewery also contains a large walk in cooler where we have 8 “Grundy Style” conditioning tanks which we basically use as large kegs the beer is served from. A Grundy tank is a small (7 barrel)l stainless steel tank that was originally located in English pub cellars. The beer was drafted from these tanks and sold across the bar.  Once a week or month the Brewery trucks would visit the pubs and refill their Grundy tanks. These tanks went out of style in England in the early 1990s, the same time the American Craft Brewing scene was really starting to gain legs. Most of these Grundy tanks found homes in small American breweries and 8 of them found a home in mine!

The Production Brewery was opened in 2000 after our purchase of The Munchie Emporium, the restaurant our pub brewery was located in. In the interest of maintaining our outside accounts and the new increased demand from owning the restaurant we were in serious need of increased capacity. This was achieved using the approx 2000 sq foot pole barn located in the parking lot of our restaurant. The building was leased from our landlord (who also leased the restaurant space to us) and then Filled with a 15 barrel system trucked in from California. We have expanded the Production Brewery twice with the addition of one 30 barrel fermenter and bright tank and later two more 30 barrel brights. The bottling capacity was also increased a couple of years ago with the addition of  a new automated 6 head $50000 bottling machine.

Here are some pictures I took this morning of both breweries. Notice Chris our Production Brewer working hard brewing a batch of Auburn lager! (Oh yeah and don’t forget Jeremy not working too hard brewing IPA)

We have gone through several phases of which brewery brews what and how do we make them work together, but this is how we currently do it, and remember we keep 10 different beers on tap in Fort Wayne and the beer takes a minimum of 14 days to be ready to serve so it can be quite a challenge to plan beer production. Currently we try to brew all of the beers served at Broadway and Taylor (our biggest beer selling restaurant) in the Pub Brewery except for two beers, Raspberry and our seasonal beer (Octoberfest, Winter Ale, Irish red and Summer Daze). So even though we brew Auburn, Blonde, Pale, and IPA in the Production brewery we also brew them in the Pub Brewery. This allows us to use some extra capacity in the Pub to keep from stripping our supply from the Production brewery. The Pub also brews all the specialty beers we serve in all three restaurants, current specials include: Kolsch, Brown Ale, American red, Cream Stout, Pumpkin and a few others. We brew these beers in the pub in smaller batches to keep them changing regularly so our beer fans get to see more variety.

In summary, Production Brewery produces:

Blonde, Auburn, Pale Ale, IPA, (for bottles and draft) Seasonal beers, draft only (Summer Daze, Octoberfest, Winter Ale and Irish red) and Raspberry Wheat draft only (we also did one batch of Blueberry this summer)

Pub Brewery produces:

Blonde, Auburn, Pale Ale, IPA, Muddy River Amber (served at Halls Restaurants) Irish Stout served in all three MA Restaurants, and all other specialty beers served in our restaurants and a few other locations like my buddy Kevin’s 20 tap bar and burger joint in Broadripple, Indianapolis.

Changing the subject now, would just like to mention that I enjoy writing the weekly (almost!) blog, but would like to get more feedback from my readers.  If you are a regular reader of the blog please take some time to leave a comment occasionally or perhaps a suggestion about future topics. Subscribe to the blog if you feel so inclined and have it emailed to you. At the very least, make liberal use of the “Like” button (that is, if you really do). I get to see the stats that some people are actually visiting the blog but not really getting any feel for whether you are enjoying it or not. Lets make it a two way conversation!!!

Thanks for reading………….and commenting!

Todd

Octoberfest Lager

Posted: September 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

Octoberfest is a beer drinking festival which originated in Munich Germany in 1810. The beer of choice in the tents is also called Octoberfest, A malty, amber, German Lager, usually served by the litre. This beer style is described at length by the BJCP (beer judge) brewing guidlines.  This is the description in it’s entirety:

3B. Oktoberfest/Märzen

Aroma: Rich
German malt aroma (of Vienna and/or Munich malt).  A light to moderate toasted malt aroma is often present.  Clean lager aroma with no
fruity esters or diacetyl.  No hop
aroma.  Caramel aroma is inappropriate.

Appearance: Dark
gold to deep orange-red color. Bright clarity, with solid, off-white, foam
stand.

Flavor: Initial
malty sweetness, but finish is moderately dry.
Distinctive and complex maltiness often includes a toasted aspect.  Hop bitterness is moderate, and noble hop
flavor is low to none. Balance is toward malt, though the finish is not
sweet.  Noticeable caramel or roasted
flavors are inappropriate.  Clean lager
character with no diacetyl or fruity esters.

Mouthfeel: Medium
body, with a creamy texture and medium carbonation.  Smooth.
Fully fermented, without a cloying finish.

Overall Impression: Smooth,
clean, and rather rich, with a depth of malt character.  This is one of the classic malty styles, with
a maltiness that is often described as soft, complex, and elegant but never
cloying.

History: Origin
is credited to Gabriel Sedlmayr, based on an adaptation of the Vienna style
developed by Anton Dreher around 1840, shortly after lager yeast was first
isolated.  Typically brewed in the
spring, signaling the end of the traditional brewing season and stored in cold
caves or cellars during the warm summer months.
Served in autumn amidst traditional celebrations.

Comments:
Domestic German versions tend to be golden, like a strong Pils-dominated
Helles.  Export German versions are
typically orange-amber in color, and have a distinctive toasty malt
character.  German beer tax law limits
the OG of the style at 14˚P since it is a vollbier,
although American versions can be stronger.
“Fest” type beers are special occasion beers that are usually stronger
than their everyday counterparts.

Ingredients:
Grist varies, although German Vienna malt is often the backbone of the grain
bill, with some Munich malt, Pils malt, and possibly some crystal malt. All
malt should derive from the finest quality two-row barley. Continental hops,
especially noble varieties, are most authentic.
Somewhat alkaline water (up to 300 PPM), with significant carbonate
content is welcome.  A decoction mash can
help develop the rich malt profile.

Vital Statistics:                             OG:  1.050 – 1.057

IBUs:  20 – 28                                FG:  1.012 – 1.016

SRM:  7 – 14                              ABV:  4.8 – 5.7%

Commercial Examples:
Paulaner Oktoberfest, Ayinger Oktoberfest-Märzen, Hacker-Pschorr Original
Oktoberfest, Hofbräu Oktoberfest, Victory Festbier, Great Lakes Oktoberfest,
Spaten Oktoberfest, Capital Oktoberfest, Gordon Biersch Märzen, Goose Island
Oktoberfest, Samuel Adams Oktoberfest (a bit unusual in its late hopping)

Using these guidlines as our starting point, we seek out the best, most authentic ingredients possible and that search begins with the Weyermann Malting Company in Bamburg Germany.  The only barley malt that makes it into our traditional Octoberfest Lager is grown and malted in the land that created the style.  We use 4 different varieties to give our beer it’s complex toasted malt flavor and the beautiful orange shade of color.  Here are the 4 malts and a link to the Weyermann website to explore all of their malts.

Vienna Malt

Light Munich (type 2)

Cara Red

Melanoidin

http://www.weyermann.de/eng/index.asp?umenue=yes&idmenue=36&sprache=2

One variety of German grown hop is used throughout the boil of this beer and that hop is known as Tettnang (my favorite German hop!)

The original hop variety comes from Tettnang which is a small town in the German state of Baden-Württemberg.

The first mention of hops growing in the Tettnang region is 1150 A.D….so a long time ago.  They were first grown for commercial purposes in 1844.

One source stated that they are so closely related to Saaz hops that they cannot be distinguished from each other.

There are hops that are grown in different places around the world that use the Tettnang name.   Hops with the label of Tettnang Tettnanger should be the authentic variety, but check to make sure.

Here’s the breakdown for Tettnang Hops:

Origin: Germany (more details above)

Aroma/Flavor: Rich, flowery, spicy

Alpha Acid: 3.5% to 5.0%

Typical Usage: All purpose – Bittering/Flavoring/Aroma

Beer Styles: German Wheat and American Lagers

Last but not least in the brewing of MABC Octoberfest Lager is the selection of yeast used to ferment this beer. Our selection is a traditional German lager yeast that gives the beer much of it’s clean crisp character. We are just lucky enough to have chosen this yeast as our house lager yeast and is also used in our Gabby Blonde lager as well as Auburn Lager and many of the other lager styles we brew throuout the year.

Our Octoberfest is a perfect transitional beer from summer to fall, as the weather gets cooler and the days get shorter. Heartier than the light and crisp summer beers but not heavy like winter beers this is the one to seek out at all 3 MABC locations as well as other fine retailers serving MABC draft.

Whats Brewing?

Posted: September 7, 2011 in Uncategorized

MABC brewers are starting to think of the cooler weather and the Autumn season when planning specialty beers now and this week we will be brewing one that fits the bill perfectly……..”Punkunhead” Imperial Pumpkin Ale. This will be our third time brewing a spiced pumpkin ale and will definitely receive the benefits of some recipe tweaks.

Punkunhead is an imperial style ale and begins with a large gravity, meaning, it contains a high amount of sugar produced from barley, giving the beer a big body, lots of residual sweetness and a higher amount of alcohol. The beer is designed to emulate the flavor of pumpkin pie. Do we actually use pumpkin when brewing the beer? Yes, our recipe uses 12 #10 cans of cooked pumpkin and gets additions to the mash tun and to the kettle as well  Hops take a backseat in this beer style as large amounts of bitterness detract from the intended flavor so the international bittering units of this beer fall somewhere in the 16-18 range.

We use the  freshest spices for the beer which we procure from the Great American Spice company here in Fort Wayne. They have a special blend of pumpkin pie spice which we use to get a subtle  to medium spice flavor, we also add a percentage of a beautiful sweet variety of cinnamon called “Saigon” which contains 3% oils. This year we will also add a percentage of a non fermentable sugar which should provide a little sweetness as well as a nice creamy character, next thing you know we will be serving the beer with a spoonful of Cool Whip on top (ok probably not)! The malt bill of Punkunhead is designed to add some complexity and contains percentages of pale ale malt, dextrin malt, aromatic, and special roast.

Definitely not your “normal” beer but an interesting, tasty, warming beer to drink with lots of character. Look for this one to be released in 3-4 weeks and stay tuned to facebook or twitter for the actual day of release.

As we at Mad Anthony make our final preparations for the annual “Octobeerfest,” It gets my juices flowing (probably beer!) and my thoughts turn to what a great event and weekend this is for fans of MABC, beer aficionados, anyone that wants good value for their drinking dollar and especially us brewers.  It is an event that allows us to get together with friends we have not seen in a while, trade stories about our breweries successes and failures and most of all, a chance to try many of the newest and best offerings from the majority of the small brewers in Indiana. The event also offers a chance for the craft brew fan to talk to the actual brewers of the beers and maybe to get behind their thought process on their beer formulations. Octobeerfest also offers a chance to try many of the great homebrews produced by our local homebrewers and a chance to mingle with many of Fort Wayne’s most accomplished homebrewers

Octobeerfest has always been an event that is about the brewers, the craft beer fan, and most importantly THE BEER. As a business, this event is not about profits but the opportunity to bring a “big city” type tasting event hosted by the brewers themselves and not just faceless distributors pouring beers out of bottles. It has remained fairly small (300ish people) and intimate over the years to really differentiate itself from the typical schwag beer tent event so typical of Fort Wayne.  Not attempting to disparage other events if that is your thing, but from a brewers perspective this is a “real,” grassroots beer festival  where the people who make it take it fresh from the tank put it in the keg, transport it here themselves, and pour the beer from the taps, giving you a chance to see and taste their passion and hard work.

I can’t really think of a better way to spend Saturday Sept 10 2011 from 2-6 PM than being in the Mad Anthony Brewing Company parking lot sampling the best offerings from 17 (that’s right 17!) of Indiana’s best breweries. Cost is only $30 and includes a tasting glass, entertainment, t-shirt, Marshmallo war, and lunch (if you are a MABC mug club member).

Check out this lineup:

Barley Island                           Black Swan

Bloomington Brewing           Broad Ripple

Brugge                                      Crown Brewing

Figure Eight Brewing            Granite City

Half Moon                               Lafayette

New Albanian                          Peoples

Rock Bottom College Park    Rock Bottom Downtown

Shoreline                                   Sun King

Should be a great day and a great time! See you there!

American Red

Posted: August 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

American Red is a beer in our specialty beer line up that we brew maybe 3-5 times a year.  It is also a beer that we take some liberties with the recipe and make changes to it regularly. I use the American Red “label” as a “beer canvas” for some experimentation  with different malts, hops varieties, hop levels, gravity and other recipe details.   This is possible as the beer is not in our regular line up and is only sold in our restaurants so I don’t have to concern myself with the consistency of it. The only parameters we keep on this beer is that it be red in color, fall in the “hoppy” style of beers and use american grown hops and malt. I also believe this makes the beer more interesting each time it rolls out as everyone can try the “new’ version.

Our newest batch of American Red should go on tap in the next few weeks in Fort Wayne depending on when the next specialty beer runs out. Our emphasis on this batch was creating an interesting and complex malt base for the Amarillo hops. The normal version of this beer would use american 2 row barley base malt and some version of american caramel malt. This time we went deep into the specialty malt catalog and blended several malts from Briess malting company,  creating, what turned out to be, a really beautiful and delicious malt base for our amber ale.

Here are the malts we used and their description from the Briess catalog

2 Row Brewers Malt

2-Row Brewers Malt Adobe PDF download PDF
Lovibond Flavor Unique Characteristics/Applications
1.8 Clean, sweet, mild malty DP 140. Base malt for all beer styles.
Contributes light straw color.
Slightly higher yield than 6-Row Malt.
Slightly lower protein than 6-Row Malt.
Malted in small batches, making it an excellent fit for small batch craft brewing.

 

Munich Malt

Munich Malt 10L Adobe PDF download PDF
Lovibond Flavor Unique Characteristics/Applications
10 Smooth and malty sweet, warming DP 30
Golden leaning toward orange hues

Aromatic malt

Aromatic® (Munich) Malt Adobe PDF download PDF
Lovibond Flavor Unique Characteristics/Applications
20 Very smooth with an intesne maltiness DP 40
Deep golden with orange hues

Special Roast

Special Roast Malt Adobe PDF download PDF
Lovibond Flavor Unique Characteristics/Applications
50 Toasty
Biscuity
Sour Dough
Tangy
Whoa! This is one complex malt. With its characteristic and bold sourdough flavor, it will contribute an exciting layer of flavor to Nut Brown Ales, Porters and other dark beer styles.

 

2 Row Caramel 40

2-Row Caramel Malt 40L Adobe PDF download PDF
Lovibond Flavor
40 Sweet
Caramel
Toffee

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Row Caramel 80

2-Row Caramel Malt 80L Adobe PDF download PDF
Lovibond Flavor
80 Pronounced Caramel, Slight Burnt Sugar, Raisiny

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another thing we did to emphasize the malt “nose” of the beer was to leave out the normal amount of  dry hop which sometimes can overpower all other aromas in the beer. We did however leave a pretty good dosing of  hops throughout the boil of the beer, equivalent to what our IPA receives, so hop-heads won’t turn up their nose!

This recipe is really a departure for an MABC beer as we usually keep our Malt bills very simple in the interest of not “muddying” flavors. It really turned out nice though and could start a trend for us in building more complex grain bills. This is one you should definitely stop in for a pint of. Look to Facebook or Twitter for release dates of this beer.

 

Introducing the Brewing Staff

Posted: August 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

How many people work in the brewery? Who makes the beer? Questions I am often asked, so I thought I would take the time this week to introduce the staff and generally what they do.  I  (Todd Grantham) am one of the 3 owners of Mad Anthony Brewing Company and have been in charge of all things beer since we opened in 1998.  My training was as an Avid homebrewer in the 1990s and then attended the 2 week intensive course at the Siebel Institute in Chicago. I apprenticed with The Oaken Barrel Brewing Company in Greenwood Indiana and had alot of help setting up MABC with the help of their Brewmaster. In the first few years I produced every drop of beer and performed every task in the brewery, but as we continued to grow we added several assistants to the operation. Now I mostly oversee the entire operation and rarely brew batches of beer.

My lead brewer has been with me since 6/19/06  his name is Jeremy Zuber and he hails from the metropolis of Antwerp Ohio.  Jeremy is hands on in all phases of the operation including brewing, cleaning, inventories, ordering, bottling and oversees the work of the other assistants. Jeremy is my “right hand man” and helps me stay on top of everything in the brewery.

The Production brewery, which produces all of the beer for outside accounts including bottles and kegs is manned by Chris Nix who has been on board since 3/2/09. Chris is the baby of the group and started with MABC  not too far removed from high school.

The Pub brewery which produces most of the beer for Fort Wayne MABC and specialty beers for all of our other restaurants is handled by our newest addition to the family, Joe Martin. Joe has only been with us since may but has a background in beermaking as he is the co-owner of our GREAT local homebrew store, Brewers Art Supply.  Joe is part time and works around 2 days per week.

Last but not least is Luis Paez, also a part timer (but close to full time with our crazy summer!) Luis handles many of the duties related to packaging, washing and preparing kegs for filling, labeling every bottle that gets filled and several other tasks throughout the breweries. Luis has been with the company since 7/16/09

So there you have it, the MABC brewing staff. They are all valuable members of the family  and  we couldn’t do it every day without them. Feel free to say hello next time you see one of them!