The Art of Handcrafting a Beer: Part III


« Mahoning Valley Flight Crew

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by Jason Jugenheimer, Mahoning Valley Flight Crew

For every artist, I’d like to think that there is some satisfaction and a climatic moment while watching a masterpiece grow. I wonder at what point did Michelangelo feel pride while chiseling away the final pieces of marble to create David? I try to imagine if Da Vinci cracked an enigmatic smile with the final brush stroke of the Mona Lisa. While I’m not a Renaissance Man, an artist, or brewmaster for that matter, I still feel a little proud of what the guys at Birdfish Brewery allowed us to do, by crafting a beer of my own design.

While Part III of this blog series may be a little shorter, it might be the most satisfying because it is that first glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel. On Thursday, February 16th, we will be tapping our collaboration with Birdfish at Birdfish Brewery in Columbiana. The Blueberry Oatmeal Outstanding Breakfast Stout (B.O.O.B.S) will finish its journey as it pours from the tap to an eagerly awaiting pint glass.

While the process of taking it from fermentation to kegging is less labor intensive and time consuming as the brewing process, it's still an important process. This is where any final adjustments need to be made to tweak the flavor and aroma of the beer. It’s the, "This is it" moment.

Last week I stopped down to see the guys as the fermentor moved into the cooler for secondary termination. We sampled the beer to see if it matched the flavor profile we were looking for. Last night returned to the brewery to help keg the 31 gallons that will make the final journey from brew to palate to belly.

What we discovered was that it needed just a little something extra to help bring out the aromatics of the blueberry in the stout. The taste was there, a creamy stout with a bit of sweetness from the flaked oats and the underlying hint of blueberry.

So much of enjoying a beer though is using your nose to truly taste a beer. We wanted to heighten that experience, so we added a little bit of blueberry essence while kegging the beer. What we should get is a nice aromatic scent of blueberry when carbonation happens and the bubbly head caps off that perfect pint.

So, if you aren’t doing anything this Thursday night around 7:00 PM, jump in the car and head to Columbian, Ohio. Grab a pizza from R Pizza Place and head into Birdfish Brewery to enjoy a pint of the beer that they made happen. If you can’t make it down, Part IV of this blog series will appear next week and hopefully act as the birth announcement of a masterpiece.

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