This Week @ The Brew Gentlemen (7/30-8/2)

This week marks the return of a full batch of White Sky and two Pilot Batch beers.

Here is the current draft list for the week:

  • General Braddock’s IPA
  • Business Casual
  • RPF #9: Catherine’s Wit
  • Build & Destroy
  • RPF #2: Kitchen Sink
  • RPF #3: Irish Pale Ale
  • RPF #17: Apple Pie
  • RPF #10: New Zealand Double Pale Ale
  • Rotating special release tap

Wednesday 7/30 (4pm-10pm)

Food: No food tonight. Unfortunately Pittsburgh Taco Truck is having some issues.

Thursday 7/31 (4pm-10pm): Pilot Batch Thursday!

Food: TBD – We are trying to secure someone for Thursday but for now, BYOF.

Beer Release: Chipotle Mange DIPA + Gose

For those of you who have missed one or both of these releases, we will be putting a small amount of each beer on tap this Thursday (and Thursday only).

Friday 8/1 (4pm-10pm+)

Food: Blowfish BBQ

Beer Release: More White Sky!

Saturday 8/2 (4pm-10pm+)

Food: Tony’s Gyros of Pittsburgh

This Week @ The Brew Gentlemen (7/23-7/26)

Well, it looks like we found a short-term solution with these updates to help keep you all in the loop. We’ll be streamlining this over the next few weeks, but for now, here’s what you need to know.

For starters, here is the current draft list for the week:

  • General Braddock’s IPA
  • Hello World
  • RPF #9: Catherine’s Wit
  • RPF #13: Cucumber Wheat
  • RPF #2: Kitchen Sink
  • RPF #17: Apple Pie
  • Young Barleywine
  • Rotating special release tap

Wednesday 7/23 (4pm-10pm)

Food: Pittsburgh Smokehouse

Thursday 7/24 (4pm-10pm): Pilot Batch Thursday!

Food: Street Foods

Beer Release: Gose

Thank you all for making our first Pilot Batch Release last week a wild success – we kicked the keg of the Chipotle Mango DIPA in a little under 4 hours. This week, we will be releasing our Gose, a slightly sour and salty wheat beer. Perfectly refreshing in the summer, and our first stab at a sour beer.

Friday 7/25 (4pm-10pm+)

Food: Blowfish BBQ

Saturday 7/26 (4pm-10pm+)

Food: Tony’s Gyros of Pittsburgh

This Week @ The Brew Gentlemen Beer Co.

A quick update with all the happenings this week in Braddock.

For starters, here is the current draft list for the week:

  • General Braddock’s IPA
  • Business Casual Session Red Ale
  • Non-Timber Forest Product (last keg)
  • Build & Destroy Wheat Stout
  • White Sky (we found an extra keg in the cold room!)
  • RPF #13: Cucumber Wheat
  • RPF #2: Kitchen Sink
  • Rotating special release tap

We will also be tapping a few other fun things this week which I’ve listed below.

Wednesday (4pm-10pm): 

Food: Pittsburgh Taco Truck

Thursday (4pm-10pm): 

Food: Street Foods

Beer: Chipotle Mango DIPA

This will be our inaugural Pilot Batch Thursday. Every week, we will put on one sixtel from our pilot program. The Chipotle Mango DIPA is up first, clocking in at 10.4% ABV.

Friday (4pm-10pm+):

Food: Blowfish BBQ

Beer: Young Barleywine release

First and only chance to try this Barleywine until it fully matures, probably sometime around the Holiday season.

Saturday (4pm-10pm+):

Food: Tony’s Gyros of Pittsburgh

Beer: Apple Pie Beer release

Lots of fun beers and great food this week. Hope that you will join us.

Cheers!

Maiden Voyage

When you put a huge amount of time and energy into accomplishing a major goal, it’s sometimes easy to blow right past that goal without thinking. Hell, it took a couple weeks after I graduated college that I finally realized that it had happened. So although I don’t think it’s been firmly imprinted upon my conscious quite yet, The Brew Gentlemen Beer Co. is now officially making beer.

Brandon has worked some crazy hours this week in order to get all of our tanks filled with beer, brewing nine batches of five different varieties in five days. For a more in-depth look into this very intense week, you can read his account below. Here’s the current lineup: 

firstweek

  • Day 1: Hello World (Special Release) – A one-off British-style Special Bitter, brewed to calibrate our system
  • Day 2: White Sky (Flagship) – Our signature chai-spiced wheat beer
  • Day 3: Non-Timber Forest Product (Special Release) – Our collaboration maple beer with Sprague Farm & Brew Works for Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week 2014
  • Day 4: Business Casual (Flagship) – Our session red ale
  • Day 5: Random science experiment! (not pictured) – An open-fermented hybrid beer, utilizing our idle whirlpool kettle as a fermenter to test the ambient microbiology of Braddock.

It’s been a long and tumultuous road to get to this point. Setback after setback pushed back our ability to make beer until months after we had planned to do so, and we still have much to accomplish before we’re finally able to open the brewery. We’ll be spending the next month finishing up the renovation of our taproom while we tweak recipes and build inventory, followed by a series of soft openings before we officially open for normal hours.

Soon, we shall have beer. And what a long, strange trip it’s been.

First Steps

Last week, we officially made the transition from brewery under construction to full production facility. It was a major milestone for the company, and one of the first that I have been able to take part in.

I’ll start with a quick recap: On Sunday, the brewhouse still looked like a tornado had just ripped through it. I found it hard to believe that we would actually be making beer over the next few days. We spent the entire night cleaning, washing, and reorganizing the space. Come Monday, we improvised our way through the day and encountered numerous equipment issues, but were still able to pull off our first beer, Hello World (a seventeen hour brew day on one hour of sleep).

We had more of an idea what to expect Tuesday when brewing White Sky, and began to rapidly improve. Wednesday was the first of many collaborations, this time with Luke Steadman of Sprague Farm and Brew Works. Together, we brewed Non-Timer Forest Product, a spring ale brewed with maple and ingredients from the farm. On Thursday I brewed Business Casual, working predominately solo, but felt confident and inspired by the tasks at hand. Friday I brewed a bit of an artistic experiment and, with the stress level down substantially, finally sat back and enjoyed the aroma of an open-fermenting beer.

The week brought with it many challenges but it all adds up to a story we’ll never forget. We worked hard, barely slept, and went from feeling unprepared, exhausted and overwhelmed to confident, relaxed and inspired. I learned a lot from this week, but these are the highlights:

1.    Be able to quickly adapt on the fly. Our first day was entirely improvised; we encountered numerous problems and did our best to develop solutions. The following days had some rhythm, but still brought with them new obstacles and challenges. We encountered problems with our equipment, ingredients, and physical wellness – but we made the best of all of it. Quick and resourceful thinking allowed us to keep the day moving.

2.    Allow yourself to make mistakes, and learn from them. Because we’re dealing with beer (which turns over relatively quickly), it’s still pretty early to tell if any major mistakes occurred. But as a good friend and mentor once told me, “you learn the most when things don’t go as planned”. It will always be difficult to handle with if something doesn’t come out right, but mistakes are inevitable and its how you react to them that matters most.

3.    Take care of (and enjoy) yourself. While getting the job done is important, you have to recognize when you need a break. I overheard Asa say “Well Matt’s asleep and Brandon looks like a zombie” before I realized how exhausted I was and did something about it. When things are that crazy its easy to neglect the body. But, “At the end of the day, we’re still making beer”. It’s easy to reduce each day to a number of hours worked and a checklist of things accomplished, but I love what I do and I take a lot of joy in doing it. Finding the balance and creating outlets is key to loving what you do.

4.    Trust in your ability. I will always be looking to learn new things and find ways to improve. In weeks like these, confidence is a key component to good work. There were times this week where I felt completely overwhelmed, but I leaned on my prior knowledge and experience to get the job done. Now there are five fermenters full of beer.

This week is a small chapter in a story that I can’t wait to see unfold. It’s great to be part of a team that loves what they do and never stops learning and improving. Soon, we’ll have finished beer in kegs and we can’t wait to share it will all of you.