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  • It's Friday, drink Sahti.

    Come on down to the Liquid Center today, or maybe head out to your favorite specialty beer store and purchase some of this Finnish inspired Sahti Ale, spiced with juniper (among other things (I believe love and rainbow dust are on the ingredients sheet (but please don't quote me on that)) and then pour this hazy amber beauty into a glass and sip until your palette (and heart) is content:

    Expect some pine aromas and flavors to present themselves in Sahti, as well as the glorious juniper bush (is it a bush? maybe a tree? I'm not sure), we use the boughs and the berries in the making of this fine beer and we hope you like it.  So go get yours.


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  • Some things for you on this fine Friday.

    This has been a busy week.  The Tour de Fat, then Labor Day, followed by a few days of meetings in which I spent my time learning ways to better communicate with  those around me (not court sanctioned (btw)).  And at the conclusion of yesterday's session I rode my bicycle on back to New Belgium HQ and helped the crew slang a few tasters.  It was busy in the Liquid Center and my co-workers looked as though they could use a spare hand or two (I have two).  So I stepped up and filled some miniature glasses with beer and leaned in to discuss different subjects with different people (or as I like to call it: doing my my job (hard work but someone has to do it)). .  Then I came across a woman that was reading a book at the bar.  Normally an action such as this requires the bartender to leave the guest alone and let them read in peace while quietly wondering why this person would be reading at a bar, but that just isn't my style.  I rested my forearms on the bar in front of the woman (I later learned that her name is Emily) and said "whatcha' reading?"  This is the question that most reading types hate while they are mid-sentence (reading types love the question if the book is not open in front of them).  She responded "Science Fiction".  I have never been much of a sci-fi fan but I am a fan of talking to people and also I wanted to get to what was really on my mind, why is this woman was reading in a bar and on top of that how does she have the concentrational fortitude to pull it off.  It turns out that she just was caught up in the book and couldn't put it down and that led me to assume that she didn't have any beer at home so reading in the Liquid Center was her best option.  These things all piled together answered my more deep rooted question and I took away from this conversation with Emily that all it takes to find yourself reading in the bar is a good book, one that totally sucks you in, and this is the type of book that I need to find, and purchase (or borrow), then read, vigorously.  My own book selection lately has left a little to be desired.  I have gone through a couple re-reads, a couple non-fictions, some trashy novels and man I wish I could just find something good.  So why am I talking about this here (and now)?  Because I would like to solicit the feedback of the world on this subject... What was the last good book that you read and who wrote it and why was it awesome?  Please good people, I need you're help, go ahead and comment and tell me what I should read.  It would be a huge help that in turn would be repaid with a gusto-filled high-5 (either real or virtual).

    Then after my encounter with Emily I finished up my afternoon/early evening and began to mentally prepare for the Bike-in Movie.  The Thursday night bike-in movie is a late summer tradition around these parts and last night the movie was a little something different; a Clips of Faith screening.  The Clips of Faith is a fun event that we started doing this year that involves a short film festival (not overall length of the festival but, in fact, movies less than 10 minutes in duration), some awesome Lips of Faith beers, and supporting non-profits in communities around the country.  Read more about it here.  And last night (as previously stated) this show came to Fort Collins.  We even had the winning film makers present to introduce their movies.  It was super fun.  So I rolled up and realized I didn't have any money so I borrowed a few bucks from a friend got my wrist band and mosied on in.  The beer token situation is a little different at this event, for 5 bucks you get 5 tokens , to purchase one full pint of beer the volunteer would to take all 5 tokens, or you could exchange 1 token for a sample of a Lips of Faith beer.  This is the way to go in my opinion, last night I got to taste Eric's Ale, Fall Wild Ale, Biere de Mars and a few other beers (if you notice these beers are no longer available to purchase but the CoF got some hidden barrels and bottles and is taking them around the country with them).  This was so fun, watching short films, sitting in the grass and drinking awesome beers that you can no longer find, or beers that you can find but maybe have never heard of. Doesn't this sound like an unforgettable evening of fun and (dare I say) whimsy?  What this is leading up to here is a little piece of advice from me to you, go to this festival (there is only 4 left and in the southeast no less), and if not this year, go next year because it should be even better. 

    And today folks I want to leave you with this:
    That is a man constructed completely out of Jolly Ranchers, we call him "sweetness" and he like to party.
    I'm out

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  • You like food right? And how about beer?

    I was strolling around Whole Food's this morning doing a little gathering (in the modern hunter/gatherer kind of way) and finding some cheese to present at a good friend's wedding this weekend (in lieu of a gift the soon to be nuptialed couple has asked us all to bring a specific food item, I got the cheese plate (and it is going to be the best cheese plate in the whole world, cows, goats and sheep will all be accounted for, not to mention the crackers)).  And as the rest of my grocery getting was happening I decided to peruse the meat case.  As you may know Whole Foods has a great meat counter, great product, helpful staff, and selection to beat the band.  And as you may also know I love sausages (brats, Italian, hot dogs, etc..).  The pairing of my love for this style of meat and the selection at Whole Foods is like unicorns and rainbows; a perfect harmony.  As I was inspecting all of my choices I came across this:

     A beer brat made with NBB's own 1554!  This is amazing!  The fellow behind the case said that it was one of his favorites (and I didn't even tell him that I work for New Belgium until later).  I believe his quote was "if this sausage was a cologne I would spray it all over myself".  That is saying something (really).  So it is obvious what is for dinner at the JUICEBOX house tonight, and I bet you can guess what the beer pairing is going to be, that's right: 1554 (an Enlightened Black Ale).  It is my hope that this pairing brings out those rich, dark flavors from the 1554 and shows off the summery-ness that is possible from this dark beer as well as display the fun of bar-b-queing sausage after work (a side dish will also be eaten).  I will keep you informed about the results.

    And, up for this coming Tuesday's blog post is a trip to the famed New Belgium corking line.  I will take you all through the process of corking bottles as well as the special beer that was put in there.  Stay tuned.


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  • A fine day for beer pairings and story swapping.

    Well it's Tuesday, I was up early and ready to complete all tasks at hand.  And the task staring me right in the face now is this post, and for this post I wanted to offer a few things to you.  First, another great beer and food pairing: green chili beef tacos with Hoptober.  I spent the majority of yesterday afternoon stewing up some flank steak in onions, garlic, and a little broth (water at first, then eventually I could call it broth).  It slowly cooked, tenderizing and readying itself for the shredding.  On the other side of the stove I had a pan cooking up more garlic and onions and thrown in there were some fresh roasted green chilies.  These just weren't any green chilies either, these green chilies were tumble roasted right here in town by some guy with an awesome mustache (picture unavailable).  I de-stemmed and seeded the chilies, cut them into strips and added them to the pan for further cooking.  After a few hours of simmering the beef I let the broth simmer as the steak cooled to a more shred-able temperature, then my hands and two forks went to town on the meat, pulling it apart and stringing it out.  When the shred was complete I put the strings (maybe webs describes it better) back into the broth and then added the onions, garlic, and chilies from the other pan.  I stirred it all up and let it cook for another hour or so on a real light simmer.  When the food was ready I warmed some tortillas and chopped some cilantro and made tacos, glorious tacos.  At first I was thinking Ranger IPA would be the perfect beer for this dinner (as seen on my twitter feed @carnie_nbb (go ahead, follow me, it will be fun)), but as I went to the fridge for said IPA I discovered that none was at hand, but what was sitting on the top shelf were a few bottles of Hoptober, our Autumn seasonal (I prefer Autumn to Fall as a seasonal nomenclature (Autumn sounds seasony while Fall is to verb-ish)).  This is a great hoppy, golden ale that has wheat and rye and oats crammed in with the barley as well as five hop varietals giving it a really nice bitter bite.  This beer along side the (sort of) spicy green chili tacos was even better than if I had IPA in the fridge.  The Ranger would have been perfect if the tacos were spicier, but having kind of a mellow spice to the meat, the slightly mellower Hoptober was the right beer to have standing next to it (photo unavailable (you will notice through the entirety of this post that my camera was never handy when a photo-op presented itself.)).  The green chilies brought out the bitter of the hops and the citrusy and piney notes of the beer really made the tacos seem spicier and more full flavored.  The long-stewed meat and the Hoptober both had a nice lingering mouth feel allowing me to continue to taste the dinner between bites helping me slow down and enjoy the experience.  The meal as a whole was like two leprechaun's kissing while swimming in a their pot of gold, a little dreamlike.

    Heading back in time from last night's dinner I would like to tell you about Saturday.  Now Saturday is the first day of a lot of people's weekend, but not for this guy.  Saturday is routinely the busiest day in the Liquid Center and technically my Friday.  At the end of Saturday I am either totally pumped for a night on the town, or profoundly exhausted.  This last Saturday I was extra ready to party, and here is why:

    That there is the Watson Twins and they were playing a show in Fort Collins Saturday night and I am a fan.  But when the twins got to town with their band and had an afternoon to kill we here at New Belgium HQ we lucky enough to show them a good time, they wanted a tour, and I just happened to be ready to give them a tour (again, photos non-existent).  All five of them showed up Saturday afternoon (the twins (Chandra and Liegh) as well as Kip, Harris and Ed) ready to enjoy a few beers and hear me ramble on about the brewery that I love.  We talked history, process, wood beer, and culture (and other stuff too) all the while walking around and having a great time.  Then the tour ended and I went back to work even more excited about the show later that evening.  I was excited before, but after meeting the band and coming to know just how awesome they all are made me even more psyched.  Then the show.  It was great.  And if you have never seen them do yourself a favor and go see them as soon as you can (they are heading into the mid and upper-mid west as this typing happens) it will be worth it for you (I promise (and my word is as good as gold)).

    And that brings us to the end, all ready to charge headlong into the week ahead.  Have a lovely day today, and make sure tommarow is even better.


    And PS.  Here is a video to help show the awesome-ness of the Watson Twins:

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    So I'm back from my weekend in the middle west and I have stories to tell.  It was a wonderful couple of days full of family time and friendly activities.  It started with Sunday at the pool.  All my brothers and their families were present and we swam and jumped off a nice diving board.  I tried to do a flip and didn't make it (it would have been the first successful Juicebox flip).  In the process my sun-shades went flying off my face and sank to the bottom of the deep end.  This deep end was over 11 feet.  In the act of swimming to the bottom for sun-shade retrieval my head felt like it was going to explode.  That is deep and I am not much of a water guy.  I suffered for those glasses, but I would do it again (they are nice shades).  After the Pool and the dinner that followed (fried chicken and potatoes) My beautiful bride and I took a quick nap to gear up for Sunday's main event: Full Moon Fiasco 65, the summertime underwear pool party of destiny!  We woke up just in time to ride my parent's bikes over to the park and see a lot of old friends before take off (double meaning: departure of ride and loss of outer clothes).  The gathering of friends was fun and old times were caught up on.  Then we proceeded, and by "proceeded" I mean that 350 of us went swimming in most of the major fountains in St. Louis.  It was fun.  At one point we made a human powered whirl-pool outside of a museum, shoes were lost, hair was tussled, and memories were made.  As we continued through the city all bodies of water were fair game and anything with a waterfall seemed to count for double.  It was a sight, all these people in their skivvies swimming where they wanted to.  It was just like I remembered.

    At 2:00am-ish the wife and I started to head home and couldn't help but be overcome with elation about our evening (despite the feeling of wet undies rubbing against a bike seat).  If you are ever in St. Louis around a full moon you should catch up with these folks, they are experts in fun-having.

    All of a sudden Sunday had came and gone and Monday was upon us.  This was family time to the end, visiting grandparents, staring at babies, and getting made fun of by my older brothers.  Again, just as I remember.

    Tuesday was Zoo day and I got to touch a petrified giraffe's tail (I'm not sure that "petrified" is the proper word but it was old, dead, and dried up:

    I'm not sure why the woman's key chain says "antelope" it absolutely used to be part of a giraffe (she was even standing outside the giraffe pen).  After the giraffes my camera headed to the monkey house.  It was super (mid-western) hot out so the monkeys were chilling in the shade and unavailable for photos, but I did capture a shot of my bride of the back of a bronze ape:

    The heat and sun of the day made this an uncomfortable moment for her, but she is a good sport about most things and small superficial burns are a small price to pay for a great picture.

    At the conclusion of our day at the Zoo it was time for Megan and I to head out to the airport.  It was a fun trip and now I feel recharged and ready for the final work weeks of the summer.  And it being FRIDAY! there are tours to give and beers to hand out, you should come by, it will be fun.

    Until Tuesday my Freinds,



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  • The holiday weekend.

    Well I hope that everyone had a great (and safe) holiday weekend.  But now it's over and we can assess the damage.  Here in the Fort some friends and I hatched big plans to ride bikes up to Vedauwoo, Wyoming, camp the night away and ride back on Monday.  Well it didn't really go down like that.  We met at Fort Collin's newest (and super delicious) breakfast joint, Snooze at 7:30am the morning of the forth. The night before someone in our group sent out a text asking if anyone had looked at the weather, none of us had.  Meeting in the morning we decided to check it (the weather) out on one of those handy-dandy smart phones; the forecast was bleak.  Severe thunderstorms, damaging winds, and hail were all part of the possibilities of the Wyoming day.  During breakfast we were discussing all these possibilities and came to the conclusion that riding all day on dirt roads in the rain to sit in the mud during a gigantic thunderstorm was not the best plan.  We bagged it, it was kind of sad, the three of us with loaded bikes and full stomachs, standing on a street corner in the rain, the sight was pathetic indeed.  We then decided that we had to ride a little, so we looped through town then jumped on the bike path and sat on the first bench to question our decision:

    After a few minnutes of raucous debate (you can see that from the photo) we decided that the right move had been launched.  Now we were all going to head home, ditch our gear, and then meet back at my house for refreshments and plan making for the day's party (of all the days to bag a bike ride this was a good one (lots of things to do)).

    They showed up at O'Bussmann Acres (my house) and we made some breakfast (second breakfast):

    Let me tell you how this goes.  Take that Blue Paddle (it also tastes great with Sunshine Wheat, Trippel, Hagdorn's Helles etc...) pour it into a pint glass (should fit almost perfect), take one healthy slug from the glass, dropping the beer level down inch or so from the lip of the glass, then, with your favorite OJ (I like Simply Orange), top off the glass.  And boom! everyone has the brain food required to completely revise a day's plan.

    And that is what we did my friends, we revised.  The new plan was go to a block party we knew of, race cruisers, eat bar-b-que.  Then, when the fun was exhausted there, head over to a different party, play washers (or Missouri Horse-shoes (if you prefer)), eat more bar-b-que then watch the fireworks from somewhere (destination unknown).

    The first part went off without a hitch. The racing was great, the Helles was on tap, and everyone had a great time.  It wasn't raining then so there wasn't that much carnage in the crit and smiles were abound.  The burgers and sides were great and soon after the meal we took off, group intact, fearing the ribs would be gone by the time we reached house party two (a pajama-jammy-jam?).  The ribs were not done (smoking) but the washers were fun.  A lot of people were not from Missouri so the competition was not that huge.  Most folks were standing on the sidewalk drinking and talking about the impending weather, trying to remember if they brought rain jackets.  Then the rain started to fall and shelter was run for, it was bedlam. People running everywhere, beer cans flying, shouting, and stepping over the less fortunate.  The group found a leaky EZ-UP to stand under and there was some reminiscing about breakfast and some discussion regarding the bagging of the ride decision (It was the right one, but we still were a little sad about it).  We then tried to poke holes in the sides of unopened beer cans with nothing but our thumbs, it is really hard to do.

    After sitting under a tarp for an hour or so I decided to brave the weather alone and find a place where the ribs were done and ready to eat, and this is when the groups wheels came off.  We all split directions. I maybe shouldn't have left, the professor maybe shouldn't have continued to stand in the rain, and Radke, well Radke didn't make any mistakes.  We had full group severing and soloing through the bad weather and slippery train tracks I found myself at my front door, missing my backpack, hungry, and somehow in possession of someone's season pass to Elitch Gardens (it has since been returned). 

    The fireworks woke me up at about 10pm or so, but going outside to see them was not in the cards.  I ended the forth of July falling asleep on the couch watching Footloose, glad to not be sleeping outside in the thunderstoms of the Wyoming wild, with a tired smile smeared across my face.  It was a day to remember.


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  • Belgo IPA, it is good.

    So we have a new entry in the world of Lips of Faith and it is Belgo IPA.  This beer is a five hop IPA with Amarillo, Chinook, Cascade, Willamette and Simcoe.  These wonderful little plants (and malts, and water and stuff) are then paired with a Belgian yeast for a match made in heaven. This is a mix made to party (as you can tell from the disco ball on the label):

    (see, it likes to party, it's dancing right now)

    These 22 ounce bottle conditioned beers hit the streets yesterday and can be found in beer stores and bars starting now, or in you live in town you can come by the Liquid Center and give it a try, then buy a few bottles to take home with you, because like I said up top, it is good.

    -see you Tuesday,


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  • Loose Lips... explained.

    Around the old beer factory we have a grouping of beers known as the Lips of Faith.  These beers tend to be the smaller batches, more esoteric, more (dare I say...) experimental.  And onto this group we also pile the contest winning Loose Lips beer.  This contest has become a tradition around here and it is something that we are all proud of.  Here today I am going to explain it all to you. 

    Back several years ago we decided that having a contest among co-workers would be fun.  The winner would get to team up with the brewers and design the beer of their dreams.  The contest has been more or less the same since it's inception, and the rules are simple; a pitcher of beer gets get poured, but into said pitcher flows not one, but three beers in varying percentages, say 50% Fat Tire, 35% Sunshine Wheat, 15% Abbey.  All the co-workers that want to participate are corralled into a room far away from the tap towers of the tasting room (as to not see whats being poured).  All these co-workers are armed with three things; an empty taster glass, a piece of scrap paper, and a pen.  When the pitcher of the beer mixture is brought into the room it is divied up into each participant's small glass, they look at the beer, smell it, and taste it, useing those senses to detect what the three different beers could possibly be.  They then write down what they think the three beers are, and in what percentage.  The pieces of paper are then handed in and the results are tallied.  The person that gets the closest wins.  And winning is a big deal.  The winner gets to brew what they want in the brewhouse and the beer is then packaged in kegs for sampling in the Liquid Center as well as drinking from large glasses in a few bars and restaurants around our great country (but mostly in Fort Collins).  Some previous winners have been Tom's Beer, Adam's ale, Eric's Ale, Jessica's Porter, and many others (anyutime you see a New Belgium beer with someone's name followed by a beer type or style it is a contest winner.  This contest is one of my favorite things about working here (i have yet to win, but believe you me, my day is coming).

    The reason I bring this up now is that on Wednesday we had another contest and we have another beer coming.

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  • Are you ready for this? Another awesome food pairing!

    This last Sunday the wife and I went for a lovely car camping expedition.  And with all that accompanies the wonderful world of car camping; extra chairs, firewood, the dog, pillows, a cooler, one gets take liberties in cooking extravagant, delicious meals.  We packed our cooler full of the sundries that would be come dinner and breakfast and we headed north (and a little west) to Vedauwoo, Wyoming.  Vedauwoo is an awesome place (you should go there), full of crazy rock features and lovely trails.  We planned on getting there, setting up camp, taking a nice hike, then settling in for dinner. 

    Things went as planned, the drive was an easy 65 minutes and upon arrival the tent went up, the chairs got put out, and we went for a fantastic hike.  The Turtle Rock Loop (I think that's what it's called), a nice five miles (we added a little extra distance with a jaunt around some beaver ponds) of hiking and taking family photos.  Fun was had by all.  And when we returned back to camp Megan took a nap in the sun and I got the dinner fire burning.  I wanted to get a nice bed of coals ready for cooking so I started the fire with plenty of time to spare.  When that nice red base was laid I started to get out the dinner foods; baked potatoes, Boulder Sausage brand Italian sausage, buns, stone ground mustard, Fat Tire in a can.

    I cracked a can (as any good country chef would do) and wrapped the potatoes in foil.  Upon completing what may have been the hardest task of the evening I dropped the potatoes right onto the coals.

    Just go ahead and cock your head to the left, my computer (along with no help from the internets) will not allow me to flip this image 90 degrees (sorry, I'm not well versed in the computer arts).

    Anywho, doesn't that look tasty already?  Now, I like my fire cooked potatoes to be nice and crispy in the skin region, so I like to leave them on the coals for a nice, long time.   I cracked another Fat Tire in the interim.  Next up: the sausages.  I just went a head and threw them right on the grill/grate, but leading up to that I had to boast the fire a little so the flames could reach said tubular meats.  I cooked them nice and slow taking time to flip them often, I wanted (as you would want) to cook the inside as well as char up the outside, not just serve them up like a gas station burrito (molten ends and a frozen middle).  Nearing the end of the sausage cook cycle I threw the buns on the grate, toasted them up, then got out the mustard for the meats, and butter, as well as salt, pepper, and shredded cheese for the potatoes.  I called out to Megan to wake up in time for dinner and we both started filling our plates (actually, we forgot the plates, I used the lid to our larger pot and she used the larger pot itself).  She in turn cracked a Fat Tire can (to accompany my Fat Tire can) and we set down for accessorizing our eats.  Butter, salt, pepper,and a little shredded cheese for the starches and some stone ground mustard (I like to call it chunky mustard) for the meats. 

    In eating such a great meal one must consider the pairings, the potatoes went well with the sausages, the mustard was a perfect friend the the meat, and the Fat Tire cans went with.... well, everything.  The malty sweetness of the Amber Ale complemented the sugars and starches in the potato so well I thought they might have been made for each other.  The crispy skin of the potato had almost a caramel flavor which brought out the can-conditioned flavors of the Fat Tire.  And the sausages, well boy-howdy, that was one for the ages.  I bought the spicy ones and the spicy sausage just about held hands with the slightly hoppy end to a sip of Fat Tire.  The dry finish of the beer pretty well wiped the palette clean for the next bite, and (believe-you-me) I took one (about 20 more after that as well).

    So, head out into this world dear readers and cook over that open fire, just remember to bring a few Fat Tires (in a can (perfect for the out-of-doors type occasions)), and please, let me know how it goes.


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  • Let's go to the micro-lab!

    So here it is my friends, the long awaited trip deep into the inner sanctum of New Belgium Micro-Biology Lab (not sure if I should capitalize micro and biology (or lab), but I did (it seems important)).

    So my morning started as usual, a stop at the coffee maker, another quick stop at the time clock, then I proceeded right into the deep recesses of the brewery looking for the scientific type to guide me through the goings on in our Micro-Biology lab.  I found just the guy, Cody.  I started off hot, just firing questions at him, thinking that this would lead him to believe that I understand this subject in anyway at all, and through this very intense succession of questions I came to a couple of question/answers combos that seem relevant to today's subject: what exactly is the importance of the micro lab?  His was a two fold response, fold one: yeast propagation.  Fold two: contamination detection. And, would I look smart in a lab coat? Cody's answer: most likely, not.

    Let's start off with fold two of question/answer combo one, contamination dectection.  This is a very important aspect of the biologist and their job.  Anytime something (let's say wort (remember wort?)) comes in contact with something else (say the next batch of wort) it has to be tested.  The scientists are testing this meeting to make sure both things are clean, and by clean I mean not contaminated (meaning other other yeast strains).  Yeast is a little bug (micro-flora) that is floating all around us and it can be a tricky little guy, sneaking around corners and finding it's way into things.  And it is important to only put things into the beer that we mean to, if something does sneak its way in the flavor could change dramatically.  And it is important to mention here that if we were to get some sort of contamination the only thing to be effected is flavor, because of the low ph values, and the alcohol content there really isn't anything that can grow in beer that could harm you.  Also hops is a strong antimicrobial agent that further restricts the growth of pathogens.  So it is the biologists job to go ahead and test everything, and through this barrage of testing we can ensure that our Fat Tire tastes just how Fat Tire (or whichever brand) should taste every time (you fine people have a fickle palette).  So the testing is continuous and extremely thorough and we have fantastic scientists at the business end of those testing tools getting the job done.

    Now let's double back and talk about fold number one.  Yeast proagation.  We have several in house yeast strains that make up our delicious portfolio of beers and each and everyone of them starts the same way, on a slide.  The that slide is grown into what is called a slant.  Here is Cody displaying a slant:

    From that slant the biologist takes a small amount of the white foamy stuff on top and places it into 250ml of wort.  Now this is normally how you make beer, you put some yeast into the sugary liquid known as wort and the yeasts eat the sugar and make alcohol and carbonation, but what is different here is that there is oxygen involved.  The oxygen rich environment makes for breading yeast, not for brewing beer, brewing beer happens in an oxygen free environment (there is a lot more science involved in that (but I am not sure what it is (but I think it might be called anaerobic fermentation))), so over the course of some time it sits on a agitation table getting shaken around and the yeast starts growing faster.  After the 250ml of wort has grown enough yeast they then add that to another 500ml of wort and the yeast growth continues with more agitation.  Agitation pictured here:

    And this cycle of adding more wort keeps repeating itself until the scientists have achieved about 50 liters of yeast.  And at every stage there is a little nourishment that happens.  The scientists add nutrients to help fortify the yeast and make it ready for "the cold, cruel world of anaerobic fermentation".  Here is Kelly adding a delicious looking supply of vitamins:

    It is then that they hand the hungry yeast over to the cellar and there the folks grow it to an even lager quantity (around 80 hecteliters) which is enough to throw (or pitch) into a full batch of wort to make beer (look out for Let's go to the Cellar). 

    That is the basic run down of the science involved. During Cody and I's talk we were joined by more biologists, Kelly, Gina, Ryan and Drew and the team of five explained it all in major depth but they lost me at "osmotic shock" and that is when I went glassy eyed.  Who knows how many terms and phrases the group threw at me that I didn't understand, the count was very high, but here is a quick list of the few that I think I can spell (but probably not): "polymerase chain reaction", "super oxide radicals", "suspended animation", "speciate", you get the picture.

    But the one thing that blew me away in the micro lab was the sheer volume of fire involved.  I am just another dude that loves watching things get lit ablaze, but in the micro lab they use fire for everything, to sterilize, warm, cook, sing around, whatever.  Here is an example:

    Not sure what is happening there, probably some sort of sanitation, but in the end it's awesome because they are blasting the lip of that scientific container with a fire gun.

    As the morning progressed we discovered the answer to question/answer combo two: would a lab coat make me look smarter?  In this process they asked if I would like to become involved in the science at hand and they passed me that lab coat (for the more official look and smarter look detection) and also some sort of beaker (that sure is a funny name for a jar):

    Bearing witness to my complete inability to perform science and noticing that the lab coat does not (in fact) make me look any smarter, the team of biologists shared in a good laugh at my expense.  I was a little hurt by the hardiness of their hooting and a single tear fell from my eye.  That was just enough for them to gather round and try to figure what might lift my sunken spirits.  They hit the nail right on the head:

    More fire.

    It was then that all of us (me and the five nerdy scientists) came the realization that what they do should be left to trained professionals, they then took away my lab coat (it didn't make me look smarter anyway), stood between me and any source of open flame, and firmly asked me to leave the lab, but before I did I caught one last (and lasting) image of the whole team, deep in the middle of science:

    Drew, Kelly, Cody, Gina, and Ryan.

    So in the end we all learned a few things today, that micro-biology is absolutely important in the brewing world, but trying to explain it to a writer is a hopeless (and thankless) task, and also that a lab coat just makes me look like I stole some scientist's work clothes.  I hope the tour through the micro lab was as awesome for you as it was for me, thanks for reading.


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