View Full Version : Pencil & Spoon - Things I’ve learnt about beer and breweries in the last few weeks

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22-09-2011, 10:19
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This is my third weekof working in a brewery and already I’ve learnt a lot of stuff which I didn’tknow before....

Making beer is a lotmore than filling a mash tun, transferring it to the kettle, then thefermentation tanks and then filling some containers a few days later. I’ve gota whole new respect for the work that brewers do, the stuff you don’t get shownor told about on the brewery tours; the hidden work that goes into making beer.

Duty is a real bastardfor the brewing industry. Seeing how much the brewery pays in a month is justshocking. To work hard to make great beer to then have to pay the government alarge wad of money before you can sell it is annoying.

I also didn’tpreviously realise that just 0.1% ABV makes a difference so it’s no wonderthere are so many low ABV beers around and no surprise that big brewers keepshrinking the ABVs on some of their flagship brands.

Tankmanagement, especially if you’ve got more than two tanks and most of themcontains lager which is in tank for over four weeks, is something I don’t thinkI’ll ever have the organisational skills to manage. When new tanks arrive, as pictured above, it takes even more organisation. In November we've got five more tanks coming.

Likewisethe organisation of deliveries. Beer goes here, things get picked up fromthere, and so on. It hurts my brain thinking about it. I’ll happily stick todrawing pictures of beer mats and ‘researching’ other brewery websites.

Beerbranding is hard to get right and easy to get wrong. There are many bad onesout there but also lots of great ones.

Brewerslisten to strange music. I’m going to spend a day or two in the brewery soonand I’ll be bringing my McFly tapes so we can listen to something good.

There’slots of things going on all day in a brewery. Most of it is still new to me soI get easily distracted and like watching it. My favourite thing at the momentis either standing in the hop store or watching the Camden Wheat ferment – it bubblesferociously and I watch it giggling like a one year old saying, ‘look, bubbles!’

Beeron tap in the office is dangerous...

Anhour and a half commute each way sucks balls. What sucks even more is that itcosts me £400 a month to do it and I end up standing half the way. This alsoimpacts upon blogging time until I move flat nearer to work.

Working in a brewery is every bit as hard, fun andexciting as I thought it’d be.

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