Southwest Brewing News December 2015/January 2016 : Page 1

HAVE FAITH By Darren Conner IN BEER ILLUSTRATION BY: HANS GRANHEIM Co-Founder and Director of Brew-ing Operations Tomme Arthur stands before Port’s new state-of-the-art CFT bottling line in San Marcos, CA. PHOTO BY DAVID MULVIHILL eligion and alcohol. The two have always been linked together in some fashion. Depending on the religion, it may advocate abstinence, it may promote moderation. Some religions use alcohol in certain ceremonies. But all religions have some sort of relationship with the beverage. The current influence of religion on beer can be as simple as the name of the beer or brewery. Schmaltz Brewing’s He`Brew brand in Clifton Park, N.Y., is all about its certified kosher brewery and Jewish-themed creations. The Lost Abbey in San Marcos, Calif. has a number of Belgian or monastic-influenced beers. Some beers have a decidedly twisted take on a religion: Wasatch Brewing in Park City, Utah takes a poke at the Mormons with its Polygamy Porter . Barrio Brewing in Tucson, Ariz. brews Father Joes Penitential Ale . It is a tribute to Father Joe Baker from Holy Family Catholic Church in Tucson who worked to feed the poor. See Faith p. 4 By David Mulvihill The Past... From the Editor ........................ 2 Homebrew Beer Stylist .............. 6 Event Calendar ......................... 8 Directories & Maps .............. 14-17 New Mexico ................. 10 Oklahoma ......................9 Nevada ........................ 12 Arkansas ..................... 13 S/C/E Texas ................. 18 Austin ......................... 19 N/W Texas ...................20 Central Arizona ...........23 Northern Arizona ........ 24 Southern Arizona ........ 24 Southern California .....25 San Diego ....................26 n 1987, the sister/ brother team of Gina and Vince Marsagla purchased a struggling pizza place in Solana Beach, Calif. Adding their own twist on pizza and wings, the first Pizza Port restaurant quickly became a favorite for locals. Vince Marsaglia began brewing and started offering house-brewed beers in 1992. This eventually led to the Port Brewing empire that exists today. In March of 1996, Tomme Arthur entered the world of professional brewing, having answered an ad placed by Troy Hojel. Hojel was looking for an assistant for his new Mexican-themed brewpub, Cervecerias La Cruda. The brewery was short-lived (only nine months), but together Hojel and Arthur crafted Makanudo Porter , which won a gold medal at the 1996 Great American Beer Festival. This would be the first of countless awards Arthur and team would realize in the 19 years to come. In 1997, Marsaglia hired Arthur as his replacement and Arthur was handed the brewing reins at Pizza Port. Arthur went on to experiment and push the limits, formulating (along with his contemporaries) benchmarks of what became San Diego-style IPA. He See Port p . 5

Have Faith In Beer

Hans Granheim

Religion and alcohol. The two have always been linked together in some fashion. Depending on the religion, it may advocate abstinence, it may promote moderation. Some religions use alcohol in certain ceremonies. But all religions have some sort of relationship with the beverage.

The current influence of religion on beer can be as simple as the name of the beer or brewery. Schmaltz Brewing’s He`Brew brand in Clifton Park, N.Y., is all about its certified kosher brewery and Jewish-themed creations. The Lost Abbey in San Marcos, Calif. Has a number of Belgian or monastic-influenced beers. Some beers have a decidedly twisted take on a religion: Wasatch Brewing in Park City, Utah takes a poke at the Mormons with its Polygamy Porter. Barrio Brewing in Tucson, Ariz. Brews Father Joes Penitential Ale. It is a tribute to Father Joe Baker from Holy Family Catholic Church in Tucson who worked to feed the poor.

Believe

What is the definition of religion? It depends on whom you ask. It is a question that can have many different answers. Origins of religion can be a set of beliefs that are taken as fact. It is dogma or unmistakable truth that is considered to be gospel. It is a leap of faith that is used to guide the actions of an individual. It is the belief in a higher power, a god or gods and the supernatural.

The definition of beer according to Merriam-Webster is “an alcoholic beverage usually made from malted cereal grain (as barley), flavored with hops, and brewed by slow fermentation.”

The monks are one example of religion and beer crossing paths. Paulaner monks would not eat solid food for Lent; beer was the substitute. The monks would brew a doppelbock they used as a barley sandwich. It was nutritious enough to carry them through 40 days of abstinence. (It is amusing to think of monks brewing beer so they can give up solid food for Lent while other people stop drinking alcohol for Lent.) The Trappist monks have become world famous for their beers. There are 11 monasteries actively producing beer. The Belgian monasteries are destinations for beer travelers and their beers are sought after worldwide. The styles themselves are synonymous with a lofty pedigree. Belgian beers are the gateway to the next level of beer religion. The styles have been turned into iconic symbols of craft beer.

Honor

It turns out there are a number of gods and goddesses that have been associated with beer and alcohol throughout the ages. People have been worshipping beer for quite some time. These deities have also inspired beer and brewery names. The oldest known deity associated with beer is Ninkasi - the goddess of alcohol from Sumeria. Her recipe for beer dates back thousands of years. The Hymn to Ninkasi is considered to be the oldest recipe for beer and brewing in the world.

Gambrinus is considered to be the patron saint of brewers. Although he was no deity and is probably based on several different historical figures, he is a European heroic figure. He is believed to be the inventor of hopped malted beer. The most popular folktale of how he came to have the ability to brew is through a deal with the devil. He was in love with a young lady named Flandrine. She was a higher class and would have nothing to do with him. Unable to get over her, he went into the forest with the intent of ending it all. There he met the devil and made a deal to deliver his soul in exchange for the ability to forget about her. Long story short, the devil taught him how to brew, he was good at it, became popular and he forgot about “what’s her name.” He became the beloved King of Beer and managed to also win freedom from the devil, pretty much proving beer is good.

Trust

Science has a devoted following of its own. It purports to use observational or empirical methods to substantiate beliefs with facts or evidence. To create a hypothesis, theory, or law is the mark of the highest level of acceptance. The whole idea of scientific theory is - this is what we believe and why. Until you can come up with something that “proves” it didn’t happen like I said, we’re going with this. You still have to have a leap of faith on some level. The only difference between it and religion is that the scientific community will accept that their beliefs can be modified as more information or evidence becomes available.

Brewing is considered a science, but it is tied into many beliefs that may not always have a concrete foundation. There are many different ways to get the same job done or the same beer brewed. Everyone starts with the same basic ingredients. It is the little nuances and details that every brewer uses that make his (or her) concoction special. Every time a brewer follows a process and has success, it reinforces that “this way works.” The brewer starts to believe that the “how” makes the difference. That belief turns to conviction, superstition or religion. And that becomes the way they “religiously” brew their beer so it keeps turning out the way they like.

Whatever your level of religion is, everyone has a belief system. Beer and religion are coming together in more ways than just clever names. There are a number of organizations that have started a church in a pub model. The premise is to combine their particular faith with other people in a setting where they can enjoy some craft beer. The goal isn’t to get intoxicated but a different way to have church. The numbers of people that attend church or identify themselves as religious in the U.S. are dwindling. This is an approach to having a religious community in a way that will draw in a younger crowd. Religions have belief systems and values that teach you how to be a better person. If those lessons can be taught with a tasty craft beer in your hand then finding religion just got a whole lot easier. Cheers and Amen.

Read the full article at http://swbnonline.brewingnews.com/article/Have+Faith+In+Beer/2342358/283821/article.html.

The Past

David Mulvihill

In 1987, the sister/ brother team of Gina and Vince Marsagla purchased a struggling pizza place in Solana Beach, Calif. Adding their own twist on pizza and wings, the first Pizza Port restaurant quickly became a favorite for locals. Vince Marsaglia began brewing and started offering house-brewed beers in 1992. This eventually led to the Port Brewing empire that exists today.

In March of 1996, Tomme Arthur entered the world of professional brewing, having answered an ad placed by Troy Hojel. Hojel was looking for an assistant for his new Mexican-themed brewpub, Cervecerias La Cruda. The brewery was short-lived (only nine months), but together Hojel and Arthur crafted Makanudo Porter, which won a gold medal at the 1996 Great American Beer Festival. This would be the first of countless awards Arthur and team would realize in the 19 years to come. In 1997, Marsaglia hired Arthur as his replacement and Arthur was handed the brewing reins at Pizza Port. Arthur went on to experiment and push the limits, formulating (along with his contemporaries) benchmarks of what became San Diego-style IPA. He eventually explored the many facets of barrel aging beer.

Fast-forward to 2006. Pizza Port had grown to a very successful and award winning chain of brewpubs under Arthur’s direction. Looking for new opportunities to expand his brewing and his development of Belgian-style beers (abbey, farmhouse and sours), conveniently, Stone Brewing Company was vacating its San Marcos brewery for a massive new complex in Escondido. Arthur and the Marsaglias decided to partner in a new and separate company, Port Brewing Company. Under this moniker they would produce two brands: The Lost Abbey would embrace Belgian-inspired creations, while Port adopted and expanded on many of the American/San Diegan beers that made Pizza Port famous.

The Present

Much has happened since its opening in 2006. Port and Lost Abbey beers are now available in nine states and enjoyed at the Port/Lost Abbey tasting room in San Marcos or its new coastal annex, The Confessional, in Leucadia. The beers are numerous and continue to reap awards. Veritas 015 came away with a gold medal from the 2015 Great American Beer Festival. This rendition of the coveted Veritas barrel-aged series is an American sour with peaches, nectarines and apricots in the mix.

Director of Brewery Production and Quality Assurance Gwen Conley wears many hats of responsibility in and around the brewery. In her words, “I’m the mom. I make sure that everybody is doing what they should be doing.” Conley also assists with blending of Lost Abbey beers - magic that results in the enchanted final product. The latest blend on tap, the new House Sour, started as a combination of two of Port’s lagers. Aged in barrels for two years, half of the barrels contained apricots and the other half, nectarines. The aging cultures and blend resulted in a super refreshing, balanced and puckering beverage. Conley’s background in biology and chemistry, as well as her seasoned experience directing flavor and sensory analysis, have been great assets to the brewery.

Port’s media and marketing guy, Adam Martinez, acted as tour guide during this visit, providing an insight into progress and current expansion. Inside the brewery, two new tanks had just been installed. In the adjacent packaging area, a shiny new bottling line had just arrived from CFT in Italy. Still crated, it was expected to go on-line by the time you’re reading this. At twice the speed of the current line and able to force-carbonate, it will increase production substantially and improve bottle quality and consistency.

The barrel room lies across the parking lot (opposite the brewery proper), where the wild and aging processes occur. Between 1,200 and 1,400 barrels are typically devoted to sour/wild production. Upon entering the barrel facility, two newly acquired full-size foeders were beginning to be filled. Cooperage includes bourbon, red and white wine, tequila, rum and brandy barrels. “Any kind of barrel we can get our hands on, we find a beer to fill it,” Martinez shared.

The old bottling line will move to the barrel facility. That bottler was previously utilized for both wild and yeast-controlled beer. This required a day-and-a-half of intensive breakdown of the system - changing out of every washer and seal in the back-and-forth process.

The Future

Back at the tasting room, an opportunity for a brief visit with Tomme Arthur presented itself over a glass of Port’s Mongo IPA. Early 2016 will be Arthur’s 20th anniversary as a professional brewer. He shared a bit about what the future holds as Port completes its 10th year in business. Regarding current location, Arthur shared Port’s goal and time frame for securing a new larger facility. Given the dramatic changes craft brewing has experienced in recent times, the ownership team feels it may be advantageous to wait a few years to allow things to settle down and see how things play out. Per Arthur, “We’ve always operated fairly independently, with big bottle formats, crazy beers and barrel-aged things. The bigger we get the harder it is to do that without having a lot bigger territory… So the goal is for a new facility in five years’ time.” He added that much efficiency would also be gained by having everything under one roof.

Arthur also reflected on the history of the current building. Stone brewed here for 10 years before Port moved in and 15 years will have been realized by the time Port moves out. “I don’t think anyone would have ever thought there would be 25 years of brewing in this space.”

In looking at growth, Arthur sees a production comfort level at some point between 30,000 and 50,000 barrels. “In looking at what we want to accomplish, the kinds of beers we need to make and where we want to be in the scheme of things, that level appears to be a good spot for us to be.”

The brewery’s growth and some required shuffling of management duties in recent years have required Arthur to take on much of the business-side management. This has reduced his ability to participate more in what he loves to do and what he does best: brewing beer. Over the next few years he hopes to find someone to run the financial side so he can get back to dabbling in the brewing side.

It’s been great to witness Arthur’s history and his role in the creation and expansion of the craft: pushing the limits in the early days, moving on to discover new flavors and create new beers, and coming full-circle in returning to the roots of brewing classic and Old-World styles while continuing to expand on them.

Read the full article at http://swbnonline.brewingnews.com/article/The+Past/2342362/283821/article.html.

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