Saturday, August 18, 2012

A beertender does a brewday at Moondog...

Markus, one of our (ex) Beertenders, recently popped in to help the Moondog guys out with a brewday. Here's how he saw it...

A few weeks back I met Josh Uljans of Abbotsford-based Moon Dog brewery, and we got chatting about international craft beer, and Moon Dogs past successes. Josh later extended an offer to me and a few mates to visit the brewery on a brew-day.

Arriving mid-morning, we were greeted by Jake Uljans and Karl van Buuren who had already started milling the 5 different specialty English malts that make up the 'Henry Ford's Girthsome Fjord - Bulgo-American India Brown Ale', and had started cooking up the wort. Jake soon left, and after helping out where we could, Karl showed us around the brewery, explaining the different components and talking about some of the beers that were in various stages of maturation, including some wild yeast ales, beers in different oak barrels, and the first batch of the Henry Ford's brewed the day previous.

Following the tour of the 'boutique-size' brewery, Karl advised us that a number of kegs of a specially brewed smoky wheat ale were to be delivered that afternoon, but first they had to be pressurised. Whilst at some breweries this would be controlled by a machine, at Moon Dog the guys actually had to shake the kegs by hand whilst C02 was forced into the keg to ensure the C02 was actually absorbed. We all did a keg each, and thanked our lucky stars it's not something we had to do on a regular basis! Fortunately our labours were well rewarded with a taste of the delicious concoction. Karl also took this opportunity to give us a taste of the not-yet-matured 'Black Lung' bourbon barrel aged smoked stout - a real winner in our minds.

As the day progressed we helped with further stages of the brewing process, which included measuring the beer's gravity, adding hops to the kettle and shovelling malt out of the vat to be taken to a farm to fertilise the soil. Before leaving we did also get to taste an upcoming collaborative beer that Moon Dog brewed with Yeastie Boys of New Zealand a few weeks back - another great beer.

All in all it was a very interesting day, as the size of the brewery meant that it was very hands-on with next to no mechanisation, and we very much appreciated the chance to take part in brewing beer and also tasting some exciting new releases.

Thanks Karl and the team at Moon Dog!!


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