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
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!!