As we roll into July, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that this is the month that we celebrate, not only our countries independence, but our rich culture of Michigan craft beer. Michigan stands at #5 if the country in number of Breweries (including brewpubs). We are “The Great Beer State,” and our legislature officially declared July to be Michigan Craft Beer Month. “How do I celebrate?” you may ask. It is easy, but first I have to point out that there is kind of an obvious answer to that question. So besides the obvious (drink Michigan Beer), you can check out your local beer bar. Any proud Michigan bar will be featuring a wide selection of Michigan-made brews. If you are in the Lansing area, you have plenty of choices. Crunchy’s, Reno’s, and Hopcat all feature great selections of Michigan Beers. Soup Spon Cafe is also one of my favorites, and there are so many more. If you would prefer something closer to the source, Eagle Monk and Bad Brewing Company are a couple of local area brewpubs. There are so many breweries here in Michigan that you can hardly throw a Stone in this state without hitting a source for Michigan Beer. For more information on Michigan Craft Beer Month, check out the release below
Clean Beer? You “clean” a fish and wash your vegetables, but how clean is the draft beer you drink?
In the words of Brian Wiggs, Dark Horse Brewing Co. Marshall, MI, “Brewing is 10% chemistry and 90% janitorial”. This statement will ring true for any brewer whether they are a homebrewer or Brewmaster. Keeping your equipment and brewing space clean is the first thing you learn. If you’ve ever taken a brewery tour you’ll notice how amazingly clean and tidy the brew house is. Gary S. Nicholas, Quality Assurance & Control with Bell’s Brewery, Inc Kalamazoo, MI spoke about what the kegs at Bell’s are in store for when they make it to the brewery: “They go through a multi-step cleaning & sanitizing process prior to each fill. We also conduct additional pre-cleaning for kegs that have been out in the market for unusually long periods. We go one step further, slowly cycling through our entire keg inventory and completely disassembling the keg spear valve assemblies, replacing worn parts, and visually inspecting the interior….any kegs that fail a cleaning/filling cycle are set aside for detailed inspection.” What needs to be cleaned out of these kegs? “Typically, you’ll see infiltration of a wide variety of aerobic microorganisms (acetic acid-producing bacteria, wild yeasts, etc.) and anaerobes(A type of bacterium that does not require air or oxygen to live). Over time, these will form a bio-film, a mass of slime that is very resistant to simple flushing techniques.”: said Nicholas.