Thanks to everyone who tromped through the snow to visit us - we had a lot of fun creating some special infusions for the event and it was a great crowd to share them with. (Only true Minnesotans are happy in an outdoor park in January.) We were also excited to serve the first cask of this year's War & Peace. A big thanks to the Beer Dabbler for putting on a fun event - we're already looking forward to next year...and hopefully our hands will have warmed up by then.
Great news for today's Beer Dabbler! It's not raining (like it was last year), it's not snowing (like it has been for most of the winter) and it's not subzero temperatures (like it has been for the last few weeks). The mild weather alone would be enough to make the Dabbler even better than last year's, but we thought we'd put together a sweet beer lineup just in case that wasn't enough to get you excited. Here's what we'll be pouring:
* War & Peace (Worthy Adversary cask infused with whole bean Guatemalan Dark Peace Coffee)
* Double dry hopped & orange peel-infused Sweet Child of Vine
* Lonely Blonde infused with blood oranges
Fulton Beer is proud to be a sponsor of the 2nd annual Moonlight Madness, a fundraiser for the Courage center!
The Courage Center is a Minnesota-based non-profit rehabilitation and resource center that empowers people with disabilities to realize their full potential in every aspect of life. They use a holistic approach that includes comprehensive rehabilitation therapies, independent living services, drivers services, a community reintegration program, accessible aquatics and fitness programs, camps, and adapted sports and recreation programs.
Moonlight Madness is a ski and concert event on Friday, February 18th at Trollhaugen in Dresser Wisconsin. It is $35 for a ski pass/concert ticket (buy tickets here), doors open at 5:00, the fun goes until 1:00 a.m., and all proceeds benefit the Courage Center Ski & Snowboard Program, which teaches adaptive ski and snowboard techniques to skiers and boarders with disabilities. There will be performances by Trampled by Turtles, Dave Pirner (lead singer for Soul Asylum), Dan Rodriguez, Throw the Fight, and Kayzak, not to mention hot tubs, skiing and snowboarding, fire eaters and jugglers, games and prizes from REI and Hiogards, bi-ski rides, US Paralympic athletes, food, and of course Fulton Beer!
We hope to see you out! This is going to be a lot of fun, and we hope to raise lots of money for a really great cause. Cheers!
When completed, our equipment will look similar to this.
After what feels like an eternity, we've finally ordered equipment for our Minneapolis brewery. Shopping for commercial brewing equipment, as the Dude would say, has a lot of ins, a lot of outs, and a lot of what-have-you's. Breweries are complicated and expensive, so we had to make sure we selected a manufacturer that would be with us for the long haul. We spoke with a number of vendors, and were impressed with more than one, but ultimately decided to purchase from DME of Prince Edward Island, Canada. We'll be getting a 20 barrel (bbl) brewhouse with four 40 bbl fermenters and one 40 bbl brite tank. Over the years, DME has built equipment for craft breweries all over the world--including one of our absolute favorite places to get a beer in Minneapolis, Town Hall Brewery. There's a lot more to it than just picking a manufacturer and the size of brewhouse, though. We spent hours on the phone with DME, poring over quotes and spec sheets, and talking to other brewers. Virtually every component can be customized. Do we want steam or direct-fired heat? Should we save money and run the whirlpool in our boil kettle, or spring for a separate whirlpool right away? Would we rather dry hop through a dosing port or a manway? Do we want to spend more on a better control panel that we might not need now, but will be better if we expand down the road? Customization is great, but every decision requires a tradeoff--either purely in brewing terms, or between brewing needs and financial realities. Right now, the equipment is in the engineering phase. In a little over a month, DME will begin fabrication of the equipment, based on the specs and layout of our brewery. If everything stays on track, we should be taking delivery of the equipment in early-mid summer. That's when the fun will really begin.
Minnesota winters build character. So do imperial stouts. Add dark roasted coffee beans to the mix, and you get a winter sipper worthy enough for even the heartiest Minnesotan.
Last year when we launched The Worthy Adversary for the first time we decided to experiment with one of our favorite coffees, Peace Coffee. We were pleased with the results -- Peace Coffee's quality coffee flavors are a perfect enhancement to our rich and creamy stout. This year, we again infused only four firkins with Peace Coffee's Guatemalan Dark Roast beans. We'll be tapping them at some special winter events, so stay tuned.
The name "War and Peace" was inspired by Tolstoy's classic novel. Since we were infusing our Russian Imperial Stout with Peace coffee, it seemed like a fitting name. Later on, we found out that "Fulton" actually means "war" in Gaelic. And if you want to get philosophical, you could say it's how we feel about Minnesota winters - we're at war with the cold in the midst of a serenely peaceful snowy landscape.
The 2011 harvest will include Fulton bottles.
We're often asked when Fulton will be available in bottles. First off: thanks for asking! We thought people would share our enthusiasm for Fulton and eventually want to take some home, but when we launched in October 2009, we never anticipated so much demand. We thought we'd be able to add bottles after six months, then a year, then 18 months. But every time we increased our production, our draft demand grew right along with it. We've spent our first year and a half just trying to make enough kegs to satisfy the thirst of all the Twin Cities bars and restaurants serving our beers. (True, it's a good problem to have, but it's still kind of a problem). And while it might seem that even a few bottles are better than none at all, we decided that it would be most fair to our customers to wait until we can brew enough to distribute them to more than just a handful of locations. That said, once our new Minneapolis brewery is up and operating in late summer or early fall 2011, we will have significantly more capacity, and we expect to start bottling Sweet Child of Vine and Lonely Blonde shortly thereafter. The Libertine and Worthy Adversary will be available in bottles during fall and winter, respectively.