From the "Better-Late-Than-Never" department, we received our awards from the latest Garden City Brewfest in Missoula. This took place back in May. Good 'ole GBC walked away with two awards: Best Specialty Ale and Best Light Hybrid Ale. I enjoy brewfests, trouble is I don't get to very many these days as I haven't quite gotten the nerve up to chew through my leg because I'm shackled to the brewhouse! The summer is our busiest time of the year. If only we could spread some of the summertime business to the rest of the year!
In years past, I was the only brewer and cellarman. Well, those of you that know GBC know that we have been growing our Jim over the last couple of years. When he first started, all he had was a desire to learn more about the whole operation. He has endured many mind-numbing hours ensuring the kegs are sanitized, he has learned how to rack into the kegs, how to run our labeler, how to deal with me, and most importantly; Jim is becoming a fine assistant brewer. This provides a nice release valve for me. While I'm attending to one of the other thirteen-thousand details of this business (like writing the blog), Jim is able to continue with that day's brew. I give him a lot of grief (mostly about being from Wyoming) but I do appreciate him and his efforts quite a bit. Jim and his wife are in the process of opening up a storefront in Ronan, Montana for their screenprinting business, Image Quest. They do quality work, their prices are fair, and they have very reasonable turn-around times. Check out their website if you're in the market for custom-printed clothing: http://www.imagequesttees.com/.
Well, we have a new specialty in the tasting room, at least for a few more days. This one is called Sebastian's Select. I infused a few kegs of uncarbonated Oktoberfest with nitrogen gas. We pour it through a special faucet most people know as a "Guiness tap". What this does is to push the beer through small holes drilled in a disc inside the tap. The beer is agitated enough for the nitrogen gas to be "ripped out" of the solution. The nitrogen bubbles are much smaller and stronger than carbon dioxide bubbles. Also, since our atmosphere is composed of mostly nitrogen, these bubbles don't experience the pressure gradient that CO2 bubbles do and therefore are not as willing to pop. Bottom line is the bubbles form a thick, creamy head of foam. This action also pulls a lot of the hop oils out of solution so when you take a sip, you get a somewhat hoppy foam first and then a very smooth liquid body! YUMMIE!!! I put this on tap yesterday and every other pint I poured was the Sebastian's. Sebastian, by the way, is the name of our brewhouse. I didn't name it that. It named itself. As with all our seasonals, get in here soon or you'll miss out!
Until next, I remain your humble brewer.