Hi everyone, Neil and Mark here....
We are officially brewing beer on Washington St.! These past two weeks have been an absolute sprint as we got the first beers into our fermenters as we gear up for opening day. Let's go through some of the highlights...
It was almost two years to the day since we signed our lease when we fired up our brewhouse for the first time. The process has been pretty smooth thanks to the time we spent running water tests on our system. Any first brews on a new system can take some time to dial in. We felt pretty confident after these first few brews.
The first beer that we chose to do was a recipe that our Head Brewer, Mark has been working on for almost ten years. On the homebrew competition circuit it won quite a few awards all over the country. This recipe in particular placed in the best of show round of a competition outside of Chicago back in 2018. Mark and his wife Katie flew out to Illinois to brew this recipe with Keg Grove Brewing Company. It was that day in that brewery that Mark made the decision that this was a career he wanted to pursue. It sent him on a trajectory eventually leading towards the opening of Varitage. It was only fitting that this recipe christened our brewhouse. "Its a special beer to me. It represents everything about following this dream and accomplishing what seemed to be impossible at times. I decided to name this beer after my son, Nico, with hopes that this becomes a Varitage staple and a story I can share with him and others about chasing down a dream," said Mark.
"The first brew day was absolutely awesome. I was full of excitement and definitely a little nervous, but I know that all the work I've done to get to this point prepared me well. I felt at home on that brew deck. It was a moment for me when I began to see all the pieces start to fall into place. This is where Im supposed to be, this is what Im supposed to be doing," Mark said.
With our first beer in the tank we rounded out the rest of the brewing with a classic Cream Ale, an American Lager and a Czech Style Pilsner. We brewed back to back lagers due to the lagering times. The idea was to get these fermented out and transferred into our brite tanks to lager as fast as possible with hopes that they will be ready for opening week. These are delicate beers and we will take our time with them.
The grain for the next round of brewing arrived yesterday morning. Next on deck will be a Hazy IPA, a Cranberry Sour, a Pale Ale and a West Coast IPA. We believe that all these beers will give us a good grip on a variety of offerings come opening day.
All these recipes have a story behind them. Once these are carbonated and kegged we plan on doing a spotlight on each. To us, it's all about the storytelling. These beers are the soul of this brewery. We can't wait to share them with you.
We're sure all this talk about opening is getting everyone thirsty - us included...So what is standing in our way from opening the doors? There is one more major inspection to get through. The state issued us a temporary manufacturing license ,which allows us to start brewing our beers. However, we can not open our taproom until a final in person inspection from a State ABC official takes place. We are in communication with our representative and that could take place as early as this week. Once the we pass this inspection we can then finally pick an opening date.
With opening date on the horizon we are in the process of hiring staff to help with bartending duties. We already have had a few awesome interviews. It's been great getting to know some new faces and seeing everyone share the excitement of Varitage with us. We also can't wait for you all to meet some of these awesome people who will be slinging beers for us. If you are interested in picking up a shift with us don't hesitate to reach out!