Actually, it’s going to be a brown ale. A little bitty brown ale to be exact. But we may well try and brew a Porter in the future.
So this week the most awesome new business on San Bruno Ave opened it’s doors, first for the retail home brewing business and then second (on Wednesday) for the delivery of large micro brewery equipment for the first Portola beer to be created. On Wednesday morning I nipped down to see Shae and Kevin and to get a look at progress so far. They’ve had huge delays in the past year with the usual San Francisco permit and hoops small business needs to jump through. But finally the end is in sight.
As I walked through the door early Wednesday morning, they were in the middle of bringing in the large brewing equipment, where Kevin and awarding winning American home brewers, will soon be cooking up some top class ales and lagers. The equipment is all U.S.A. made from Bridgetown Brew Systems in Portland.
Brewing tanks being installed
The retail shop also opened this week, allowing anyone to come in and start brewing beer at home. Being an impatient person, I couldn’t wait for Kevin to get past his initial test brews and finally open up the tap room, I had to have a go at brewing a batch at home and then compare what I could do with what brew master Kevin will offer.
I recruited the help of neighbors Scott and Paul. We headed down and asked for the simplest beer to start with. Kevin spent a good while going over our options. They have 8 recipes on offer for home brewers to take home. You can either go through the process of creating your own right from the grain, or you can take an easier step (which we decided to do) and use a pre-made extract.
We purchased everything needed to get up and running, and we will be writing a blog article as we go. The cost for the start kit, with all the ingredients needed for a recipe, plus a few extra items (thermometer, beer bottles) was just over $200. This would make us 48 12oz bottles. As you can see in the image above, next time we decide to brew, we are going to get 48 bottles for a cost of around $40.
We chose the “Little Bitty Brown Ale” and considering England is my land of birth, seeing the UK sourced “East Kent Goldings” hops was reassuring. I just hope we can now do it justice and brew a decent beer.
Tomorrow (Sunday) we plan on the first stage. Cooking up the wort, cooling it down and starting the fermenting process. If anyone else in the Portola is planning on brewing up, maybe we should have a summer party and share our experiences!
Brewing equipment and ingredients