Author Archives: James Smith

Guest Tap Launch with Lemon Matcha Saison

Soon we will be launching our Guest Tap at Moody Ales. The Guest Tap will feature rotating brews from collaborators including local brewers (professional and homebrewers), cooks, vintners, distillers, or whoever has a beer recipe that intrigues us. The Guest Tap brews are small test batches available only at our tasting room, so once we announce them, you’ll have to hurry in to try them!

For our first Guest Tap, we will be pouring a Matcha (Green Tea) Saison brewed at Moody Ales by local homebrewer Steve Sheldon. Steve is a member of the Tri-Cities Brew Club with Moody Ales founders Dan and Adam, which is where Dan and Adam first tried this beer and asked Steve to come brew it.

Steve has been homebrewing for three years and has brewed over thirty batches. He has brewed a variety of styles, his favourite being a Cascadian Dark Ale. For the Matcha Saison he was inspired by the earthy bitterness of the tea and thought it would pair well with a saison. According to Steve, “I figured a good dry saison would be good, as the funkiness of it would add to the earthy flavour of the tea.”

Steve’s first few attempts at pairing matcha with beer did not go smoothly (which is half the fun of homebrewing): “I did some initial experiments by adding matcha to Four Winds Saison bottles and after a rather humourous Tri-Cities Brew club meeting where I opened the beer with the powder in it, we all learned about nucleation in carbonated drinks (think Coke + Mentos).” Ultimately, Steve made a vodka matcha infusion to impart the tea flavour to his homebrew and for his Moody Ales brew, a simple hot water tea.

This traditional Belgian Saison is crisp with a moderately high level of carbonation, and finished dry giving it a wine-like mouthfeel, a little bit of funkiness in the aroma. Slightly spicy at first giving way to some hop bitterness before the earthiness of the matcha green tea, which leaves a slight lingering bitterness. Refreshing and unique.

We’ll be launching Steve’s Lemon Matcha Saison on Friday February 6th.  There is only 100L of this batch, so get in and try this awesome beer while you can!  I’m having a glass while I write this and it’s fantastic, nice job Steve – we may need to make a larger batch of this. Steve will be at the brewery to chat beer in the evening.

– Adam

State of the Brewery

For those that have been following our progress, up to now you have only seen bits and pieces of the brewery on our social media posts. I thought it would be a good idea to show you the space as it stands currently–well, pretty currently, as we’re making progress every day. Since taking these pictures a day or two ago, we’ve installed the kettle stacks (chimneys for steam) and put new legs on our mash tun among other things.

On with the tour!

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This is our building which we share with our landlords (Turbulent Diffusion Technology). We’re in the unit on the left. Bit of a mess right now–I assure you we will beautify this space before we open.

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The entrance. Ours is a light industrial neighbourhood and these buildings weren’t designed with retail in mind. To get to the lounge area, you will pass through a small foyer with stairs that lead up to our offices.

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Once you get past the foyer, you’ll see this–our tasting lounge! The big white box is our cold room and we will wrap our L-shaped bar around the front of it. We will have bar and table seating in this space.

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Here’s a view from the entrance a little to the right of the last picture. From here you can see most of our brewing area. The tasting area is on a raised floor about one foot above the brewing floor–there will be a rail to separate the two areas but you’ll still be able to watch the production area from the lounge. Please do not feed the brewers.

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Another view of the tasting lounge from the production area. Inviting, isn’t it?

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Our mash tun (with a bunch of crap on it)! As I mentioned above, it has since received new legs courtesy of our neighbours at Harbour Stainless. The mash tun is the vessel in which we will soak our grains in order to extract a sweet liquid called wort.

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Around the back of the cold room is our work area. It’s also an office, because office chair.

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Near the front of the production area is our temporary conference room. The big tin-foil box is our hot liquor tank (HLT). It is not filled with hard liquor unfortunately–in this case, “liquor” means water. Water is heated in this tank to a precise temperature before being transferred to the mash tun.

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To the left of the mash tun is the kettle. After we extract the wort from the grain in the mash tun, the wort is transferred to the kettle where hops are added and the wort is boiled by gas-heated air. Maintaining a rolling boil on 1200 L of wort requires lotsa heat. This, along with our tanks, was made here in British Columbia by Ripley Stainless.

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The masterpiece by Ben (our plumber). If you stop by, Dan would be happy to explain what everything here does. Personally, I can’t stop thinking about Super Mario Bros. Will have to paint these green.

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Towards the back of the brewing area are our fermentation tanks and the bright tank. After the boil, the wort is transferred to one of the four big tanks for fermentation. Yeast is added to these tanks as well, where it consumes the sugars we extracted from the grain, producing alcohol and lots of flavour-enhancing compounds. If you like science, Dan will draw you pictures of molecules to explain this. When fermentation is complete, the beer is transferred to the smaller tank (the bright tank), where it is cold-crashed (rapidly cooled) in order to clarify the beer. Carbonation is also added in the bright tank.

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In the far back corner of the brewery is our glycol tank and pumps. Fermentation requires very precise temperature maintenance and in order to achieve this, we will pump a cold propylene glycol solution (basically food-safe antifreeze) into jackets that surround the fermentation tanks. In the previous picture you can see some of Dan’s handiwork in the black glycol piping above the tanks.

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Finally, the back. Lots of city parking in our alley!

As you can see, there’s still lots to do: build the bar and tasting room, build the bathroom, polish up the exterior, get our kettle approved and online, among many other tasks. We’ve been hard at work and things are moving (we think) pretty rapidly–only about two months ago this building was an empty box full of glue and fiberglass.

Thanks for looking and reading–looking forward to seeing you at the brewery!

James

 

 

Introductions

Hi. I’m James. I work at Moody Ales. This is our blog.

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably already seen our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages, which we love. They are incredibly useful for quickly connecting with our friends, customers, and the community, but they don’t really afford the space for some of the the long form content we anticipate sharing. Everybody on the Moody Ales team likes talking about beer as much as making it and drinking it (well, almost as much) and we look forward to sharing our experiences, beer education pieces, beer reviews, hearing what you have to say, and more on the blog.

Adam has already been writing about his experiences over the past few months of self-(un)employment, which we will be posting soon.

Dan doesn’t use computers much anymore, unless digital thermometers count.

And I have been posting most of the stuff you see on our social media.

We look forward to sharing more with you in the future and seeing you at the brewery at the end of the summer. Cheers!

James