February 13, 2008

"Meat and greet?"

I attended my first master brewers meeting at the AB plant in Newark...(Casey Hughes was kind enough to invite me.) It was tough to be out of the market for the afternoon so I pressed my luck got as much sly done as possible and headed eastward to Flying fish to meet up with the rest of the brew crew.
17 minutes after my expected arrival.
I could tell some of the men were not too happy....

Go figure, there's one lady in the room and she's late.
The place was huge. Big time!
Sly Fox canning line does about 30 or 40 cans a minute... the ab plant did 2200-
(the equivalent of 7,000 barrels in one shift.)

The largest brewery I had seen to date was New Belgium. And that was more than impressive...but this -size wise - was planetesimal (word? not a word?)
Both breweries are automated, but New Belgium has a just a bit more style. just a bit.
Something about welcoming and motivational scrabble pieces, slides, and mosaic tiles lining the mash tun makes me want to come back. Who doesn't want to follow their folly?

We weren't allowed to take pictures....or else you would be witnessing the handsome crew of the Stewarts, YARDS, Brooklyn, dock st, and flying fish boys in the hard hats and goggles.
I only snapped one outside the building in the winter wonderland of the night.

The meetings agenda was essentially about the MBAA and how they could be better organized. A few brewers brought some great beers. I had a chance to show off our cans to the Brooklyn guys and I thoroughly enjoyed Garrets limited, Black OPP that he shared-
A stout brewed with a champagne yeast
and aged in Woodford reserve barrels for four months
Had never even heard of it...

There was some great IPAs poured from Triumph's Jay Misson (whom also serves as pressie) as well. One of the points of discussion was supposed to be
hop oils vs. extracts vs. pellets...but the great debate never took place.

Some good grub was had.
Everyone ditched the table that we put our coats on (were they ostracizing me because my tardiness?) So I made some new friends, Paul, Walt, and a gallant Garret.
I tried to be cool and not gush over him, and tell him how I got his book as soon as it was published in 2003 and have recommended to someone every day since...no that would be pretty lame.
Instead we casually discussed Philly Beer Week, talking about his meatball dinner at London Grill. I remained collected, if not uninteresting to him.

During the meeting, He brought up a suggestion about doing a MBAA gathering at Gutter, the new craft beer bowling alley opened a block away from the Brooklyn brewery.
Right away, I thought to myself - I have something to talk about with him...other than "I read your book 25 times." Bowling in Brooklyn! Perfect.

Then I remembered the first time I was at Lew's house I talked about sausage for ten minutes.....I guess beef and beer are a good combo... I just hope my conversational partners want to talk about venison as much as I do.
I can be pretty lame sometimes.

Maybe if the beer thing doesn't work out...I can sling scrapple somewhere.

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