Moving Forward

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Boil Kettle and Sink

Well, tomorrow morning we will finally be able to move the rest of the big equipment into the Tavern: Fermenting Vessels, Mash Tun, and all. An exciting step for sure! If you are in the area, stop by for a pint and watch us piece the brewery together! When it is in place the equipment will be welded to standardize the fittings.

So far the brewpub looks pretty spacious, but don’t be fooled. After we are done tomorrow things will be cramped. Breweries have so many different components with everything having a specific place, but in the chaotic environment of a brew day there is bound to be some equipment shuffling and with not a lot of extra space we might have to get a bit creative. I’m sure many of our first brews will be spent figuring out how to manage the space and equipment efficiently.

One of the first beers we will be testing out on the big system is a Belgian Pale Ale. Belgian pales stylistically are drinkable beers and very well balanced between the malt body and the yeast spiciness. Belgian yeasts can produce a lot of prominent phenols which cause a beer to taste peppery and spicy. The goal of a Belgian Pale is to subdue those flavors while not completely overshadowing them. So: well balanced, not too spicy, lower alcohol percentage, clean, amazing. Our version strays from the style in the use of extra aroma hops, but I like the character they add. Look for it in the months to come!

One of the best parts of the brewing community is the amount of advice and enthusiasm that goes back and forth among professional brewers and homebrewers of all experience levels. There is so much goodwill and opportunity in brewing. I started brewing long after I had attended many functions of the Twin Ports homebrew club, the Northern Ale Stars, and they have been an endless support to me. Coming up on the 8th and 9th of February is their annual homebrew competition in Duluth: http://www.northernalestars.org/greatnorthernbrewhaha.html

This is a really fun event even for those who don’t homebrew, so if you are even a little bit interested go and check it out!

More updates and pictures to come soon!!

Cheers.

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New Years: Brew Years

We knew when we began work on the brewpub that installing a brewery from the ground up was going to be a long and sometimes frustrating process, and while it has taken even longer than I was hoping for, it can be gratifying at the same time. Each bit of progress gets us closer to our end goal. To see it happening and to be involved in the process is awesome. That part is very satisfying. Waiting for our State paperwork to go through isn’t pleasant, but it is just something that comes along with a start-up.

The biggest changes in the brewpub recently have been most noticeable ones. All the glass is finally in now, and the ceiling has been hung. All the people involved on this project are doing wonderful work and as a result the build-out is looking phenomenal. We are really close to the point of moving the rest of the equipment in. Next on the list is installing the track lighting and doing the tile work around the new doors. Once we get the equipment in we’ll get to work on plumbing it together, and once that is up and operable and all our paperwork and licenses get the go-ahead we get to start brewing! So as always, we’ve made some great progress, but there is a lot ahead of us.

In the meantime the brew team is coming up with some cold weather libations on the pilot system. During these frigid and dark months I like the warmth and fortitude that a heavy stout offers, and we have a couple different variations we are working on. Bundle up and look for one at the Tavern soon!

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Hope everyone had wonderful holidays!

Brewer/Progress Update

Brewer Introduction

Before I start brewing at the Tavern I should give myself a bit of an introduction to let you know who I am. I am Jeff and Susan Gecas’ nephew and I grew up on Gunflint Lake and have spent my entire life in Cook County except for the years I attended college. My dad began brewing years before I was born so I grew up around it, often helping him during the process, and thankfully he will be bringing his experience to the Gun Flint Tavern to assist in brewing. I started brewing on my own in college a little over four years ago, where I had a great group of home-brewing friends to share my batches with.

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Brewing is a major creative outlet for me—right from the start I was experimenting with my own recipes, exploring different beer styles, and searching for innovative ingredients. The endless directions I want to pursue have always left me excited about the next beer I make. It’s wonderful that craft beer drinkers expect this attitude from the industry as well, and it helps professional brewers stay creative and enthusiastic. I am overjoyed to bring this philosophy to the Gun Flint Tavern, especially since it is very similar to their approach to the food menu.

To help get experience working on a much larger scale I was able to spend time at the Thirsty Pagan Brewpub in Superior, Lake Superior Brewing Company of Duluth, and Lucid Brewing out of Minnetonka. It was a really insightful experience and I learned more every day. The strong brewing community in Minnesota is so incredibly friendly and helpful. For everywhere I went and everyone I talked to I was welcomed with excitement about the new brewpub and given so much information and encouragement. It really drew me even more to an industry that views competition as a beneficial and educational thing to the craft beer community.

There is nothing more exciting than to be able to create handcrafted beers in your hometown for an eager audience and I am so happy to be a part of this new progression of the Gun Flint Tavern. I hope you all are excited as well, as we continually move closer to serving beer made on premise!

Progress Update

In the past two weeks we have received our Federal Brewer’s Notice, filed for our State license, and moved forward on window and door installation meaning that we are getting ever closer to installing equipment and crafting our first test batches on the big system! We are grateful that excitement and anticipation has continued to grow during this process, as well as exposure, and we would like to thank you for your support and encouragement.

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Speaking of exposure, in case you missed it Derek Allmendinger did a nice piece for the MN Beer Activists featuring the Gun Flint Tavern: http://mnbeeractivists.com/newsfeed/gun-flint-tavern-and-brewpub Check it out!

Please stay posted for more updates and as always, email me with any additional questions and comments!

Cheers!