Friday, March 03, 2006

Yellow Beer

O'byrne's (or however its spelt) here in Edmonton seems to serve five of the same beer. I was there the other night and while they don't serve any Alley Kat beer (the brewery in Edmonton that I work for) they do (or used to) serve some beers I actually liked. One of those beers was Okanagan Spring Pale Ale. Its not my favorite beer ever, but its pretty good if you ask me. A standard american style pale ale, but better than many. Well I asked for one and they said they didn't serve it anymore. They still served their 1516 lager though.
That got me looking around the bar... On tap they had a Sleeman Draught (basically the same crappy north american style lager), Alexander Keith's "IPA" (not even close to an IPA, its just a slightly more bitter yellow beer... although I like it at times), Okanagan Spring 1516, Stella Artois, and then your standard Canadian and Kokanee. I don't recall seeing a tap for Bud, but I wasn't looking that hard. That means 6 beers that are of the "north american yellow lager" style of beer (although stella is imported... its still the same kindof style, even if it tastes better). They did have other darker beers to balance it out.

It just got me thinking though... why have 6 beers that are somewhat the same? If somebody wants a Canadian they'll probably be ok with a 1516 or Sleeman Draught or something. I bet the average Joe couldn't differentiate most of them in a blind tasting, really.

Anyway, meh.

Today at the Brewery
Today we bottled allll day. I'm pretty good at it now, so its a pretty easy job. Easier than other jobs. So I think I'll look forward to bottling days in the future.

Homebrewing
I'm thinking I will be able to do some homebrewing in the brewery after hours or on weekends. It would be nice to do it there since you can make a huge mess and just wash stuff down the drain. Plus, we have a boiler and steam jacked heating vessles. Although starting up the boiler on the weekend just for a 20-30 L batch of beer isn't a good idea. Plus, the small batch equipment we have is pretty good. My biggest pot is 25 L. The brewery small batch pot is like 50 L. Plus there are some 60 L kegs that can be used for boiling.
Maybe next weekend... Yeah. I've really wanted to work on some english bitters. Maybe a London Pride clone.

Cheers!

3 comments:

Ben, aka BadBen said...

An idea: Will they let you make a small "pilot batch" with their resources? It would be just like homebrewing, but with them picking up the tab.
They could have a special "Firkin Friday," where they brought out a keg on a certain Friday of the month with your small batch of beer available. Of course, you would need to take some home for "quality control."

It's just a thought...because I know a lot of other brewers and apprentices that do this at brewpubs around the country.

Anonymous said...

B - What don't you make some Strawberry Beer for the summer? I would also settle for Blueberry too. Just a thought from your most fustrating/annoying/yet most loved friend.

headlessbob said...

I would certainly love to do test batches all the time. Maybe eventually. Its not that hard, it does take time away from other things though (like making the consumer batches of beer) so I imagine most of what I do will be on my own time for my own homebrew purposes, but at least I'd be able to use the brewery equipment and maybe even some supplies.

As for fruit beers, I'm not a big fan so far myself, but I suppose I can get a taste for them. Fruits are hard to work with too... lots of other compounds in them that can quickly change a beer from good to bad.
Most brewers seem to use flavour extracts for consistency.