Spontaneous Fermentation

Spontaneous fermentation was a new concept for me when I interviewed for the available brewer position at Urban Artifact in 2015. By the first warm spring day of that year, we had already collected and pasteurized over 100 jars of unfermented wort with the intention of leaving them open overnight in as many locations. The hope was that, by the …

Seasonal Goses

A key piece of the Urban Artifact brand is our four primary seasonal goses. The strategy of having a fixed seasonal beer selection was decided at the very beginning by the ownership team. Our goal was to meet the criteria that we are slowly becoming known for: start our intrepid push towards fruit-centric beer, play up our tart-forward acidity, and …

Tricorne – Tart Pawpaw NEIPA

Oktoberfest 2017 heralds the launch of a project nearly a year in the making: Tricorne, a Tart Pawpaw New England India Pale Ale (or TPNEIPA). Tricorne is a collaborative effort between ourselves at Urban Artifact and the fantastic team of the Cincinnati Samuel Adams production brewery. Working on this project has been, sincerely, a labor of love and has taught …

Purposeful Collaboration

Collaborations are not a new concept for craft breweries. The first credited brewery collaboration joined Avery and Russian River back in 2006 in lieu of a potential lawsuit. The reasons for breweries to participate in a collaboration range from innovation, marketing, and community engagement. Additionally, the process is just plain fun! When we are considering a collaboration of any sort …

Beer: Food or Poison

Of late, I’ve been surprised at how frequently I’ve been told that beer, or any alcohol for that matter, is a poison. In some regards, I am impressed that the general understanding of human metabolism has reached a level that individuals are able to objectively recognize that ethanol can be toxic. As a Food Scientist with a special passion for …

Beer Fast

Forty-six days. Forty-six days is the length of the Lenten Season this year. For most of us, that means nothing. It is simply a time where perhaps the most devout person you know only eats fish on Fridays. For others, it is a test of willpower, and we choose to eliminate some portion of sin from our lives for the …

Terroir in Beer, Part 5

Part 5:¬†Yeast, formerly known as Godisgood Yeast, such a strange and world-changing fungi. Not even known as a thing to exist for thousands of years, up until 1857 thanks to our buddy Louis Pasteur whom I have a very conflicted love/hate relationship with. Yeast has literally shaped humanity, is said to be the creator of culture, the modern civilizations, and …

How to Educate Yourself into a Craft Beer Career

Beer is a Science Education Beer & brewing are an industry and practice as old as civilization itself. There have been research papers on brewing technology in ancient times and how it helped give rise to modern human prosperity. Others believe beer and fermentation is what allowed human religion to develop, help stave off ancient disease, and provide nutrition from …

Terroir in Beer, Part 4

Part 4:¬†Water, Beer’s Saving Grace No other single ingredient has had a bigger impact on the history of beer and greater humanity than water. From literally saving the lives of millions of people through the middle ages by providing safe, delicious, drinkable beer, to shaping the beer styles we know and drink today, water destined to become beer is the …

Terroir in Beer, Part 3

Part 3: Hops, the bitter spice & soul of beer Hops, what a love/hate relationship I have with thee. At the best of times, you are light, floral, fruity, spicy, piney, aromatic and provide balance to an otherwise sweet malty beer. At the worst of times, you are a heavy handed, onion, garlic, cat piss, overly bitter mess that ruin …

Solera Aging

On The Ground Solera aging refers to a method of aging consumable liquids, traditionally liquids such as wine, vinegar, port, and brandy. Simply put, it is an insanely time intensive and inefficient process, generally yielding only 50% of what was put into the process at any one time. In addition to that, it is hugely capital intensive, requiring a large …