I have been talking about opening a restaurant for years, which has turned into the idea of a brewery. I figured I better be able to brew beer if I’m going to try this endeavor, so here we are.
My basement has a kitchen that we don’t use, that was turned into my steampunk lab for Clothed Eye, now part of it has been turned into a brewery.
I’ve owned the URL 21squirrels.com for years, and figured this would be a good use for it. The number 21 recurs in my life a lot, from a nick name after college, to my Moms's birthday, to Squirrel Appreciation Day (Jan 21st), the 21st Amendment that repealed prohibition, the release date of All Star #8, Wonder Woman's first apperance on October 21st, 1941. It is said it takes 21 days to form a new habit. Even Mister Rogers is in on it, September 21, 1967, Fred Rogers walked into the television studio at WQED in Pittsburgh to tape the very first episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. I’ve always loved squirrels. I just need to put 19 more on the homepage somewhere.
I try to use whole leaf hops whenever I can, as well as local Michigan grains.
It took a few 'learning' batches to get going, but now that I have more beers under my belt I can really start to experiment with flavors and breaking rules, like using a belgian yeast in a stout (Moly Moly Mole). Big Flavor comes in Small Batches.
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We are brewing all grain, with 3 Anvil 5 gallon kettles at the core. An Avantco 3500 watt induction burner provides the heat, much safer than the gas stove that almost killed us on the first brew. We have 2 SS Brewtech fermenters, and the ability to ferment in one of the kettles as well.
5 kegs are almost always dispensing or aging beer. All is for 2.5 gallon batches at this point.