Southern Brew News April/May 2012 : Page 1
Erin Austin and her husband, Jason, whip up a batch in the kitchen of The Cupcake Brewery. PHOTO BY RICHARD MITCHELL E By Win Bassett friends. As she and her husband, Jason, sipped on a Lonerider Brewing Co. Shotgun Betty with Sumit Vohra and Jackie Nelson, both with the brewery in Raleigh, NC, someone said they wanted a cupcake. I mentioned that we should put beer in the cupcake, and they told me to try it, so I did." That idea has turned into an excitement about Austin's cupcakes that sometimes rivals the beer itself at events where she sets up shop. By day, she is a consultant for drug safety systems, doing "application configuration, test script writing and validations of systems." By See Cupcake p. 3 rin Austin's love of cupcakes came before her affinity for good beer, but that is only because she started baking at an age when twenty-one-year-olds seemed "old." Today, however, people of all ages can enjoy the miniature fruits, or in this case, cakes of her labor that resulted when she combined her two passions to form The Cupcake Brewery. Austin started her beer confection business in March of 2011 after she made the suggestion of putting beer in a cupcake during a night of sharing a few drinks with By Owen Ogletree C ollaborate (col·lab·o·rate): to work jointly with others or together, especially in an intel-lectual endeavor. Nøgne Ø / Terrapin Imperial Rye Porter . Spike, the co-owner and brewer of Athens' Terrapin Beer Company, truly enjoys brewing collaborative beers in other ILLUSTRATIONS BY: HANS GRANHEIM INSIDE INSIDE Calendar ........................... 2 Letter From Editor ............ 2 Tasting Notes ................... 6 Business of Beer ............... 8 Homebrew News .............. 9 Style ............................... 10 Maps & Directories .... 12-15 Dr. Brewski ..................... 11 State by State News Georgia ..................... 16 Alabama/Mississippi 18 Tennessee ................ 19 The Carolinas ........... 20 Florida ...................... 22 Louisiana .................. 23 See Connection p. 4 Brian "Spike" Buckowski lives in Athens, Georgia and loves The Grateful Dead , Heavy Metal and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Kjetil Jikiun is a licensed airline pilot who hails from frozen Norway, is built like a Viking, wears shorts year-round and enjoys eating boiled sheep's head. What do these two unlikely col-laborators have in com-mon? They are fervent BREWING LOGISTICS. Nøgne Ø's Kjetil Jikiun and craft brewers who worked Terrapin's Spike Buckowski discuss hop bills and boil times together in February to for their recent collaboration ale brewed in Norway. create a new beer — PHOTO BY ALEX ARTHURTON ILLUSTRATION BY: HANS GRANHEIM
The Cupcake Brewery
Beer Take The Cake at Erin Austin and her husband, Jason, whip up a batch in the kitchen of The Cupcake Brewery.
Erin Austin's love of cupcakes came before her affinity for good beer, but that is only because she started baking at an age when twenty-one-year-olds seemed "old." Today, however, people of all ages can enjoy the miniature fruits, or
in this case, cakes of her labor that resulted when she combined her two passions to form The Cupcake Brewery.
Austin started her beer confection business in March of 2011 after she made
the suggestion of putting beer in a cupcake during a night of sharing a few drinks with friends. As she and her husband, Jason, sipped on a Lonerider Brewing Co. Shotgun Betty with Sumit Vohra and Jackie Nelson, both with the brewery in Raleigh, NC, someone said they wanted a cupcake. I mentioned that we should put beer in the cupcake, and they told me to try it, so I did."
That idea has turned into an excitement about Austin's cupcakes that sometimes rivals the beer itself at events where she sets up shop. By day, she is a consultant for drug safety systems, doing "application configuration, test script writing and validations of systems." By very early in the morning or late into the evening, however, Austin is a beer-loving baker who wants her cupcakes "to always be as fresh as possible."
Beer Batter Trial And Error
The tiny desserts were not always a cakewalk to make, and new recipes still take time to refine. In the early days of The Cupcake Brewery, Austin admits that "the first couple of tries with Shotgun Betty weren't the greatest, but I figured it out." And her delicate palate for both beer and sweets keeps the bar high for her creations." I think the worst was the most recent try with Green Man's IPA. I just couldn't find something to tone down the bitterness, and the coconut cupcake I was trying just did not work at all." As a testament to her commitment for exceptional cupcakes, she acknowledged, "That one didn't make it past the batter."
Jason also assists his wife with quality control. "I'm Chief Tasting Officer. I get to try all of the cupcakes that Erin makes before anyone else and give her feedback on what I like and what I don't," he says. "It's a tough life." His favorite cupcake is a chocolate one that Austin bakes with Lonerider's Sweet Josie, which won a gold medal at the 2010 Great American Beer Festival in the American Brown Ale category. "Those things are awesome."
Some of Austin's other recipes include Natty Greene's Buckshot Caramel, Mother Earth Dark Cloud S'mores,Lonerider Peacemaker Pineapple Upside down and Haw River Wild Black Saison Dark Chocolate Bacon. She says that she really enjoys her Big Boss Harvest Time Pumpkin cupcakes because "it has pumpkin and white chocolate--two of my favorite things."
Her customers' cupcake of choice, however, has been the Dark Chocolate Bacon. "You tell a guy that there is beer,bacon and chocolate in a
cupcake, and they all have to try it."
Nc Beer Only
And fortunately for consumers, more of them have had the opportunity to taste Austin's creations. Though based in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area of North Carolina, Austin recently traveled to Asheville to serve her Green Man ESB cupcakes at Green Man Brewery. She says she tries to use North Carolina beer only in her desserts "because I want to let everyone know that we have some great breweries. It also introduces some women to beers that they might not try." She continues, "The taste of the beer, plus the cupcake that pairs with it, enhances the subtle flavors that you might not always notice. Those
subtle notes can be something to draw in a new craft beer drinker."
Those drinkers have welcomed The Cupcake Brewery with open mouths and bellies at bottle shops, breweries, rehearsal dinners and even commitment ceremonies
and weddings. Advertising using only Twitter, Facebook and word of mouth,
Austin says that she has "had a great experience with the community, and everyone has been super supportive. I couldn't have done it without their support, and I'm thankful that they enjoy my cupcakes."
Though The Cupcake Brewery has seen an explosion of popularity, for now,
Austin is content baking to have fun and to relax. "I enjoy doing the beer launches, tastings and special events. It keeps me from getting burned out." She admits, however, that she "would love to do it full time at some point."
"I like beer and cupcakes, so why not?" she says. Her customers have been asking the same question, all while having one's cupcake and drinking it too.
Read the full article at http://sbnonline.brewingnews.com/article/The+Cupcake+Brewery/1039316/108148/article.html.
Terrapin’s Norway Connection
Collaborate (col·lab·o·rate): to work jointly with others or together, especially in an intellectual endeavor.
Brian "Spike" Buckowski lives in Athens, Georgia and loves The Grateful Dead, Heavy Metal and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Kjetil Jikiun is a licensed airline pilot who hails from frozen Norway, is built like a Viking, wears shorts year-round and enjoys eating boiled sheep's head. What do these two unlikely collaborators have in common? They are fervent craft brewers who worked together in February to create a new beer — Nøgne Ø / Terrapin Imperial Rye Porter.
Spike, the co-owner and brewer of Athens' Terrapin Beer Company, truly enjoys brewing collaborative beers in other Countries. The tradition began two years ago in Belgium at the De Proef brewery, and 2011's mutual brew took place at BFM in Switzerland.
"Doing our 2012 international collaboration beer in Norway with Nøgne Ø was great," Spike says. "It's a rewarding learning experience to watch how other brewers formulate recipes compared to myself. I really think that our Imperial Rye Porter was a fun exercise for Kjetil and I, and I think it's safe to say that we both feel this beer will be something special for both of us and our fans."
Community Of Cooperation
Kjetil feels that the craft beer community as a whole must labor together in
promoting their flavorful beers, and Nøgne Ø embodies this attitude of openness and cooperation. "We share information on our brewing processes and recipes," Kjetil says. "Everyone in Norway thinks of us as 'the friendly brewery.' We try to work with other breweries, because this is good for the overall craft beer culture."
Nøgne Ø stands as the pioneering craft brewery in Norway,and the road to building a viable beer culture in the country proved to be anything but easy for
Kjetil and his team. Restrictive Norwegian alcohol laws, along with a population
enamored with light, continental lagers required Nøgne Ø to focus as much on
beer education as brewing.
"We want to make our region understand craft beer, and this really requires us
to educate the drinkers here about what we are doing," says Kjetil. "We were the first craft brewery to start in Norway, and so far we have been successful in creating a growing beer culture here."
Recipe For Success
Recipe for Success Only four years ago, only 40% of Nøgne Ø's beers were sold in Norway, with the rest exported to other countries. Today, Norwegians consume more than 80% of the brewery's production. After just a few years in their current building, Nøgne Ø ran out of space and were forced to move beer storage to a leased barn just down the road and convert a cold liquor tank into a fermenter just to keep up with
demand for their popular IPA.
The Nøgne Ø / Terrapin Imperial Rye Porter holds the promise of being equally popular and will most likely sell out in short order. The ale also marks the first time that Nøgne Ø has used spicy rye malt in a dark beer. Spike loves using rye, and his only solid request in producing recipes for collaborative ales is that rye malt must make up a portion of the grist.
Hop to It!
Spike and Kjetil actually decided on which hops to use in the Imperial Rye
Porter while mashing in. Amarillo formed the first choice, but a severe shortage of this hop in the U.S. made it unavailable. The two brewers finally decided on a hop bill of Chinook for bittering and Bobek Styrian Golding B from Slovenia and Columbus as flavor and aroma hops. While Kjetil despises math and has developed quite an insightful, artistic way of estimating hop quantities for a brew, Spike grabbed a calculator and crunched the numbers for several minutes. In the end, both brewers were surprisingly close in their hop computations.
As karma would also have it, the day of the Terrapin brew fell very close to the
10th anniversary of Nøgne Ø, and a huge celebration took place in the brewery that evening - including tasty beers from Spike and Kjetil and, of course, boiled sheep's head.
My, How You Have Grown
Nøgne Ø's brewery home for the past seven years has been an attractive, old
hydroelectric plant that was built in 1914, but a new, more spacious location has been secured for a gradual move over the next few years.
Growth seems the order of the day for Terrapin as well, with a load of impressive new fermenters on the way for spring along with a state-of-the-art 100 bbl Rolec brewing system slated for installation in August. "Terrapin is definitely going to be cranking out much bigger batches this fall," Spike anticipates.
Collaboration = Creativity
Being innovative and energetic leaders in their two breweries, Spike and Kjetil
seem skilled at making thoughtful, independent decisions about brewing schedules, recipes and distribution. However, both personalities meshed extremely well in a spirit of cooperation and creativity during the collaborative brew.
Kjetil's love of craft beer and his brewery makes him a visionary and leader
at Nøgne Ø. Throughout the day, employees constantly come to him for decisions
and guidance. "If I'm not at the brewery making decisions, then things tend to slow down and crash," he says. "I should feel flattered, but I wish sometimes I could just have some time off."
Participating in the formulation and production of a new collaboration formed
an energizing growth opportunity for both brewers.
"Naturally, we at Nøgne Ø were excited to have Spike come over," says Kjetil.
"Terrapin's affinity for Rye was not an oddity for Nøgne Ø, but we were slightly puzzled when Spike suggested imperializing our porter and giving it a 'Terrapin touch.' But this rye porter worked out well and is unlike anything we have brewed before - it surely has its own identity."
Beer fans in the Southeast should watch for the unique collaboration ale to
hit shelves sometime this summer.