Southern Brew News October/November 2013 : Page 1
By Owen Ogletree By Brook Bristow rian Purcell, Brewmaster and CEO of Three Taverns Craft Brewery, recalls a fateful, beer-indulgent night in Brussels back in 1994 that introduced him to the beauty, complexity and decadence of Trappist ales. Brian and his friends enjoyed them-selves so much, that they were almost arrested while trying to drive across the French border later that evening. This one night formed a source of major inspiration 3 for Brian in opening his own Belgian-themed brewery this year near the heart of Decatur, Georgia. His flagship brew is even called "A Night in Brussels." Brian left his job with Coca-Cola in 1996 to open his own promotional market-ing company geared toward soft drink man-ufacturers. "I never really took pleasure in running that business," he recalls. "I needed a more enjoyable, creative outlet." Inspirational Origins In 2000, Brian made a trip to Portland, Oregon to attend a wedding, and enjoyed his first taste of homebrew while there. Brian soon caught the homebrewing bug and started out with a five gallon extract kit. When he began to explore the idea of open-ing a commercial brewery, he graduated to a larger, all-grain brew system in 2008. This system is now displayed in a place of honor in his Three Taverns brewery. In what turned out to be a huge compliment, Brick Store Pub co-owner Mike Gallagher once mistook Brian See Three Taverns p.3 hat’s your quest?” That’s the ques-tion that Andrew Watts and Don Richardson posed to each other when they first met over beers in January of 2012. Introduced by Ed Buffington, one of the co-owners of Greenville’s Community ity Tap craft beer and wine store, o ore, the duo immediately hit it i off and shared a vision for opening a brewery in Greenville, South Carolina. Not only did both want to open a brewery, but both wanted to highlight the adventurous spirit that t Greenville is becoming i ng known for in its trails, rivers, ivers and foothills. “It’s something we really wanted to embrace,” Watts says. But opening Greenville’s first brewery in 15 years has W been anything but an easy quest. Watts has been a craft beer enthusi-ast and homebrewer for many years. As a successful IT business-man, he learned all of the tools for running a business. His inter-est in craft beer was spurred on by his late brother Sean, who got him into the hobby. As A a testament to his brother, Watts W decided that he wanted to change ch directions in his profes-sional life and open a brewery. You could say that the other half of Quest knows his way around a brew-ery, having worked on both the produc-tion and distribution See Quest p. 5 INSIDE State by State News Calendar ...................................... 2 Tasting Notes ................................ 6 Dr. Brewski .................................. 7 Homebrew News ............................ 8 The Style Section .......................... 10 Map & Directories .....................12-15 Louisiana .......................................... 11 Georgia ............................................ 16 Alabama/Mississippi .......................... 18 Tennessee ......................................... 19 The Carolinas ................................... 20 Florida ............................................. 22
Brian Purcell, Brewmaster and CEO of Three Taverns Craft Brewery, recalls a fateful, beer-indulgent night in Brussels back in 1994 that introduced him to the beauty, complexity and decadence of Trappist ales.
Brian and his friends enjoyed themselves so much, that they were almost arrested while trying to drive across the French border later that evening. This one night formed a source of major inspiration for Brian in opening his own Belgianthemed brewery this year near the heart of Decatur, Georgia. His flagship brew is even called "A Night in Brussels."
Brian left his job with Coca-Cola in 1996 to open his own promotional marketing company geared toward soft drink manufacturers."I never really took pleasure in running that business," he recalls. "I needed a more enjoyable, creative outlet."
In 2000, Brian made a trip to Portland, Oregon to attend a wedding, and enjoyed his first taste of homebrew while there. Brian soon caught the homebrewing bug and started out with a five gallon extract kit. When he began to explore the idea of opening a commercial brewery, he graduated to a larger, all-grain brew system in 2008. This system is now displayed in a place of honor in his Three Taverns brewery.
In what turned out to be a huge compliment, Brick Store Pub co-owner Mike Gallagher once mistook Brian Purcell's early homebrewed oatmeal stout for a popular commercial stout during a blind tasting and subsequently praised Brian's beer to his Brick Store partner Dave Blanchard. Brian adds, "After giving me valuable encouragement, Dave Blanchard then watched me plan Three Taverns with great impatience over the years. He would tell me, 'Brian, that's a great idea, but hurry up!'"
Brian loved the Brick Store ever since he moved to Decatur back in 2002. "A La Trappe ale at the Brick Store one night reawakened my interest in Belgian beer, and I knew another trip to Belgium was in my future."
Mythical, Magical Belgian Ales
In the summer of 2012, Brian visited the St. Sixtus Trappist brewery cafe in Belgium, drank three potent Westvleteren 12 ales and then rode his bike back through the lovely countryside to his hotel. He describes the day as "beer nirvana."
"Brewing these magical, Belgian-style beers spoke to me," notes Brian. "Making a great product and doing events to bring people together to open them up to wonderful beer and conversation held a tremendous appeal."
Brian's mind was set. He began the process of raising 1.3 million dollars to start his brewery and then sold his marketing company to his neighbor. In the fall of 2012, Three Taverns leased space in a small business park within walking distance of downtown Decatur that was once the Push- Push stage theater company.
A Bit of Belgian Influence
In the early planning stages, one of Three Tavern's biggest investors suggested hiring a Belgian brewer, and Brian considered this a brilliant idea. "Kevin McNerney from 5 Seasons was working for me as a brewing consultant," explains Brian."Belgian brewer Peter Bouckaert, now with New Belgium brewery in Colorado, was visiting Atlanta for special events, and Kevin told me that Peter was going to Taco Mac Sandy Springs that night. Kevin and I met Peter at The Fred and discussed hiring a Belgian brewer. Peter told us that Belgians are 'born with a brick in their stomachs' and don't like to leave their country, but he did refer me to his nephew Joran Van Ginderachter who had worked as an intern at New Belgium and was inspired by brewing opportunities here in America."
27-year-old Joran will be moving to America in the fall and taking on the official role of head brewer at Three Taverns at that time. "My uncle inspired me, and it was always fun talking to him about beer," says Joran. "I was so interested, that I worked on a paper in high school about lambic beers and visited Oud Beersel and Frank Boon's brewery for research. Frank Boon got me hooked on sour beers - he is one of the smartest guys in terms of sours."
Joran brewed some interesting beers for Brouwers Verzet at De Ranke recently, and his bottled Oud Bruin is available at a few outlets in Atlanta now. Excited about helping start Three Taverns and being involved in the creation of new recipes, Joran also places emphasis on hard work and focus. "Brewing is fun, but you have to know when to be serious about it," he says.
The night of July 19, 2013 saw the premier of Three Taverns' initial two brands at Brick Store, where a total of 15 halfbarrel kegs were consumed. "To launch at Brick Store, where I found inspiration, was great," recalls Brian Purcell. "Mike Gallagher presented a heartfelt toast, gave me a bear hug and pulled me up front to speak to the crowd. I looked out and saw both friends and strangers - all happy, smiling and enjoying my beer. I realized then that Three Taverns is something bigger than me - the brewery is a gift to the beer-centric city of Decatur."
Three Tavern's sparkling new brewhouse - a 30-barrel, four-vessel model from Newland Systems in Canada - impressed Brian from the start with its efficiency and speed. The focus now goes toward completion of the brewery's tasting room that should be up and running by the end of September. Visitors can expect taproom walls with old wood reclaimed from a barn in Kentucky, along with salvaged, 150-yearold bricks. Visible through a large window, the barrel-aging room is housed to the right of the bar, and a mezzanine lounge area sits above the serving area.
The brewery's bottling line comes from Comac in Italy, and Brian also invested in a warm storage room to allow residual yeast to produce natural carbonation inside the bottles. Look for bottled versions of Three Tavern's two current draft beers to hit shelves this fall.
Recipes with Tradition & Flare
Single Intent comes in as a Belgianstyle single - a lighter-bodied, abbey-style blonde ale usually reserved for the monks' personal consumption with meals. French Strisselspalt hops provide a spicy, floral aroma, and soft Belgian esters lend a complex, fruity backdrop in this 5% ABV beer with 35 IBUs.
As a Belgian-style IPA, A Night in Brussels contains Belgian malts, American hops, pure cane sugar and a spicy Belgian yeast strain. Brian calls the 7.5% ABV, 69 IBU beer "an American IPA on a Belgian road trip," and he's stepping up additions of aroma hops and dry-hops to boost the citrusy hop bouquet in recent batches.
What does the future hold? Three Tavern's fermenters currently house a Belgian-style stout containing dark muscovato sugar that Brian discovered at the DeKalb Farmer's Market. In the next few months, also watch for a seasonal Quadrupel called Quasimoto, along with a special sour ale from Joran.
When asked if his decision to open Three Taverns has made him happy, Brian Purcell quotes the American writer Fredrick Buechner who said, "Finding a sense of calling in your work is when your great happiness meets the world's great need."
Read the full article at http://sbnonline.brewingnews.com/article/Three+Taverns+/1526764/178177/article.html.
What’s your quest?” That’s the question that Andrew Watts and Don Richardson posed to each other when they first met over beers in January of 2012. Introduced by Ed Buffington, one of the co-owners of Greenville’s Community Tap craft beer and wine store, the duo immediately hit it off and shared a vision for opening a brewery in Greenville, South Carolina. Not only did both want to open a brewery, but both wanted to highlight the adventurous spirit that Greenville is becoming known for in its trails, rivers, and foothills.
“It’s something we really wanted to embrace,” Watts says. But opening Greenville’s first brewery in 15 years has been anything but an easy quest.
Watts has been a craft beer enthusiast and homebrewer for many years. As a successful IT businessman, he learned all of the tools for running a business. His interest in craft beer was spurred on by his late brother Sean, who got him into the hobby.As a testament to his brother, Watts decided that he wanted to change directions in his professional life and open a brewery.
You could say that the other half of Quest knows his way around a brewery, having worked on both the production and distribution sides of the industry.Richardson is a former brewmaster at Boulder Beer Company in Colorado, and both Cottonwood Brewery and Carolina Beer and Beverage in North Carolina. He also holds three medals from the Great American Beer Festival from his days at Cottonwood, as well as three World Beer Championship medals, including a gold. Some of those award-winning Great American Beer Festival Cottonwood beers might be familiar – Low Down Brown (bronze – 1997), Horton’s Irish Stout (silver – 1998), and Great Pumpkin Spiced Ale (bronze – 1999).
After his successes as a brewer, Richardson also owned a distributor in Greenville for 10 years – All Good Brands – where he specialized in Belgian beers. That influence is apparent in looking at Quest’s core lineup, its marketing, and what is in the pipeline.
The core lineup is a series of four yearround beers that Richardson has been developing for some time: Smoking Mirror Porter, Golden Fleece Belgian Pale Ale, Ellida IPA, and Kaldi Imperial Coffee Stout. To match its name, the brewery utilizes mythological titles, descriptions, and artwork for its beers.
Smoking Mirror is named for one of the central deities in the Aztec religion – Tezcatlipoca – who is often depicted as having a mirror on his chest where smoke would emanate from. Richardson drew inspiration from that in creating this 5.5% ABV porter made with peat malt, which provides a smoke character on the back end of the beer.
Golden Fleece BPA is a 4.5% ABV Belgian pale ale that references the Golden Fleece sought by Jason and the Argonauts in Greek mythology. Like most of Quest’s beers, it utilizes local ingredients. In particular, this beer uses malts from Riverbend Malt House in Asheville, which is gaining quite a bit of notoriety amongst Carolina brewers for its 6-row malt varieties.Those malts are used by brewers from the North Carolina mountains all of the way down to the South Carolina coast in Charleston.
Another of Quest’s beers also uses those Riverbend malts – this one being Ellida IPA. This time, the brewery references Norse mythology. Ellida was a magic dragon ship that was said to be as big as a fortress, but faster than an eagle. At 6.9% ABV and with 82 IBUs, this beer is a big one, made with six different hop varieties, including Centennial, Citra, Chinook, Cascade, Columbus, and Falconers Flight.
The final beer in the brewery’s core lineup is Kaldi Imperial Coffee Stout. The beer references the legend of Kaldi, an Ethiopian goat herder who discovered the coffee plant. After eating the berries from a certain plant, Kaldi noticed that his goats became more energetic. These berries were taken to a local monastery where they were thrown into a fire, taken out, ground up, and dissolved in hot water, which is said to have made the first cup of coffee. Quest’s process for making this beer isn’t as involved as Kaldi’s, but it again provides an opportunity for the brewery to use local ingredients. This 8% ABV stout gets it coffee from a local shop in Greenville’s West End neighborhood near Flour Field called West End Coffee Company. The result of the dark malts and coffee is a smooth beer with big flavor.
Since opening in July, Quest has been embraced by the local community. In fact, you can find Quest beers all over Greenville.The brewery’s weekly Wednesday Randall nights and Thursday music nights are constantly packed. “They’ve been really big for us,” Watts says. “We’re seeing people from all over come out to the brewery.” This was evident for Quest’s grand opening when Watts and Richardson welcomed about 1,800 people on a Saturday afternoon.
The brewery is located near Greenville’s downtown regional airport in an old warehouse.By standards for upstart breweries in South Carolina, Quest has started on the larger side with a 25-barrel brewhouse, which includes two 25-barrel fermenters, two 40-barrel fermenters, and one 10-barrel fermenter. The 10-barrel fermenter will be used exclusively for sour beers.
While the sour program is still in the planning stages, the barrel aged program is up and running and appears to be the apple of Richardson’s eye. The barrel room is currently home to nine Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels, mostly with variations of the Kaldi Coffee Stout inside. For starters, Quest is using fruits such as raspberries, blackberries, and cherries. Some barrels are also utilizing peppers, cacao nibs, and vanilla beans. Richardson says he is excited about the quality of th ebeers and hopes to do more.“There is no going down from this level,” he says.“We’ve really set a high bar for ourselves.”
What’s next in the quest? Watts says that the brewery will host an Oktoberfest event in October featuring music, food, and what else, Quest beer. The brewery will offer a fall seasonal – Kermesse Pumpkin Saison – which will be a big, flavorful saison made with pumpkins. “It’s probably the biggest beer we’ve ever made,” Watts says. The brewery will also begin limited bottling of its barrel-aged beers in 750s sometime this fall, and is also looking to begin canning its core beer lineup sometime after the New Year for Greenville adventurers to take on their own quests.
Read the full article at http://sbnonline.brewingnews.com/article/Quest+Brewing/1526785/178177/article.html.