First, we’d like to give everyone a few updates on our progress so far. A lot has been going on the past few weeks and we have been staying busy planning and preparing to bring Charlottesville more great craft beer!
Construction of our brewery is starting to pick up and it’s exciting to see work getting done and things starting to come together. There is still much work to do before we are brewing beer, but that time continues to get shorter and shorter. After a rough grinding to smooth them out, our floors are scheduled to be completed this week, with a polyurethane coating going into the brewery space and a simple clear sealant going into the tasting room area. This has been delayed by weather, since our space is not yet sealed off to the outside and moisture and temperature have been issues, along with the roof not being sealed up yet either. We switched from an epoxy material to a urethane material due to urethanes ability to cure under a wider range of conditions.
After modifying our cold room layout to maximize its size, we will be installing it in the next week. We will be storing a cold water tank (called a cold liquor tank), kegs, hops, yeast (and probably my lunches) in there.
And the most exciting news, our 10 barrel (310 gallon) brewhouse, what we will be using to actually brew the beer, will be arriving next week! You can expect a post with plenty of pictures to follow that.
Now, onto the beer…
We will have the ability to brew 6 batches of beer per cycle. This is limited by the number of fermenters we will have. We are starting with 3 x 7bbl (217 gallon, or 14 full sized kegs) fermenters and 3 x 1bbl (31 gallon, or 2 full sized kegs) fermenters. A batch of beer takes about 2 weeks from the time it is brewed to the time it can be served, so we will be able to brew 6 batches right away, but will then have to wait until they are finished before brewing additional batches.
Here is our tentative opening day draft list (names still TBD):
IPA – Anyone surprised? Didn’t think so. IPA accounts for over 25% of all craft beer sales, and we at Random Row love our IPA’s. We will be showcasing the Falconer’s Flight 7C’s hop, a relatively new variety that is actually a blend of 7 of the “C” hops, along with a couple experimental hops.
German Style Lager – The second beer that we plan to be a year-round offering will be a German Festbier style lager. A light copper colored lager balanced more towards maltiness, this will be the closest beer to an American domestic lager that we will serve, packing much more flavor than the aforementioned of course.
Pale Ale – Close behind IPA in craft market share is the American Pale Ale. This beer will be lower in alcohol and hop bitterness, and have more malt sweetness than our IPA.
Specialty IPA – Did we mention that IPA’s are popular? We plan on always having at least 2 IPA’s on tap once we get up and running. Sometimes more. But our alternate IPA’s will be more experimental. Some of the different specialty IPA’s we may brew include Black IPA, Brown IPA, White IPA, Rye IPA, Belgian IPA, and Red IPA.
Hefeweizen – Translated into English “yeast wheat”, our wheat beer will be restrained in the banana/clove flavors traditionally created by the German yeast used to ferment this style. Fermenting at slightly lower temperatures allows the yeast to release less of the compounds that give this beer its signature flavor, making a more drinkable beer.
English Mild – This session brown ale hasn’t gained much popularity in the US, but we dig it. A complex malt richness pairs with a low ABV (3-4%) to create a beer that we think you will be coming back often for.
If you didn’t get in on the last order of T-shirts, they are now available online! We will also have them for you to purchase when we open the taproom, sometime this summer (we will narrow that down as we get closer to finishing!).