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BREWER’S WORD: What can be accomplished in half of a year? 6 Months, 23 Brews, 27 Casks= 50 different beer options

Mike Byrne, Brewmaster

Mike Byrne, Brewmaster

Mike Byrne’s Brewer’s Word

I brewed my first batch of beer almost nine years ago in my driveway. As a pretty serious home brewer, I had three goals: To learn as much as I could about brewing, brew as many different styles as I could, and brew the best beer possible.

When I took my first professional brewing position, I had two goals. First, I wanted to continue learning as much as I could. Second, I wanted to brew the best beer possible. I read more books, attended a workshop in Colorado Springs on yeast microbiology, attended professional conferences, and joined professional organizations. Slowly, I began to feel more comfortable in the brewery. I started tweaking recipes, brewing techniques, and procedures to improve beer quality and efficiency.

 As Lineage Brewing began to take shape, I reflected on two things. First, my experience in art school. I used to spend hours in the studio with my ear phones on creating study after study and experimenting with techniques and different mediums. Eventually my ideas would come together into the final piece for formal critique. (One of these works now hangs on the wall in our pub).

Second, I thought about all the places my wife, Jess, and I have traveled and the beer culture we have experienced. One city that really stood out to me was Grand Rapids, Michigan.  The beer culture there is incredible. There is a pride about local beer that can only be understood by experiencing it. It was so exciting to try the wide variety of styles found at many of these small breweries. Sure, everyone brewed an IPA, but why order that when I could try a mango gruit or potato lager or a well-brewed English mild. If you really want your mind blown, attend the Michigan Winter Beer Fest.

There are some pretty neat beers at that fest…Just make sure to wear your Sunday-best Carharts.

Lineage’s Brewing Philosophy

At Lineage, I have gone back to my original goals from nine years ago as a home brewer. I wanted to focus on different styles I’ve experienced in Grand Rapids and my practice from art school. To me, this is really the only way to learn about the nuances of yeast strains, flavor of raw materials, and the effects of different brewing techniques. beerlistphoto

So far, we have brewed 23 different styles (6 more scheduled), using 7 different yeast strains and a strain of bacteria at Lineage Brewing. If you are a frequent visitor to the brewpub, you will commonly see beers brewed in a series. What this means is that when I get a new yeast strain, I tend to brew at least 2-4 different styles with that strain. I do this to learn how the yeast changes over generations, how it performs at different temperatures, and how the flavor profile reacts with the ingredients.

This week marks our 6 month semi-anniversary, and in total, we’ve made 23 different styles and have had 27 different casks= 50 different beer options. Have you tried all 23 Lineage Brewing styles? How many can you name? Keep up by checking our website and following us on Facebook.

Cheers!

Mike