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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

From Headmaster to Brewmaster

How did you get your start in brewing?

The question comes up a lot. Sometimes a career path can take you in many directions, amassing a set of skills that seem unrelated at first glance. That was the case for Michael Byrne, brewmaster at Lineage Brewing. However, it has all worked out in the end.

Mr. Byrne's art class bulletin board

Mr. Byrne’s art class bulletin board

Mike spent high school, college, and his post-grad years working with his hands in the commercial concrete trade. His love of building things and sharing those experiences then led him to pursue a BA. in Art Education. Mike expanded his love of making things using clay, oil paint, and even concrete as his favorite mediums.

With this degree, he taught art to Columbus students from kindergarten through high school. As a teacher, Mike’s greatest reward was being able to share his excitement for learning, experimentation, and pushing boundaries. These same characteristics are what led Mike to start home-brewing in his Clintonville driveway over 9 years ago. Eventually, Mike followed his passion for experimentation by becoming a brewer at Buckeye Lake Brewery.

Mike represents Buckeye Lake Brewery at GABF. Photo with Charles Papazian, author and president of the Brewer's Association.

Mike represents Buckeye Lake Brewery at GABF. Photo with Charles Papazian, author and president of the Brewer’s Association.

Through brewing, Mike has combined his various skill sets into a single role that he loves. He is able to build and fix things, create recipes, study and improve his brewing techniques, and of course share his love and passion with anyone who will listen.

This blend of experiences in construction, art, teaching, and brewing resulted in the hands-on and free-thinking philosophy that embodies Lineage Brewing. Our brew pub is a space built around creativity, learning, and sharing with those who want to learn more about beer.

At Lineage, we aren’t afraid to get our hands dirty, work hard, be creative, and try something new and exciting. If you see Mike sitting at the bar at Lineage Brewing, feel free to go over to him and talk some shop. 

You can follow Mike on Twitter @mikebyrnebrew. You can also follow @Lineagebrew on Instagram to see some of our current projects.