Monday, December 29, 2008

Those new tanks....

Here are the promised fermenter installation pictures....

New tanks installed...

Trying to get another big tank into the brewery...

The 20bbl fermenter is finally home...

It's a group effort...


Monday, December 15, 2008

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

Yes, it's snowing here in Truckee. The skiiers will be here soon.

Monday 12/15/2008. If Kyle and I can get out of the driveway today we plan on bottling up some of the Imperial Eclipse Stout. How nice would it be to have a bottle under the Christmas tree? Enjoying in front of a warm fire, watching it snow?

Keep an eye out at the brewery they'll be there soon...


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The busy season nears...and other stuff

I'm back from Germany. It was a great trip and yes I'll probably go back but most likely in the summer when the days are longer and drinking is done outside versus inside. Probably most significant is beer is still very reasonable in the Bamberg vicinity. Around $2.25 a half liter for world class beer... Thanks for the well wishes and "I missed you's". Nice to get those for sure...

All of the fermenters have been filled, Imperial Eclipse Stout is getting closer to a tap and a quick glance at a calendar all lead up to the fact we're getting close to Christmas and New Years.

Our first double batch of Manifesto will be appearing soon. It will be the same Manifesto you've always known but we're making about 600 gallons at a time now. Gotta keep up with the demand... Yes, Eclipse is on the move. Kyle and I transferred about 50 gallons from one of the barrels. First taste was pretty darn yummy too. We're carbonating the beer slowly and plan on bottling up about 10-12 cases for Christmas week. There is a lot more to be bottled but we're waiting for our bottling machine to do the lions share. These first cases will be done one at a time by hand.

We have Foggy Goggle and Trifecta Tripel waiting for tap lines so we haven't forgotten you Belgian fans. These beers will be up soon. Once we start seeing the Christmas time visitors I feel these beers will be up soon.

Kyle and Alicia did some brewing while I was enjoying Germany. A batch of Rockslide and Base Camp. Thanks guys!

We had some Concentrated Evil and BART down in San Diego for the Pizza Port- Carlsbad Strong Ale Festival. Heard kind words about our beers down there so maybe SD isn't such a bad place after all... All kidding aside it's nice to have our beer down there for events like that.



Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Germany, a beer tourists dreamland

I had to think quite a bit about the title, but one thing is certain if you are trying to save money things are cheap here. Well, except for gasoline life is reasonably cheap here. Maybe it is this small part of Germany(Oberfranken) but hotels, food, and beer are all inexpensive.

I'm having a good time though the days are very short and I'm usually calling it early than to brave the very narrow roads at night. My GPS took me on some one car width roads yesterday while it was snowing heavily. Talk about not knowing where to go! Everything is flat and white...not something you want to do after a few beers!

For your enjoyment a few pixs so far...

Friday, November 21, 2008

What's been happening here??

Well, we've been pretty busy here at the brewery as of late. We had a fair amount of down time and that was because we had the new tanks installed. I'll post some pictures of that here so you can see what we had to do to get that taken care of. In a few words though it meant removing four of our five fermenters. We shoe horned in the two new tanks and brought back three of existing tanks. One was sold to English Ales in Marina, CA and I hope that fermenter serves it's new owners as well as it did us. I'd like to give a shoutout to the guys at Silver State Stainless who did a great job on the tanks and helping us get everything in order...

The glycol cooling is getting hooked back up to the tanks and we have been brewing to get everything full and ready for the skiing season. We've got Foggy Goggle, Donner Party Porter, Trifecta Tripel and a double batch of Manifesto all in the tanks. With Base Camp and Rockslide on deck. Our barrel aged Imperial Stout also known as Imperial Eclipse Stout will be moved into kegs and our new Bright tank soon. Each barrel has to be tasted to determine if it's kegged or sent to the bright tank for bottling. The process should take a few days as this liquid gold needs to be handled gently. Bottles should be available around Christmas but watch this space as that date is still a moving target.

When we brewed Trifecta Tripel we had a guest brewer, Brandon Wright from Silver Peak Brewing in Reno came by to witness the magic Kyle and I perform. I'm not really sure Brandon got the full effect but as brewers we all do things differently basically as we all learned a certain way to do things... Brandon helped out quite a bit and he also took lot's of notes so I imagine he's either telling lot's of FiftyFifty jokes now or he learned a few new tricks...maybe both!!

On November 20th we acquired 40 kegs to help us further our expansion plans. These are 50 liter kegs and they are in good shape. We've got to clean them up and mark them as ours with our neon orange keg tape. The 20th was also Kyle's 40 something birthday...apparently he's not saying exactly so you may have to pry it out of him...

To close this posting I just wanted to say "did you know I was going to Germany?"...more of a bad running joke than anything. I head out for my annual trip to Bavaria. I go for the Christmas markets, beer research and r&r. I'll try to post from afar and let you all know how tough life is from over there.


Todd Ashman

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Brewery goings on...

Well, there's not a whole lot going on brewing wise. We've drawn three of our fermenters down to empty in anticipation of our new tanks coming...tomorrow! I'll be sure to take some pictures so you can see what happened...Beer wise there is a new batch of IPA...called CCIPA . It's made with Cascade and Columbus hops. It's very pale in color but still packs a hop wallop. Come by and check it out...



Thursday, October 16, 2008

New tanks are almost done...

If you haven't heard yet we're growing. Yes, the little brewery that could is gaining two new tanks. To better serve the greater Tahoe area we needed a little bit more capacity. Rather than going the typical route we engaged a more local stainless steel fabricator over in Mound House, NV. Mound House is due east of Carson City on Hwy 50. Mound House is famous for it's 'ranches' that have something to do with bunnies.

We wanted to use someone local to enable us to get service on the tanks if needed. It also keeps money here in the local area versus China or elsewhere...

We expect these tanks soon as the third week in October.



Tuesday, October 14, 2008

We're on the board!!! 2008 GABF medal winner!

Wow! A huge sigh of relief too! Yes, we did it. Though there were visions of grandere we did walk away with a bronze medal in the 'Other Strong Beer' category. There were 32 entries in the category and I am very happy it was the Imperial Stout. Yes, the same beer that is aging in Oak barrels here at the brewery. Gives us something to look forward to.

Now we wait on the judges comments to see how the other beers did or didn't so to speak. The trip to Denver was a good one. I'll elaborate on that in another post.



Sunday, October 5, 2008

Great American Beer Festival time again

For many brewers the GABF incapsulates the brewing year. Everything you work for during that year comes home to roost so to speak. Sure it's a great time to network with you colleagues but really it's about your beer(s) up against others beer(s) and how they all get judged by your 'peers'.

This will be FiftyFifty's second time at the GABF and we have a bit more time under our belt as well. We've entered 11 beers, mostly our best work to date.

They are:

Manifesto Pale Ale --- American Amber Ale category
Rockslide IPA --- American IPA category
Donner Party Porter --- Other Strong Ale or Lager
Imperial Stout --- Other Strong Ale or Lager
Trifecta Tripel --- Honey Beer
Brothers Beer --- Belgian and French Style Ale
Collaborative Evil --- Specialty Beer
Foggy Goggle --- Belgian and French Style Ale
BART --- Wood and Barrel Aged Dark Beer
Train Wreck of Flavor --- Wood and Barrel Aged Dark Beer
Cuvee De not Brewed in San Diego --- Wood and Barrel Aged Strong Beer

Luck or a craps shoot I'm not sure but I feel good about our beers this year. I'll chime in a time or two to let you know what's up in Denver.



Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Tap list...What's on at FiftyFifty

Base Camp
Donner Party Porter
Trifecta Tripel
Brothers Beer(Gone 10/3/08)
Collaborative Evil-Truckee

On tap soon...

Rockslide IPA
Columbus and Cascade IPA (I think we'll call it CC IPA)

Brewery News!!

We're getting new tanks in about 3 weeks and that means we'll have to empty 3 of our 5 fermenters for about 5-6 days. That means production will stop for a while and we'll be working hard to get everything back up to speed ASAP. We may be down a brand or two for a while but rest assured that we will strive to have all taps flowing. There might be a guest tap or two to get us through the downtime. Keep an eye here to stay informed with the latest info from the brewhouse.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Here we go!

It's not like I thought this up yesterday... I've wanted to do a blog for a while but, it takes a commitment to keep a blog up to date and interesting. I'll seek the help of Andy and Alicia Barr the owners of FiftyFifty, from Kyle the other Brewer(and my brother) and hopefully some of the other staff at the brewpub.

Here's to our blog!


Todd Ashman, Brewmaster