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Meet and Tweet

Board member Dustin Bagby will be taking over the Twitter responsibilities as Senior Vice President of Social Media. Follow us as he steps it up! @exnovobrew

Shopping

The days in the PNW get longer, dryer and warmer - and the brewery progresses. Even though we're probably a year or so away from when I'd like to open, I'm looking ahead to the fun stuff, both to get an idea of the real cost of things, and to narrow down the field of contenders. Monday I took a country drive down to Canby to visit Practical Fusion,IMG_5360 makers of brewery equipment and other masterpieces of stainless steel. I've been getting quotes for the past several months from manufacturers all over the west coast (and China), and there is a pretty wide gap in prices for comparable equipment, as well as in the amount of time the account managers want to give someone looking for a brewpub-sized system (me).

Long story short, I met Colin there, and he all but convinced me that I'm going to be getting our brewhouse and tanks from them, they're local, down to earth and quick to respond. They keep prices very reasonable with low overhead and a little bit of magic. I'm stoked, are you stoked?

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Also, I've been sort of looking around for a location, just to keep my mojo working, unfortunately we're not too close to being able to sign a lease just yet. This place would be cool though...maybe it will wait for me:

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The Barn Light

The Barn Light

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We drove down to Eugene this weekend with some friends from Minneapolis to check out The Barn Light, a bar/coffee shop opened by Sarah's old friend Thomas. Not yet two weeks old, The Barn Light  is basically the place that you wish you thought of yourself. Unless you hate vintage and repurposed things done in a tasteful and creative way, you will dig it in its entirety. All of us in the NW have seen reclaimed wood and old items used artistically, but the guys at the Barn Light really went for it, and did it pretty flawlessly. Aside from the vibe, they have a good lineup of draft and canned beer (obviously including Eugene staples Ninkasi, Oakshire, and Hop Valley), unique cocktails, top notch espresso, and some good grub (frito pie.)

So if you find yourself in Eugene for a Ducks game or some other reason, check them out.

Cheers.

Beer Report Card

I had to share this beer list from my new favorite spot, Crows Feet Commons, in Bend, Oregon.  It includes: beer name, date tapped, location of brewery, ABV, Color, smell, taste notes, who is this beer (my personal favorite column) and final grade by Beer Advocate.

Burnside Brewing

Burnside Brewing

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Dan and I went to Burnside Brewery last night, a first for both of us. I've got a thing that I do now (started in Albuquerque) where if I go to a new brewery, I order their flight. I highly recommend this approach if you're interested in seeing what a place can do: if they have one flagship beer and a then bunch of afterthoughts, if they are more creative than dialed in, etc. After tasting the lineup, I order up a pint of whatever I feel like.

Thoughts on Burnside: Pretty cool space, open industrial feel with super high (too high?) ceilings, a massive chalkboard with the lineup on it, nothing totally original but solid nonetheless. I've heard they do good food, but we abstained this time around. The beer was...ok. First off, their Sweet Heat - an apricot and pepper ale - was amazing, and it just won a gold at the Great American Brew Fest last weekend. Not something I'd drink a lot of, but one of the best creative beers I've ever had. Their sour (Gose) was good, refreshing and light - a great intro into sour beers. So those are two unusual beers, after that I wasn't too impressed with anything, especially their Pale lineup (IPA, OPA, DIPA). I feel like you kind of have to have those down in Portland, or else branch out and try something creative.

The place was packed though on Wednesday after 10, so they must be doing something right, aside from their great location...oh yeah, pints are $3 all-day Wednesdays. Good move.

Other thoughts on Burnside?

Worthless Wednesday

It's a scheduled brew night, and we're not brewing. I never thought 2 weeks would feel like a long time, but I'm getting used to this new schedule. Dan and I wil be drinking a beer tonight and scheming up ideas for our 2012 Christmas beer, next on the burner. Last year's tasted like all-spice tea with booze in it....we're going to do better this year.

John Fischer

Welp - my voice has been invited as an occasional guest on these ongoing beer conversations, although I'm not sure I'm worthy.  Official qualifications?  ummm...  novice home brewer, aspiring beer snob and friend/college roommate of Joel Robert Gregory.  But, I do live in Bend, Oregon:  which has one of the highest breweries-per-capita anywhere, and (I would argue) the BEST breweries-per-capita in the universe.  Joel and I took the wives out for dinner to Crux Fermentation Project (one of central Oregon's newest breweries) and pretty much ruined the night by talking about beer for 6 hours straight.  Joel even used beer as a metaphor for all that is excellent and aesthetic and interesting while trying to justify such a single topic conversation...  I was convinced and inspired, (but the girls weren't) and I decided that there is obviously a LOT to talk about on the matter.  So, here I am, or will be, when the inspiration hits me.

Ex Novo Brewing, International

Ex Novo Brewing, International

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Just wanted to give some love to our fans abroad, whomever you may be. I have to believe you are actual people, not computer programs designed to scour the blogging universe looking to steal genius ideas. We love you either way.

 

Taplist 2.0

Well readers, your voice has been heard. The initial poll results are in (although still open if you haven't voted) -  the results: #1: IPA - 19%

#2: Red Ale - 15.5%

#3: Lager/Pils - 13.8%

#4: three-way TIE!!!: Pale, Stout, Belgian/Wit - 8.6% each

This leaves us in quite the predicament, we'll have to get the board together to make some tough decisions. In the meantime, come out Wednesday and help us brew a Double IPA - the first time we've tried the style.

Don't Intervene

Brewed last night for our first fundraising benefit, it was awesome - more later. Also, I'm already back at it, working on the recipe for the Imperial IPA I'd like to brew next time - this isn't a problem, I swear.

What Have I Done?

It would seem I've handed the keys to the Ferrari to a couple of other guys who can now make their own posts on this here blog. Dan and Devin, furthermore Ex Novo contributors. Dan is super busy with his 'job' and saving lives and everything, plus I'm iffy on him figuring the whole internet thing out yet so I'm not sure we'll hear much from him.

DWYWWYWI

Whilst on a tour of breweries in my hometown of Albuquerque, NM - it struck me that a lot of beverage drinkers stick to their beer favorites, regardless of the situation. Me, I drink what I want when I want it. Despite the snarky ring to the catch phrase, see the truth here fellow beer snob. You are a stout guy, great - I get it...but are you truly enjoying that 8% stout on this 95 degree day in August? Hear me out. There are plenty of different scenarios, seasons, times of day, etc. and hooray there are just as many types of malt-hop-yeast cocktails. I offer no specific advice here other than hey, perhaps you should branch out some - that Pils you're ignoring may very well hit the spot well over the Double IPA you choke down this summer, and vice versa this fall.

brief shoutout to ABQ breweries visited last week: Marble brewery is really, really good. Didn't have a bad beer in the 8-beer flight. La Cumbre, winner of GOLD at the world beer cup for their Elevated IPA, could very well be deserved. Had a blast with friends and family, probably overdid it with my beer geekyness toward the end, and I'm not sorry.

Why We Love It

Why We Love It

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It's simple really, beer - like wine, coffee and whiskey - is an acquired taste. Some say, "why would I want to acquire a taste I don't like?" We gently take this person by the arm and say, "because friend, it can be so, so very good." While I'm the first to admit that I don't really go for the novelty chipotle-lavender-Belgian-wheat style beers, one could truly say that while the craft evolves, there is something for everyone. So why we may not change your mind, (or perhaps your mind does not need changing) we hope to have fun with this blog and share the story of beer making, beer enjoying, and perhaps the start of something new. Ex Novo - from scratch.