Dorchester Brewing

Brew Blog

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It’s a Collaboration: Guest Post from City Brew Tours

As part of our mission to highlight our contract brewing partners, today we’re featuring a guest blog showcasing a recent collaboration brew with City Brew Tours and Down the Road Beer Company, written by Malcolm Purinton, City Brew Tour Boston Guide and Beer Historian.

What a fun morning! We, the guides and crew of City Brew Tours Boston, joined Donovan Bailey of Down the Road Beer Company and everyone at Dorchester Brewing today to put together our first collaboration beer ever! Down the Road is one of Dorchester’s partner breweries and is brewing several of its great brews on site. In addition, Dorchester Brewing is one of our newest City Brew Tour partners and it was a pleasure to be able to have us all in one place collaborating!

Today was a rather dark and rainy day here in Boston, which made it a perfect time to be inside brewing on Dorchester’s 5-barrel pilot system! Cody, Dorchester Brewing’s assistant brewer, led the way and showed us step-by-step how they do things at DBC. He started by pouring specialty grains into the mill using the recipe that Donovan created with the Boston Brew Tour guides. Even though it was 8am, we enjoyed some delightful breakfast beer including DBco’s tart Resolution Berliner and Jamaican rum-barrel-aged Bikini Bottom. We hope ours comes out even half as good!

What were we brewing do you ask? Well, a perfect beer for a frigid Boston winter: a hot chocolate flavored porter that we’re calling Wicked Wintah! We came up with the recipe and ingredients through collaboration with DBco and Down the Road by combining the flavors of Down the Road’s London-style porter with a touch of vanilla, a bit of lactose, and some cocoa nibs. It will be a delicious and cozy way to enjoy whatever this wintah turns out to be like. Here’s hoping for more snow and less rain!

While the misty winter rain fell outside, Cody got our wort up to a nice boil and Matt, Dorchester Brewing Co-founder/CEO, led us on a personal tour of the brewery – including the huge freezer in the back! During the tour Matt told us all about the history behind DBco and how they work closely with their many brewing partners. Seeing how shiny and new everything was made us all very excited to show off DBco’s operation to our future tour guests!

With today’s brewing complete and the Wicked Wintah beginning its primary fermentation, we cannot wait to taste it! The team and I are so grateful for the opportunity to brew with the folks at DTR and DBco!

In just a few weeks, we’re going to share this Wicked Wintah porter at a release party hosted by DBco. With some sweet original artwork by Down the Road’s remarkable label artist, this brew will be packaged and available in crowlers and on draught in select locations come late January. The release party is scheduled for Friday, January 27th at Dorchester Brewing Company from 5pm-11pm. Is there a theme you ask? Yes, we felt a Wicked Wintah 80’s ski party would be RAD! If your wardrobe lacks 80s’ winter gear, just dress ’80s!

We’ll be giving away City Brew Tours swag as well as a special getaway package that includes Ski Tickets with City Brew Tours tickets.

The folks at the M&M Rib Truck will be there all night! We’ll have snacks to enjoy on-hand as well as a special treat provided by City Brew Tours for the first 20 guests who purchase a pint of Wicked Wintah!

Come after work, come for a night out, whatever you prefer! Either way, we can’t wait to see you there!

 

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Holiday Events and Hours

Holiday season is upon us! Besides planning some awesome events, we wanted to share our updated business hours during the holidays, so that you can plan accordingly!
Holiday Hours
  • Christmas Eve: 12/24/16- 11:30am-6pm
  • Christmas Day: 12/25/16- CLOSED
  • New Year’s Eve: 12/31/16- 11:30am-12:30AM *Extended business hoursfor New Years Eve Bash!
  • New Year’s Day: 01/01/17- CLOSED
Upcoming Holiday Events

Don’t forget to stock up for your next holiday party – When you buy 4 Crowlers (32oz cans), you get a FREE DBco T-shirt through Christmas! We also have gift cards available for purchase in any amount in the Tap Room.

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Down the Road Beer Company Announces the Newest Addition to its Session Beer Lineup: Patchwork Kilt Scottish Ale

We’re thrilled to share the news about Down the Road Beer Company’s newest addition to the company’s session beer lineup brewed at Dorchester Brewing Company!

Here’s a copy of their latest press release announcing the beer details and info on the upcoming launch party at DBco:

Down The Road Beer Company is pleased to announce the Patchwork Kilt Scottish Ale, the newest addition to the company’s session beer lineup. This malt-forward beer is hauntingly complex with deep, rustic notes of dried fruit and fresh honey. Patchwork Kilt clocks in at 4.5% ABV, the perfect balance for taking the edge off without losing your wits. This Ale pours a dark copper with a creamy head. The nose is thick and almost bready with a faint hint of currants. On the palate, Kilt is smooth, almost silky, with a delicate, honeyed sweetness that gives way to roasty malt and a homely smokiness.

Each beer from Down The Road draws on a character from folklore often with an emphasis on the region from which the brew originates. The Patchwork Kilt is an homage to the Headless Drummer of Edinburgh Castle, a protective spirit that strikes fear into the hearts of intruders, villains and blaggards who would threaten the ancient stronghold of the Scots.

The Patchwork Kilt was brewed under contract at Dorchester Brewing Company in Dorchester, MA. This is the first beer Down The Road has brewed at Dorchester Brewing Company, Boston’s first and only dedicated partnership brewing facility. In response to strong customer demand for its Fresh, Local and Inspired beer, Down The Road will be opening its own Taproom and Brewery in Everett, MA in early 2017 and is also expanding its contract brewing relationships. The company hopes to brew additional styles at Dorchester Brewing Company later this year while maintaining its existing brewing relationships. Down The Road will be the first Brewing Partner for Dorchester Brewing which opened in July 2016.

To celebrate this partnership and the release of Down the Road’s Patchwork Kilt Scottish Ale, the companies are hosting a release party at Dorchester Brewing Company at 1250 Massachusetts Avenue in Dorchester on Friday, November 4th from 6-11pm. The event will include complimentary traditional Scottish fare from The Haven in Boston, as well as Down the Road Beer merchandise specials. Partners from Down the Road will be on hand to serve up the Kilt. For more information about the event, visit: //www.dorchesterbrewing.com/events/event/downtheroad/

 

By in Brew Blog, Meet Our Team 0

All About Quality Control (And Fred!)

As part of our “Meet the Team” series, we’ve been introducing you to members on our team that make it all happen! Today, we’re excited to get to the down and dirty of actually making the beer…good beer at that. In fact, the best. We’re extremely proud of the steps we put in place to ensure the highest quality beer production for all of our beers including our house beers as well as our brewing partners. To that end…have ya met Fred?

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Fred Hamp, DBco’s Lab & Quality Assurance Manager became involved with DBco from his old friend Todd, our Head Brewer, from their days at Harpoon. Fred had been a stay at home dad for a few years and the timing was right for him to re-emerge into the craft beer scene at Boston’s newest startup. Fred has been with us since our building was a bit of a construction zone and he helped us design our QA program from the ground up (literally from the dirt floor!).

Fred’s love affair with brewing started long ago, fresh out of college. He hounded every brewpub and brewery in the Buffalo area until finally Tim Herzog of Flying Bison Brewery took pity on a him and let him clean kegs and access his brewing library. While there, Fred became committed to brewing professionally and saved his pennies to pay for the Master Brewers Program at University California Davis. After graduating, he took a job with Harpoon and did pretty much every job in the business until finding his passion for Quality Assurance and Control. After working with Todd at Harpoon, the rest was history!

When we tasked Fred with developing our lab and QA program, we told him to go big or go home.  As Fred mentioned, “The lab and QA program at DBco is state of the art for a brewery even 5 times our size. We place the quality of our brews on a pretty high pedestal.” When pulling it all together, he purchased the best equipment out there to ensure a high quality end product including: A Haffmans combined CO2/02 meter with piercing station for cans/bottles, a laminar flow hood that is PCR ready for micro work, a pharmaceutical grade spectrophotomer, a microscope for quantification of yeast, an autoclave, incubator, and more! We’ve got quite the science lab in the middle of the brewery.

When he’s not elbows up in beer, Fred loves to immerse himself in the craft beer culture. When we asked him his favorite beer, he said, “
I think choice is incredibly important. As an example, who wants to listen to the same album over and over again?  Sometimes you want speed metal, other times EDM, funk or classic rock. When I drink beer, I usually let the season/ time of year influence me. My favorite DBco beer right now is the soon to be released Baltic Porter.  It is incredibly balanced and complex… a real treat.”
And, as a last word from Fred, he believes”Beer is culture.  People come together over beer and this allows an environment for ideas and beliefs to swirl together.  The diversity of the community in Dorchester makes this dynamic even more exciting.”

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Fall Beer Profiles and Oktoberfest

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Now that we’re into September, you’ve been seeing a change on tap at your favorite bar and liquor stores. To really get into the spirit of fall beer, we thought we’d talk about fall beer flavor profiles and what exactly it is about fall beer that makes it so…..fall. And what you can expect for the next month at DBco.

When you’re looking at a traditional fall beer flavor profile, there are some obvious differences then summer beers – no matter what type of beer drinker you are from novice to expert. Fall beers typically have a maltier profile than summer beers, which are often dry and quenching. Traditionally, the German Fest beer and Austrian Vienna Lager are the go-to styles for Fall. Both have smooth, lasting malt flavors accompanied by the herbal and spicy hop notes that German hops are known for. For Fall, our Head Brewer, Todd Charbonneau thinks of darker, sweeter malt profiles with generally more substance than Summer beers, so that’s what you’ll be tasting. Todd and the rest of our team over here love to transition into a deeper beer with these flavors with a lasting, smooth finish. But, not too early! We waited until post-Labor day for a reason. Don’t rush it – just enjoy it. Fall never tasted so sweet.

Where exactly does all of this Oktoberfest come from? If you want a little mini history lesson, the original October fest or Marzen style was typically brewed in March (Marzen). Then, they cellared it in cool caves throughout the warm German Summer to drink in the fall. The original Munich Oktoberfest was held in October of 1810 to celebrate the marriage of Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese. Today, Munich continues to celebrate annual every mid-September through early October, known as Oktoberfest. Us Americans, as we typically do, latched on to have our own celebration!

To kick things off, TODAY we are releasing our very own Oktoberfest beer called Dorchester Festbier. It’s our version of the German Fall classic that is fully bright and deep golden. It’s brewed with Vienna and Pilsner malts with malty sweetness throughout. The 6.3 ABV beer is well balanced by a single addition of German Hallertauer Tradition hops with a long and satisfying finish. Try it today with one of the bgood pretzels and brats!

We’re also super excited to announce our very own Oktoberfest event, taking place the same time as Munich’s kickoff on Saturday, September 17th. We’ll be celebrating all day from 11:30am-11pm with lots going on including food specials from our food vendors, a traditional German band, and lots of fun Oktoberfest themed surroundings (just wait!). Get more info here.

By in Brew Blog 0

5 Things to Consider When Building Your Brewery

Today on our blog, we’ve got a special treat for you! Our friends over at Zajac, who know a thing or two about building out breweries, have put together a few essential things to consider for anyone thinking about building a brewery. Zajac is a leading supplier to the Craft Brewing industry, delivering high quality process piping, custom stainless steel fabrication and complete packaging lines since 1975.  They provide all of the mechanical and electrical services including brewhouse installation, fermentation tank installation, filtration piping, process skids, valve manifolds and CIP systems. They were an incredible partner in helping us build out our space over the past few months, resulting in what you see today!

  1. Plan to plan: Your business plan should have a direct impact on the brewery, cellar, utility and packaging equipment that you are going to invest in. Are you planning on adding additional fermentation down the road to increase capacity? It’s much easier and less expensive in the long run to plan on additional cooling capacity in the initial design than it is to replace the chiller in the future and/or have to increase the size of the distribution system. The bottles you have now are great – but are you looking to add a can line down the road?  Planning for the future significantly impacts not only which equipment to buy, but how equipment will be laid out in the plant and how material flows through your facility. Going through a tough planning stage now will save you substantial time, money, and stress down the road.
  2. Safety first: Your goal is for all your employees to go home safe and happy every day. You can take steps to achieve this goal in the design stage – plan a thorough review of your layout and question everything from a safety perspective. Should the brewers be lifting a heavy bag of grain that high? Is there any chance your platforms and walking surfaces are going to have standing water on them creating a slip hazard? There are a million decisions that need to be reviewed from a safety perspective – take the time now to create a safer place to work for your team.
  3. Pack it in: As many brewers have told us, packaging systems are much more complex than they had ever imagined and is an area they constantly struggle with. Packaging equipment is expensive, difficult to install and commission, and has a large footprint that results in numerous material handling and foot traffic issues. Due to the cost and size, packaging equipment needs to be closely tied to your business plan and should be a driving factor in determining the pace you need for your brewery.
  4. Utilities, utilities, utilities: The beer is the fun stuff – who doesn’t like shopping for a new brewhouse? Utilities aren’t sexy, but they are incredibly important in allowing you to consistently put out a quality product that you can be proud of. The biggest issue we see is under sizing utility systems. Electrical, glycol, steam, water and waste all play an important part in delivering a repeatable product. Designing and installing utility systems that both adequately meet yours process needs and incorporates important safety elements is extremely difficult and should be left to a qualified integrator. Your utilities are also likely subject to unique regional/city codes; it is best to meet with local inspectors/authorities as early as possible in order to determine what permits, licenses, inspections, etc. are required. Steam and electrical are particular utilities to examine closely.
  5. Go with the flow: The flow of product, ingredients, materials, equipment, waste, and people will always be something you have to manage and should be considered before construction begins. Those beautiful, 12’ shiny tanks will look amazing – once you find a way to get them through your 8’ doors. Is there adequate space to move your raw materials from receiving to your process area? Are your forklifts going to be constantly zooming through high foot traffic areas – creating a safety hazard? What is the plan to conduct safe tours of your new brewery while your team is operating the system? All of these flows need to be carefully reviewed to run a safe and efficient operation.

Zajac understands the enormous task ahead of you. They have been working with breweries like Dorchester Brewing Company for over 30 years. Contact them today to discuss your upcoming project!