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I’ve been passionate about beer since 1992 when I started working at a local beer store in Austin’s Hyde Park area, Pronto Food Mart, where dozens of beers are available. Inspired by some of my favorite beers being locally produced along with the resurrection of US craft brewing, I dove into the rapidly growing home brewing movement. The experience of brewing my own beer gave me the opportunity to question all aspects of beer making, seeking to understand the contribution of each ingredient, while participating in the evolution and maturing of the Austin beer drinking community. The more beers I tried, the more I liked. I soon realized that understanding beer is not a destination, it’s a journey…

(512) Foudres

NEW BEER: (512) WHITE IPA

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(512) WHITE IPA

Malt Bill:                     Pilsner and Organic White Wheat Malt
SRM (color):              3
Hop Varieties:          Apollo, Mosaic, Caliente, Chinook Dry Hop
IBU:                              55
Spices:                         Coriander Seed and Orange Peel
Yeast :                          Belgian Ardennes
ABV:                             5.3%

 

TASTING NOTES:
Refreshingly light, this Belgian inspired India Pale Ale delivers hot weather satisfaction with pronounced hop character and flavor. Built like a Belgian wheat beer, but brewed, hopped and finished  like an IPA, two classic brewing cultures collide in this delightful creation that is both sessionable (at 5.3% ABV) and amazingly flavorful.  We hope we’ve made enough, so don’t miss it!

(512) BREWERY TOURS ARE BACK!!

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Tours are now held weekly on Saturdays. There are two tours to choose from: 11am-noon and 12:30-1:30pm. Space is limited to 30 people to keep it intimate and tickets are available through EVENTBRITE.COM

Price of admission includes a tour of the facility, a logo pint glass and lots of beer samples

Come and see the brewery and taste something special!

FIVE ANNIVERSARY PARTY

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Thanks for joining us on Saturday. We had a great time hosting and we hope you enjoyed the party! Look for (512) FIVE – Imperial Stout in bars and restaurants now and look for BRUIN and Cascabel Cream Stout to follow.

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Weekly Tours at (512)

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We love to talk about beer and how we make beer so damn much we’re doubling our tour dates moving forward. We will host 2 brewery tours on most Saturdays.

RSVP and BUY TICKETS HERE:

Visit EVENTBRITE to buy Tickets.

BEER/CHEESE PAIRING @ (512) DEC 13th

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Please Join Slow Food Austin, (512) Brewing Company and Antonelli’s Cheese Shop for our annual Beer and Cheese Pairing at the brewery.

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NEW TOUR DATES – STARTING NOV 10th!

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Sorry for the tour hiatus – we’ve been busy as all get out! We’ve finally finished enough of our latest round of expansion to let the tours resume!

Check out EVENTBRITE to sign up!

In the meantime, don’t miss our 4th Anniversary Event, Sunday, October 28th 1-5pm at the brewery

(512) BLACK IPA – DON’T MISS IT

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One of the difficult things about commercial brewing on a large scale is the inability to brew the same beer multiple times. The seasonal schedule moves on and although smaller test batches can give some indication of what to expect, there’ nothing like brewing using the more efficient, more controllable commercial brewing equipment we have.

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New from (512) Brewing: NITRO BEER!

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We’ve come to expect great things from our Head Brewer, Nate. When you’ve produced as many successful ideas as he has, the bar is always creeping ever higher. This time, however, he’s really whipped up something special.

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(512) BREWING + ANTONELLI’S CHEESE SHOP = SLOW FOOD AUSTIN EVENT DEC 15th

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Please Join Slow Food Austin, (512) Brewing Company and Antonelli’s Cheese Shop for our annual Beer and Cheese Pairing

Thursday, December 15th, 2011 7-9pm.

This has become a mainstay in our annual scheduling. A Beer and Cheese Pairing…an homage to the bi-annual event held in Bra, Italy by Slow Food International, CHEESE. Proceeds benefit Slow Food Austin.

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NEW TOUR DATES THROUGH DECEMBER!!!

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CLICK HERE FOR (512) BREWING TOUR TICKETS

 

 

Brandy Barrel Aged ONE

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We’re excited to announce the release of our Brandy Barrel Aged ONE. You probably will recall the ONE was our first anniversary beer, and we’ve brewed it every year since. This Belgian-Style Strong Ale is brewed with large helpings of Belgian Caramunich malts and Round Rock honey.

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NEW TOUR DATES

We’ve posted new tour dates on Eventbrite. Register HERE

http://bit.ly/oCHseU

Note: August 6th tours are sold out.

thanks for the support!

 

in.gredients – first packaging free, zero waste grocery

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I was very excited to read about a new micro grocery store, in.gredients, opening soon in Austin and focused on being package free and zero waste. Check them out here and read about them here.

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New TOUR Date Added – Check it out!

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Go here to register for the upcoming tours

-(512) Team

(512) Brewery Tours – NOW AVAILABLE

The (512) Brewery

We’re glad to finally be able to offer private tours of (512) Brewing Company!! Click here to register. The tour is free and offered only to registered ticket holders. We’ll be adding more dates shortly.

Thanks for all the continued support!

(512) Team

ION ART Event Featuring (512) ALT – This Saturday

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(512) ALT – 2011 HITTING BARS NOW!

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We’ve released (512) ALT this year and we are very excited about how well it turned out. Our Head Brewer, Nate, and the tireless (512) production crew tweaked it a touch in the spirit of continuous improvement and waited on it a bit longer to give it a look and flavor that’s really outstanding

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UPDATE: Help Support Small TX Breweries TODAY! HB 2436 / SB 1575

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UPDATE: I have some good news and some other good news.  Which one you want to hear first? OK first the good news – HB 2436 is scheduled for hearing in the House Licensing and Administrative Procedures Committee meeting on Tuesday, April 19 at 8 am.  TOMORROW

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DOUBLE PECAN PORTER

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Yes, this year’s edition in 750ml bottles is making its way to stores now. Email me here (kevin@512brewing.com) to find our where you can get it. This is a stronger, more intense version of our famous Pecan Porter recipe aged 2 months in Maker’s Mark Bourbon barrels.

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Support Texas HB2436 – Legislation to allow sales on site for On/Off Premise Consumption

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HB 2436/SB 1575 would allow small Texas breweries (under 75,000 bbl of production) to sell the beer/ale that they brew to the ultimate consumer for off-premises or on-premises consumption.  It would extend to small breweries the privilege of operating a pub with the same rights and responsibilities as a holder of a wine and beer retailer’s permit but with regard to their own products only.

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New Brewer Magazine cites Kevin Brand as one of 7 New Craft Brewers “Committed to the Good Beer Cause”

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Nate, Rob and I attended the Brewers Association’s Craft Brewers Conference in San Francisco last week (along with 3900 other industry professionals-brewing celebrities included) and, upon arrival, we were greeted by a copy of the latest New Brewer magazine published by the BA.

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SPRING OPEN HOUSE – Featuring (512) Black IPA


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(512) BLACK IPA – nonsensical but delicious

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Our newest beer is something of a paradox. Its very existence is puzzling. The style it falls under, if it falls under one at all, is touted as the first “new” style of beer created in quite some time. This is troubling, as it is well known, especially in the beer world, that there is nothing new under the sun. It’s all been done before.

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DAZED AND CONFUSED (512) Beer Dinner – THIS THURSDAY 2/3

We’ve teamed up with one of our favorite locally owned movie, beer, and food houses up north to present the home-grown Austin original DAZED AND CONFUSED with a multi-course gourmet feast featuring 512 beer pairings. Join us as we taste our way through the 512 catalog of beers while we watch Richard Linklater’s quintessential take on 1970′s high school life.

Beers included: (512) WIT, (512) PALE, (512) IPA, (512) Pecan Porter, (512) BRUIN, (512) Cascabel Cream Stout and (512) Whiskey Barrel Aged Double Pecan Porter

Do not miss this event. Google DAZED AND CONFUSED (512) Beer Dinner for more info. If you need more information, email me and ask. kevin@512brewing.com

Introducing…(512) Cascabel Cream Stout – Available NOW!

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Cream stouts, sometimes referred to as Milk stouts or Sweet stouts, have a long history in England, though few imported examples are available today in the U.S. Originally touted for their nutritional value, Cream stouts were marketed to lactating mothers for their health benefits as a result of the addition of lactose, or milk sugar.

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RAISE THE REX event for Yellow Bike – Friday 1/14/11

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Tradition Worth Tapping Into

(512) WHISKEY BARREL AGED DOUBLE PECAN PORTER

2010 RELEASE – CASK ONLY – NOW AVAILABLE!

Today’s American beer culture is driven by innovation. It’s what put American brewing on the map in the early 80’s. It’s what allowed the U.S. to support more breweries in 2009 than it’s had since prohibition; and it’s what has the world’s traditional brewing powers on their heels and clamoring to catch up (We’re looking at you Germany). Sometimes, though, innovation requires looking back to a tradition that’s hundreds of years old. Such is the case for us.

For over a year now we’ve been producing a small amount of our beer in cask conditioned form. “Cask-conditioned” is a specification that refers to the way a beer is carbonated and packaged. This has been the traditional method of producing and serving ales in the British Isles for hundreds of years, and is still considered by many to be beer in its purest form. The large majority of beers produced in America, however, are carbonated in a final holding tank called a “bright tank” using pressurized carbon dioxide. The CO2 is dissolved into the beer and remains in suspension until poured, also by way of pressurized carbon dioxide.  Pouring causes some of the carbonation to be roused out of suspension, forming the picturesque head you’ve come to expect on your pint. Cask beer, however, uses no pressurized CO2 either in carbonation or serving.


(512) Firkins

A standardized definition:

Cask ale or cask-conditioned beer is the term for unfiltered and unpasteurised beer which is conditioned (including secondary fermentation) and served from a cask without additional nitrogen or carbon dioxide pressure.

Thus, in order to be called cask beer, a beer must undergo a secondary fermentation within its final vessel. This can be done several ways; the most common method involves adding a small amount of unfermented beer (called wort) to the finished beer just before packaging it. The dormant yeast, now aching for sugar, will greedily consume the small amount of sugar found in the wort, releasing several byproducts, most notably a fair amount of CO2. This CO2, having nowhere to go, ends up dissolving back into the beer over the course of several weeks, carbonating the beer naturally, and (as many Brits would argue) providing the beer with a creamier head than it would normally have. The beer was traditionally served out of wooden vessels, most of which have given way to stainless steel barrel-shaped vessels called firkins. Funny as the name may be, this type of vessel is ideal for the storage and service of cask beer due to its ability to trap sedimented yeast and prevent it from ending up in your glass. The beer is then served via a hammered-in tap or hand-pulled beer engine. Both methods provide a superb pint.

What does all of this mean for you? Our brewers have been working hard to hone this art (make no mistake, it is an art), through research and a fair bit of experimentation. You may have seen or tried some of our cask beers available during Austin Beer Week. However, in the spirit of setting the bar ever higher, we are preparing to undergo our first (and to our knowledge Texas’ first as well) cask only release. What beer do we have to offer that’s worthy of such a monumental event? Our Whiskey Barrel Aged Double Pecan Porter, of course. This beer, a stronger version of our normal Pecan Porter, spent 10 months aging in Jack Daniels Whiskey barrels before the barrels were blended together and packaged in a limited (and we mean LIMITED) amount of firkins. We tasted the beer earlier this week (to many thumbs way up) and expect it to be released sometime early this month. We also expect to release the 2011 vintage of this beer sometime early in the new year.

Head Brewer, Nate Seale (left), and Assistant Brewer, Spencer Tielkemeier

Racking this year’s Whiskey BA Double Pecan Porter from Jack Daniels barrels

If you’ve never been to a cask beer tapping, we heartily encourage you to seek one out (we can think of a couple that should be happening soon…) The experience, if done properly, is one you won’t forget. There’s nothing like a hammer, a handheld tap, and some spraying beer to put you in touch with your beer-drinking roots. Cask tappings bring ritual to beer culture and provide a communal drinking experience to everyone at the bar. Plus they’re just plain fun.

Look for more cask releases coming soon.

Cheers!

Stainless Is Overrated

Along with much of the rest of the craft brewing world, we’ve found ourselves somewhat enthralled with sour beers recently. This year’s Great American Beer Festival afforded us the opportunity to taste a huge variety of world-class sour ales from around the country, ranging from funky to tart, from intriguingly pleasant to nearly unpalatable. Through tasting this gamut of beers we were able to gain a better notion of what works and what doesn’t in sour beer.

The interesting thing about sour beers is that they have very little history in the United States, so essentially everything we tasted was an experiment of some sort. Combine that with the fact that sour beer production requires the introduction of wild and oftentimes unpredictable strains of bacteria and yeast to the beer, which yield very different flavors and characteristics depending on their environment, and you’ve got a very mysterious and alluring beer genre on your hands. Now you can see why we’re so smitten.

So, in the spirit of half-cockedness, we decided to do some experimenting of our own. We bought a few barrels, threw some wild critters in and crossed our fingers. Actually it was a little more systematic than that. Earlier this month we became the proud owners of 4 brand new American Oak barrels made by World Cooperage. For those of you who’ve never seen a fresh oak barrel, it’s a work of art. Oak barrels make ideal vessels for sour beer because of the porosity of the wood. Essentially, once a barrel is inoculated with bacteria or wild yeast, it’s reached the point of no return and will inoculate anything else that’s put into the barrel (much to the dismay of the world’s winemakers). This works perfectly for us, as it will allow us to maintain a constant and consistent source of bacteria.

On inoculation day we sprayed the insides of each barrel with a strain of Brettanomyces that we’ve been culturing in-house for over 10 months. We then added a dose of Pediococcus (aka Satanobacter) to each barrel and finished off the cocktail by filling the barrels with freshly fermented (512) BRUIN. This beer is our recently released fall seasonal Double Brown Ale. We feel the malt character of the Bruin will work well with the sourness provided by the bacteria and yeast. At least, we hope it will. The beautiful thing about an experiment like this is that there’s a fair amount of mystery involved.  Nothing like brewing sour beer to take you back to the days of “Relax, don’t worry. Have a homebrew.” After filling the barrels we did as Dr. Papazian prescribes, and will now let the beer age for months. We can’t yet provide an E.T.A. for this experiment. As we mentioned, souring microbes are interesting creatures, and simply can’t be held to a timeline. However, look forward to some interesting experimental sours coming out sometime in the (somewhat) near future.

In the meantime, try some sours from other breweries, if you can get your hands on them. (Spencer recommends Monk’s Café Flemish Red)

Cheers!

The (512) Team

(512) Capacity Grows by 40% Overnight!

We’re the proud new owners of yet two more 60BBL fermentation tanks at (512) Brewing! More beer to come!! This expansion represents a 40% increase in production capacity and brings our total annual production volume to well over 4000BBL per year!  In addition to allowing us the ability to keep up with continued demand for (512) beers, these tanks will likely enable Nate to brew some of the many new creations we have in the works.

Where could these tanks fit in our current space, you may be asking? Well, we took this opportunity to relocate the chiller to outside, which was very similar to a heart transplant for the brewery. The chiller supplies cold antifreeze solution (glycol/water) to the fermentation tanks and cold water tank on demand and in order to not interrupt a very tight production schedule, taking the chiller off line for as short a time as possible was crucial. Nate’s skills in working under fire constantly made it a pretty painless transition, but this is it, as far as new tanks, for this space. New tanks, scheduled for sometime in the 1st quarter of 2011, will accompany a new chiller and hopefully the adjoining rest of the building.

Thanks for creating a need for us to grow as rapidly as we have!

Always drink fresh local draft!

2nd Anniversary Open House: (512) TWO – Double IPA

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Come Taste Our 2nd Anniversary Brew
SAT, Aug 28th – 2-5pm

Get three free tastes. Buy a new
2nd ANNIVERSARY PINT GLASS for $5
and we’ll use your new glass as the tasting glass.
Cash and checks only please.

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RARE Magazine reader’s vote (512) Best Brewery!

Rare Magazine published their 2010 Rarest of Them All edition and (512) was the reader’s choice for Best Brewery!

See the issue online here and learn more about Rare Magazine here.

Thanks Austin for voting!

OPEN HOUSE June 19, 2-5pm!

Join us for an early summer Open House as we re-release our 1st Anniversary beer, (512) ONE, a Belgian Style Strong Ale, both because this beer is fantastic and something I always want to have at least on the seasonal rotation, but also as prelude to (512) two. There will be a free raffle!

Saturday, June 19 2-5 pm
Click here to easily Find Us

(512) Charity Event with LifeWorks

We had a great time hosting a fundraiser happy hour with LifeWorks in May. LifeWorks transitions youth and families from crisis to safety and success. I really enjoyed learning more about what they do at multiple locations around Austin, including their main location right across Ben White from the brewery. They have a new facility in planning that sounds amazing. Please spend some time checking out their website and consider donating or volunteering your time.

Thanks to all the volunteers from Lifeworks and AMD for jumping in a making the event a success. Also, thanks to Taco Deli and the great companies behind the raffle items – AMD, Nuo-Tech, and Barton Creek Resort and others.

I’ll post a few shots from the event. We’ll likely do something again with them and I’ll be sure to advertise well in advance because this is a great organization that makes a real impact in Austin.

(512) Sponsors Danskin Women’s Triathalon Team

(512) sponsored a team in the Danskin Women’s Triathalon – Austin. They finished 4th in the corporate relay division! Way to go!

Nate’s 100th Batch at (512)!

Nate Seale, Head Brewer here at (512) Brewing Company, has been here from nearly the beginning and completed his 100th batch brewed with (512) in mid March! In addition, he’s done it with no help AND he performed practically all the cellar work to get the beer into kegs. Hat’s off to Nate as he makes progress towards 1000 batches with (512)! His dedication and tireless service has been key to our success!

To celebrate, Nate’s getting a full time assistant to help move us to the next level in brewing volume. As beer sales continue to rise, Nate will be able to focus full time on brewing, scheduling, and ordering and be able to leave keg and tank washing and soon, keg filling, to his first (of many) direct report.

Here are a few photos of Nate since day 1:


More Tanks = More Beer!

About two weeks ago, we received two new 60BBL (barrel) fermentation tanks. After standing them up  they were plumbed and the first was filled with (512) IPA within 24 hours of arrival! The second was filled a day or so later as well!

Adding these beauties increases our fermentation capacity from 170BBL to 290BBL, or a 70% increase since last June. Amazingly, we’ve already more than tripled the original capacity of 90BBL.

Now, what does that mean in terms of beer? Assuming it takes on average 3 weeks from the start of fermentation until the tank can be used again, or about 15 turns a year (with yield)… originally we had an annual capacity of about 1300 BBL per year (bbl=barrel=31gallons). With these new tanks and the 80BBL tank we installed last June, we now can produce over 4000 BBL a year !

We’re really looking forward to having some breathing room to enable us to get ahead, continue to expand (512) beer availability and to be able to produce new and exciting seasonal and one-off creations.

Come out the SPRING OPEN HOUSE this Saturday and see the new tanks in person.

(512) Whiskey Barrel Aged Double Pecan Porter in BOTTLES!

We’re proud to officially announce and release (512)’s first ever bottling effort. Last week, Nate and Rob tirelessly filled and labeled 187 bottles (750ml) by hand. Today we’re shipping them out to local stores who got wind of them early and contacted us with orders (to be named on request). I hope this gives some of you a chance to share (512) and bring it into your homes for the first time. These should cellar well and get even better with some age.

P.S. – Join our mailing list and look for an invite to our Spring Open House in March.The 2010 (512) ALT will be released and a party will ensue. If you’ve been here before and vowed not to brave the crowds again, we’ve expanded our event service quite a bit and should be better able to accomodate everyone with ease, so come join us!

Thanks for all the support! Please keep drinking local beer! -Kevin

(512) Makes Bon Appetit!

Thanks to House Pizzeria (a fabulous new restaurant at 51st/Airport), (512) was mentioned in the Feb 2010 edition of Bon Appétit.

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Now Available: (512) Whiskey Barrel Aged Double Pecan Porter

Our first barrel project is in kegs and on it’s way to beer bars around Austin. This is a bigger, bolder version of our mainstay Pecan Porter, with a richer finish. Two months on recently emptied Jack Daniels select barrels imparted a wonderful vanilla character from the oak and a pleasant amount of whiskey nose and flavor. All in all, I’m really proud of the hard work and effort put into this beer. Our first attempt at brewing it and our first attempt at managing barrels has paid off for everyone! Seek out this beer, but don’t put it off. There is a very limited number of kegs available and it might go fast…

Thanks for all the support this year and look for a whole lot of (512) activities and exciting beers in 2010!

1st Anniversary Celebration, Aug 1, 2-5pm

Join Us for oour 1st Aniversary Celebration!

Come and taste our
1st Anniversary Ale – (512) ONE
A Belgian-Style Strong Ale with Organic base grains,
Forbidden Fruit yeast, domestic hops and
local Good Flow wildflower honey.

FIND US

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

Expansion & (512) ONE – 1st Anniversary Ale

Look at all these tap handles, slated for many more locations around Austin. Thanks to your continued support, we’re growing rapidly. If you know of a place that should have (512) or doesn’t have your favorite (512) style, please let us know!

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To support all the new accounts and at least 5 beers , more fermentation capacity is required, so we located a good used tank and received it this week! Soon it will be installed and ready for fermenting and aging (512) Beers! 80BBL Uni-tank!

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This extra fermentation space will enable us to continue to brew exciting and new seasonals while maintaining the four core (512) beers. Speaking of seasonals…

(512) ONE, our 1st Anniversary Ale, is due to be released at the Anniversary Party. I’ll send out an email with the party and beer details soon…

Thanks for all the support and please keep drinking local draft!

Join the email list here

‘09 Spring Open House Success

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The (512) Spring Open House was another great party with a huge turn out!

See some photos HERE(John Knox) or HERE(bassist, Debra Parr) .

We changed our beer serving strategy to shorten the lines, although it sounds like the line was still too long and slow. The next event will be better…..I promise. As Chip told me once, “you just need to do more of these”… and we will!

Thanks so much to all my volunteers and to everyone who made it out to try the (512) ALT. Look for the ALT for a few more weeks around town!!

Also, a HUGE thanks to Danny Fast Fingers and his band. They played a couple of great sets as the first band (of many to come) to play at (512). Thanks, Danny. Check HERE to see where Danny will be playing next!

Look for a summer event of some sort. Our anniversary is coming up in July and we’re hoping to brew something very special, most likely labeled (512) ONE, to commemorate our first year of brewing and selling in Austin!

Join the email list and get out and support local businesses and local breweries!

THANKS FOR ALL THE SUPPORT!

(512) Makes the Daily Texan

(512) was mentioned in an article Thursday in the UT Austin newspaper, the Daily Texan. Check it out here.

Thanks to Mandy for the great write up!

SPRING OPEN HOUSE

Live Music with Austin’s own

Danny Fast Fingers

Taste ALL the (512) Ales plus
our latest offering:
the (512) ALT

(512) Featured on NPR!

(512) Brewing Company was featured on the February 10th edition of All Things Considered, a nationally aired program on NPR. Check out the story here:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=10052×8810

Thanks for keeping beer in the category of recession-resistant!!

(512) Brewing goes ORGANIC

We’ve officially made the transition to organic base malt used in every (512) ale!!  This base malt (malted 2-row barley) makes up 80-90% of all ingredients used to make the (512) PALE, IPA and PORTER and 50% of the WIT.

This has been my desire from the beginning and because of the continued success and growth of (512) Brewing Company, I’m now able to make this important transition starting immediately. We just received our first organic grain shipment yesterday and we’re brewing with it TODAY!

Rest assured, this will not change any of the beers. The organic malt is the same grain malted by the same company, simply organically grown and certified organic by USDA.

So, although it won’t show up on the label or tap handle for a while, when you ask for (512) beers in the future, enjoy the fact that the they’re made using organic ingredients!

Thanks for supporting (512)! Join the email list and look for some more events at the brewery soon. Also, please fell free to email me anytime with questions, feedback, comments and suggestions.  kevin@512brewing.com

(512) Fall Open House

The Fall Open House was a huge success! Thanks to everyone who helped and thanks to everyone who joined in the fun. The community support continues to be amazing. I really appreciate the response and support!

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photo by John Knox (http://flickr.com/photos/jmpk/3054048895/)

Look for more brewery events coming soon. In the meantime, keep supporting your local bars and restaurants where local beers are served! HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

FALL OPEN HOUSE – Sunday, Nov 23, 2-4 pm

Fall Open House - Taste the New Pecan Porter

Click HERE to Find Us!

(512) PECAN PORTER now available!!

Yes, Sir. The (512) PECAN PORTER was released today. Look for it around town and ask for it where ever you go. We think this porter is sure to please. Local pecans that show up in the nose and more subtly in the flavor, make this a delightful fall seasonal. So, get out there, support your local breweries and bars, and ask for (512)!

Pierre Celis and (512) make the Statesman

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photo by Rodolfo Gonzalez, Austin American Statesman

While Pierre was here most recently, a Belgian journalist and author, Christian Deglas, accompanied him. Christian wrote The Classic Beers of Belgium and is clearly a Belgian beer aficionado and legendary critic. He evidently plans a similar article to be published in Belgium. When that materializes, I’ll be sure to post the link.

Thanks to Pierre and Christine for their input and words of encouragement to (512)!

ASK FOR THE WIT ALL AROUND TOWN!!! It’s not a seasonal beer – it’s a (512) staple!

Also, look for some upcoming (512) events!!!!

(512) WIT blessed by the Godfather of the Style

Pierre Celis and his daughter, Christine, graced the brewery with their presence this past Thursday to witness us brewing the (512) WIT. For anyone who may be new to beer, Pierre re-introduced the world to the Belgian White Beer style in 1966 when he opened the Hoegaarden brewery and later brought this style to Texas when he brewed the infamous beer, Celis White, right here in Austin from 1992-2000.

Pierre was willing to share some secrets and compare notes on the style. I can’t say how honored I was to have him at the brewery to taste the (512) WIT and to just talk beer. He actually claimed the (512) WIT is better than today’s Hoegaarden (no longer under his control). Oh, if I could have only gotten my hands on one of those original white beers he made. We agreed that the secret ingredient was heart and he said he senses mine is in the right place.

Needless to say, the (512) WIT will never be quite the same. Pierre is a legend and his visit and input leaves a lasting impression that will impact every batch moving forward….

 

 

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Pecan Porter – (512)’s First Seasonal Brew

That’s right, the first seasonal offering (of many to come ) from (512) Brewing Company was brewed this week. It’s a Robust Porter brewed with Pecans. Look for this beer to be released sometime in late October – We can’t release it until there’s at least a hint of cool weather in the air!

This nearly black Porter is made with US 2-row and Crystal malts along with Baird’s Chocolate and Black malts. Mild smooth hop bitterness is contrasted with sharp black malt bitterness. It has a full body and malty sweetness balanced with subtle pecan aroma and flavor from locally grown pecans. Yet another true Austin original!

I can’t wait to unveil this beer! Here’s a photo of what’s to come:

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Austin Chronicle Takes Notice

The Austin Chronicle recently recognized (512) Brewing Company in the September 12th issue. Hopefully I’ll make a WIT beer convert out of Lee Nichols, the author. I’m sure he’ll be hooked after a full pint.

Check out the article here

Thanks to all! – Grand Opening Success

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Grand Opening Tour and Tasting on Saturday! Thanks especially to those of you who stood in line for so long. We’ll do something about that next time! THANKS!!! That’s real beer devotion and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the support!!!

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Check Out More Pics in the Gallery

We estimate we served samples to at least 500 people! It was such a pleasure to have such a positive response. Thanks for the support and look for more events coming up. In the meantime, visit the website to see where the (512) ales are being served and get out there and support the local beer bars! JOIN THE EMAIL LIST

Also, FOX News 7 was here and ran a great spot on (512) Saturday evening. Here’s the footage:

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Stay TUNED for more locations around town and no matter what

BUY LOCAL

GRAND OPENING TOUR & TASTING!

Come visit the brewery, taste all the (512) offerings, hang around for a tour, buy glassware and t-shirts and learn where the beers are currently available (which is changing now daily)!

Below is the flyer that went out to the email group: If you didn’t receive the email, you’re not on the list! Visit the website to join the list (on the Find Us tab) – or CLICK HERE.

I’m really looking forward to sharing samples with everyone and opening the brewery for everyone to see first hand. I hope to see you all there! Remember, ask for (512) wherever beers are served on draft and tell them 512brewing.com is where to find us.

(512) Grand Opening Tour & Tasting

(512) BEERS NOW AVAILABLE!

After nearly exactly a year since commiting big to this project, finally the first (512) is installed and available for purchase!!!! It’s been a long road of construction, planning and brewing, and finally you can all share in the success! We’re off and running…

Here’s a shot of the first WIT going down smooth…

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Check the website for more updates, including the date for the Grand Opening Tour and Tasting coming in the next couple of weeks. Http://www.512brewing.com

UNFORTUNATELY, SOME OF THE FIRST EMAIL ADDRESSES I COLLECTED WERE LOST!
PLEASE CLICK HERE TO RE-JOIN THE EMAIL LIST SO YOU’RE SURE TO RECEIVE UPCOMING EVENT INFORMATION. Sorry for the inconvenience – I fired my CIO!

kevin@512brewing.com

Three Brews in the Tanks

The last four weeks have been amazing. As I said in the last post, the first brew day was about a week later, June 3rd. I brewed my IPA with great success. It’s now in the final stages of dry hopping and nearly ready for the kegs!

Here is some rough (but priceless) first brew day footage….

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LaGdtwIZIQ0]

I wish I had more, but I will add more from the upcoming brews.

The IPA was followed a week later by the first (512) PALE and last week I brewed the first (512) WIT. The first runnings of the WIT beer were pure white – just delicious.

I learned a lot from each session and the beers will certainly get better as I get used to the setup. I can’t wait to brew again….

There is still no firm date for release of these beers, or the grand opening party, as I’m waiting on the beer AND final TABC label approval.

Keep the emails coming and join the list if you haven’t already. I promise I will send an email to those on the list annoucing when and where the first kegs are being served around Austin and the date of the big opening party.

Thanks for all the support and feel free to email me anytime: kevin@512brewing.com

1st Brew Day Scheduled!!!

First off, thanks to everyone who has joined the email list and thanks for all the great support. If I haven’t responded personally yet to specific questions, I will try to as soon as I can get the first batch of 512 brew in the fermenter!

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I have everything needed to brew the first batch, including the first bag of malted barley:

 

Grain is in the House!

The 1st brew day (barring any of about a hundred possible unforeseen issues) is less than a week away! Remember, once the ale hits the fermenter, it’s about three weeks before its ready. But, once the clock starts (and the first brew is up to my satisfaction) it’s only a matter of time…. With some luck, only a few more weeks and we can schedule the GRAND OPENING PARTY!!!

Let the countdown begin…

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photo: Ralph Barrera AMERICAN-STATESMAN

The last two weeks have been extremly productive. Since the last entry we’ve gained the ever important ability to heat water using the steam boiler and kettle. It was work getting everything in place, but it’s now all installed, inspected and ready to run. 

Here’s an action shot…I Can’t wait to add grain to the mix…

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Also, the Austin American Statesman got wind of (512) Brewing Company and the Beer Expert, Patrick Beach wrote an article in Wednesday’s paper (and online)…thanks Patrick!

http://www.austin360.com/food_drink/content/food_drink/stories/2008/05/0507beer.html

Now it’s time to brew….I won’t say when, but soon!!!

Close

It’s been a crazy few weeks completing the remaing tasks and working through all the inspections. Next up is some test brewing, insulating, cleaning, and final preps for the first brew, which is just around the corner….

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In the meantime, some cool marketing wares are in the house. The glasses are in and here’s a sneak preview of a prototype tap handle. I can’t wait to see the (512) ales in our very own pint glasses. It’s only a matter of time now and (512) will be off and running…

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SA Express News Article on TX beer!

Thanks to the tour of Austin breweries a few weeks back organized by Blue Star Brewing Company, where (512) was added as a surprise stop, an article was recently published in the San Antonio Express News detailing our plans. Travis Polling, a business writer for the paper and beer blogger who obviously has a real appreciation for beer, wrote an exciting article about the TX beer scene. Check it out and check out his blog! 

http://www.mysanantonio.com/salife/food/stories/MYSA032608.06Q.BeerColumn.1a9e9fc.html

 http://blogs.mysanantonio.com/weblogs/beer/

 Looks like this year should exciting for beer lovers in TX and I’m truly excited to be a part of it.  Thanks, Travis and Thanks to Blue Star Brewing Company for counting me in!

Dusting off the kegs!!!

We moved the (512) kegs from storage to the brewery floor in preparation for the first batch of beer! Not sure date for the first brew day yet and I’ve stopped trying to predict it. I’m just keeping my nose to the grindstone….

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First Brewery Tour

I had my first group of guests visit the brewery (although I hesistate to call it a brewery until grain hits water!) last Saturday. Blue Star Brewing Company hosted a tour of some Austin breweries and surprised everyone with a quick stop to see my progress. I enjoyed their questions and sharing my experiences so far. One guy said “hey don’t forget about us down in (210)!” I told him San Antonio’s local to me and that I’d be down there as soon as I can. Hey, when I lived down there it was (512)…more progress coming soon.

Check out Travis Poling BEER BLOG on MySanAntonio.com!!!

grist case right side up!

With some minor modifcations to the grist case stand and some tweaking to get the case to fit snugly, she’s upright and ready to hold as much as 2500 lbs of grain!!!! To keep the process of milling the grain separated from the time critical process of mashing-in, the grist case is filled with milled grain before brewing begins.

Thanks to some new friends that helped out this last week and my neighbor/welder who keeps stepping up to help!

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All the while, we’ve cut big holes in the walls to vent the chiller and hung the evaporators and fan units in the cold room!

The biggest project still remains all the connections and safety items for the boiler. It’s finally coming along nicely!…Here are a few more boiler steam piping photos…

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Getting closer….

One of the last big items to finish before the first brew day has been started! The boiler connections are underway.  The boiler will provide steam to jackets that surround the mash tun and kettle and will be used to heat an boil. This includes very cool air actuated valves that will meter the steam inlets and steam traps at the outlets…

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We also just cut in the water softener for the boiler water and the water filter that will only remove any sediment and chlorine from the brew water, leaving all those great minerals and salts in for the beer.

 A couple more weeks and we should be ready to fire everything up!

Also, stay on the lookout for the launch of our website in the next few days and be sure to get on out mailing list to know exactly when and where the beers will debut!

http://www.512brewing.com

More Progress…

The grist case is ready to flip and place in its newly formed stand. This stainless steel hopper will be used to store the freshly milled grain just before brew day. My neighbor is an amazing metal fabricator and he whipped out this stand today! I can’t wait to see it filled with 2000 pounds of cracked malted barley….

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We’ve also been busy running the chiller piping to the fermenters and cold liquor tank. This pipe will run chilled propylene glycol to the tank jackets enabling fine tuned temperature control over the contents during fermentation.

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On top of all this, the logo on the wall is finished….looking good! 

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The Big Picture

A very tuned in friend of mine forwarded this link. It speaks volumes and I’ll let it do so on its own…

 http://www.chrisjordan.com/current_set2.php?id=7

I’m especially affected by the consumption data presented in this art and it reminds me that we intend to reduce the energy and material usage to make beer the best we can moving forward. We’ll do so by charting the overall energy and material used per keg of beer and hopefully we can all watch the numbers drop as we make headway…..

Getting Closer…

More equipment has arrived – and nearly the last pieces of this brewing puzzle: The grain mill and auger . 

Whole grains are fed into the mill to be carefully cracked by the rollers.

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The cracked grains are sent above and into the mash tun using the auger.

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As the grains enter the mash tun through the grist hydrator, hot water is added. With the contents of the grain now exposed, the hot water quickly completes the startch to sugar conversion, making fermentable sugars needed to make alcohol…

New Year’s Update

It’s been a busy few weeks at (512) Brewing Company and we’re steadily getting closer to being ready to brew the first batch. With some luck, we’ll be brewing in only a few weeks!?!  The brewery is really coming together with so much help from so many good people…

We’ve even started the logo on the wall:

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The office just needs paint and the plumbing fixtures are going in…

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 All the required water, electrical and steam piping is going in and the chiller’s on site and ready to go – it just needs to be plumbed to the fermentation tanks and cold liquor tank. Luckily it was a breeze unloading it from the truck!

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I figure, the earlier Zach gets his feet wet around the brewery, the better!!

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System details: (512) Brewhouse and Cellar

More details of the system are in order. Here’s a whole system shot:

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The equipment used to brew the beer is called the brewhouse:

 512-brewhouse.jpg

The brewhouse consists of one tank used to mash and lauter (mash/Lauter tun) and one tank used to boil and seperate out the solids before fermentation (Brew kettle/ Whirlpool) separated by a work platform and control panel.

Here’s the Mash/Lauter tun with an inside shot of the mixing paddle and screens that support the grain while the sugar water (sweet wort) is drawn away from below for boiling….

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And here’s a shot of the Brew Kettle/Whirlpool…This is a big tank!

 

brew-kettle.jpginside-the-kettle.jpg

Moving the beer around the system takes a few pumps and process piping….

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 The Cellar is the equipment used to ferment and age the beer. Currently, the (512) cellar consists of three fermentation vessles with lots of room for expansion!

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Overall, the (512) brewing setup is close to being ready…A few hot pipes from the boiler and cold pipes from the chiller and we’ll be off and running. Ok, there’s still quite a bit of work to do, but we’re closing in….

Walls and a SEALED Coldroom

Drywall went up this week and the coldroom walls were insulated with sprayed foamed to create a good seal. We have to make sure those coldroom walls don’t leak so the beer stays cold!! A little extra foam had to be shaved off before the wall board could go up…

drywalls-in.jpgspraying-coldroom-insulation.jpgshaving-coldroom-foam.jpg

With walls up, we’re getting close – next: set the plumbing fixtures, hang the doors, and continue with the brewhouse process piping…it’s only a matter of time now…

 

The Eagle Has Landed!

Yesterday, the (512) brewhouse and cellar tanks arrived in two large cargo containers. What a sight it was to crack that first door…

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With the live unload clock ticking, we quickly started unloading the tanks. First the brewhouse tanks – Mash/Lauter tun and the Brew kettle.

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Next the grist case, brewhouse platform and the uni-tanks (fermenters).

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Once everything was off the trucks, the nail biting continued as we tipped the tanks upright. Check out the video of the mash tun moving into position…

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mash-tun-tipping.avi

 The brewhouse went up first followed by the fermenters along the wall…

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One of the last rigging tricks involved placing the motor, shaft and paddle that will mix the grains during mash-in. Just when I thought the balancing acts were over, we had another heavy piece of equipment nearly 20 feet off the ground…

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It was an amazingly satisfying day. While all this was going on, the Electricians were busy pulling the main service wire….

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Lots of progress and lots more in the days ahead as the brewery comes alive…..

More Amazing Family Help

While in town for the Holiday, I coerced my wife’s family to work in the brewery. We finished the metal, paint the big wall, and put up the tap board…Such amazing help!!! Thanks guys!

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I had trouble getting wild man Tyler off the scissor lift! He enjoyed homebrew in the rafters for the better part of the day…

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walls…

In an effort to get as much done as possible before the big equipment arrives, we’ve started on the walls!!! The industrial look is in full effect.

Next we need the floor drains installed to be ready for all the gear that’s coming. We also need the water lines inspected so we can start putting insulation in and dry wall up…

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Progress Report…

We’re making great strides towards closing up the walls, wiring the brewing areas and running water lines… It’s all coming together, and hopefully just in time for the big brewing equipment delivery which is a little over a week away!!!

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Fermentation is Groovy

Here’s a picture of the fermenters that are in transit. I’m so used to seeing photos like this all the time, but of other people’s equipment! This is where the yeast will do their thing, and what a wonderful thing it is they do.
These belong to us now, all of us in (512)…

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Beer Sneak Preview: (512)IPA

Have you ever had an India Pale Ale (IPA) that is just amazing? One that is bursting with hops but still very drinkable and enjoyable? If you have, you know what I mean. If you haven’t, or even if you’ve never head of IPA, that’s ok because I’ll show you what I mean. IPA is a beer style that celebrates hops, a key ingredient in beer. Some IPA’s are often tamed and subdued. Not the (512) IPA. Fashioned in the great Northwestern style born in Seattle and thriving down though Portland and into Northern CA, the (512) IPA will be a rich copper colored medium bodied ale with smooth bitterness that balances a medium malt character topped off with an earthy bouquet of pungent hops flavor and aroma. After growing up in San Antonio and spending five years in Austin, I spent 10 years on the west coast where I learned what hops can really do to beer. When a sufficient amount of hops is used at precisely the right time during the brewing process, the bitterness, flavor and aroma can come together to create an amazingly enjoyable taste profile. (512) IPA will showcase domestic hops, domestic malted barley and American ale yeast in a combination sure to be a local favorite in no time.

512-ipa.jpg

Inspections and Concrete Backfill

We kicked off the first two of about twenty(?) inspections on Thursday. Although I pissed off the inspector with the brewery destiny in his control by not being present when he first came by, all’s well that ends well. He passed us and so the building continues…. Also, the plumbing rough-in inspection passed with flying colors, allowing us to backfill the trenches with rebar reinforced concrete. It was nice to get rid of most of the dirt piles that have been a real mess for a couple of weeks.

Now onto electrical starting Monday and another key piece of equipment is due mid next week… The brewhouse has shipped and it’s in transit as well…the day all that shows up will be a big!!!

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Boiler

The boiler will be used to create the steam that boils the beer in the brew kettle. I got a call Wedesday at 3pm from Greg, the driver, saying my 35 ton (5000 lb) boiler is on his truck and that he is in El Paso making good time. I scurried to get an appropriate sized forklift and we loaded the first piece of the brewery into place. She’s big and beautiful…..

boiler.jpg

The (512) Brewhouse Cometh

Here’s my first glimpse at THE (512) Brewhouse. It’s sitting in a warehouse waiting for shipment…..512-brewhouse.jpg

Celis

I was lucky enough to have a chance to meet Pierre Celis recently. Pierre is a world renowned brewer most famous for creating the Hoegaarden Brewery in Belgium in 1966. He dusted off some nearly forgotten white beer recipes and created a masterpiece that can be found in all corners of the world today. More recently, he started the Celis Brewery in Austin (since purchased and relocated) as the first Belgian brewer to start a brewery in the US. Meeting him was quite an honor. I brought a Hoegaarden glass (which he designed) for him to sign. Much respect to Pierre Celis – a craft brewer with a love for Austin!

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Hops Shortage

The 2007 hops crop is average. Combine that with a fire in Yakima last October that cut into the 2006 crop and an average, to below average, crop coming from Europe and you get a HOPS CRISIS!! Well, a shortage anyway and a spike in the cost of hops (of what can be found at least). The big hitter hops are nearly unavailable and when they can be found, they’re going for double the price per pound of last year.  All that said, I secured some hops a little earlier than expected to be safe….check me out with my first 44 lb bag of Glacier hops!!! This hops has a lot going for it – great bittering potential with excellent aroma characteristics. My favorite aspect is the relatively low cohumulone content leading to a smoother bittering profile than most other hops…These will make many fine IPA’s and Pale Ales in 2008…

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More Construction

One week later and it was time to put up the ceiling joists and decking. With lots of heavy lifting and ladder work, the joists slowly went on….

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Once the joists were up, the ceiling decking was placed. Overall, a seriously sturdy structure….

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The deck sheets were bulky and heavy, so we rigged a poor man’s lift system reminiscent of building the pyramids….

512-lift.wmv

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(512) is in the house!!!

Progress Report – We’ve got walls!!!

Friday there was nothing. By Monday lunchtime the walls were up! What a crew! With the design tweaked to perfection, the team plowed through each of 17 walls with little hesitation and minimal head scratching.

Day 1 produced the office…

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Day 2 yielded the cold room (double walls) and the restroom….

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Half of Day 3 with half the crew back to their day jobs, the grain room was complete…

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Lunch at a Opal’s Penn Field with great beer (37 handles) made each afternoon that much better.

Next up the deck, then electrical, insulation, dry wall and concrete backfill. We’d better hurry. Word is the Brewhouse is just 4 weeks away from arrival and the boiler and chiller ship even sooner!!!

2nd Update

We have drain canals! The slab was cut today in preparation for the install of floor drains and general plumbing. “That concrete is hard!” is what I heard all day long from the cutting crew. 6″ of river rock should support the 4-5 tons of liquid coming. Next (pending the city’s approval) is plumbing and framing the office, cold room, restroom and grain room!!!

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1st Brewery Update

We started throwing sketches together of the brewery layout in late June with the hopes of finding and purchasing the major equipment in July. On July 25th, the equipment was ordered and the process for permitting with the feds and TABC started to become clear.

August was a blur. We spent most of our time negotiating with local warehouse landlords, introducing ourselves to prospective customers and discovering how to establish a brewery in Austin. Check out the process for getting a building plan reviewed:

http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/development/downloads/com_plan_rew.pdf

Alas, we’ve secured a space and the layout is gelling. Hopefully, we’ll have most of the walls, plumbing and electrical ready by the time the big equipment is scheduled to arrive. If not, we’ll work it all in parallel and try to stay sane…Either way, October will be boom-packed with activity.

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Thanks for visiting (512) Brewing!

Welcome to (512) Brewing Company. We are a microbrewery in Austin with plans to bring this area a unique selection of locally handcrafted beers that are both full flavored and easy drinking using as much local and domestic ingredients as possible.

Thanks for visiting the site!

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