FAQ with Brewer Jake

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We get a lot of good questions at the bar every week.  We wrote down some of the most common ones and had Brewer Jake answer them!

1. What's the taste difference between wheat and blonde?
Wheat is more full-bodied and tastes like wheat. The flavor of wheat is pretty hard to describe, kind of snappy.

2. Can you describe the difference between bitter and hoppy?
Bitterness is sharp and kind of lingers in the back of the throat. It needs a sweet malty flavor to balance it. Hoppy is the fresh, floral, fruity aroma and flavor. When you smell fruit, resin, dank, etc…in an IPA, it’s the hoppiness.  Bitterness is made by boiling hops, hoppiness comes from hopping after the boil, like dry hoping during fermentation

3. Why does the Rongo change color from week to week?
Gravity is undefeated. The haziness from the wheat, oats, and hops fall out of suspension eventually.

4. Why do some beers cost more than others?
There's different ingredient costs, different time needed in the fermenter, different fermentation temps, leading to higher energy costs.  Some beers need 1 lb of hops, some need 33 lbs, hops range from $6-30/lb, and the highly hopped IPAs usually use the more expensive stuff.  Lagers take 3-4 weeks in the fermenter, then another 3-4 in kegs to lager. Time is money.  They’re also fermented colder, which increases energy cost.  Special ingredients like herbs, spices, honey, fruit, etc…are very expensive.

5. Why don’t you make sour beer?
The bacteria needed to sour beer can infect parts and fittings and that can turn clean beers into sours. Maybe we’ll make some one day, but not right now.

6. Why don’t you make gluten free beers?
I’ve never had a good one.

7. What did this building used to be?
Built as a Kreske’s dime store in 1925. Has been several businesses since then, most notably Damon’s Too.

8. Do you distribute?
Not right now, we like having full control over our beer so we keep it in house. We know that the beers is being poured at the right pressure, through a clean tap line, into a clean glass, and the staff is knowledgeable about our beer.   

9. What does Rongorongo mean?
 It’s an indecipherable language that researchers found etched on tablets on Easter Island.

10. What’s in the barrels right now?
A little of this, a little of that…keep an eye on this newsletter to find out!

11. What hops are in this IPA?
Hops for each IPA are included in the menu description. Most are from the Pacific Northwest, a few are from Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. We’ll be using some beautiful Iowa-grown hops soon!

12. What malt is in this?
Nobody asks this. We use a lot of Weyerman Pils, from Bamberg, Germany, and Golden Promise, grown in the UK.

13. What yeast strain did you use?
 Hey, what’s going on here...

14. What does your water profile look like?
You’re trying to steal our recipe, aren’t you?!

15. Can I take a peak at all those clipboards in the brew area?