August 24: I arrived at Allagash just as their new 120-barrel fermenter was being moved inside the big roll-up door. I quickly introduced myself to Brewmaster/ Owner Rob Tod and Head Brewer Jason Perkins. I didn't want to miss any of the action so I got myself into a safe position to snap a few photos. Below are four photos of two men on forklifts, one forklift on each end, standing the fermenter up. A big steel red scaffold was attached to aid in manipulation.
I had fun talking shop with Dee Dee. I've really enjoyed discussing beer and brewing with women brewers on this trip. It's been a great opportunity for me to meet other women brewers, because I only knew a few before this. In the past I think I've been too busy with my responsibilities at conferences or judging events to seek out other women brewers to talk beer and brewing. I hope to partake of more girl-beer-chat in the future.
Because of the tank delivery and installation, it was an untypically light day at Allagash. Rob bought ice cream sandwiches from the ice cream truck for everybody. They tell me Rob does that a lot. It started at their old location next door, which they just moved out of in April, because it got so darn hot over there in the summer.
One of the highlights of my day at Allagash was in the early afternoon when Jason and Dee Dee invited me to join them on a barrel tasting of their three oldest wood-aged beer barrels. Jason drew out the beer with the glass wine-thief, and released a portion into each of our glasses. We tried one batch of the employees' favorite beer, Curieux (pronounced "curio"), and two samples of what is tentatively known as Gargamel; one with Raspberries and one without. Each of the samples was completely unique with Beligan yeast character, sourness and vanilla notes. The Gargamel had been aged in red wine casks from California, and I thought that was a great idea for the flavors and styles of beer that Allagash produces.
Jason and Dee Dee gifted me a mixed case of Allagash beer for my collection. The lucky brewers on my route west of Allagash's distribution range will enjoy the benefit.
Shipyard is the largest Peter Austin Brewing Systems brewery in the U.S. (Alan - please correct me if I am wrong.) In the photo above, Alan is standing in front of his twin 50-barrel brick-clad direct-fire brew kettles. The sweet wort is split up as it is transferred from Shipyard's 100-barrel mash tun.