Brew Biz: Werts and All… Straight to Ale, BIG Plans and BIG Beer, Part Two

tasting bar
Strange woman at bar in STA Tap Room who, for some reason, has been following me for years.

Written by Ken Carman

Ken Carman is a BJCP judge; homebrewer since 1979, club member at Escambia Bay, Clarksville Carboys and Music City Homebrewers, who has been interviewing professional brewers all over the east coast for close to 20 years.

Straight to Ale, 3200 Leeman Ferry Road, Huntsville, AL 35801
(Behind the Matrix gym)

Part II

 You may remember last episode of Brew Biz the monster brews of Straight to Ale had successfully endeared themselves to the villagers in Huntsville. So “successful” STA has gone from the woodshed in Dan Perry’s backyard to building an even bigger brewery. Including the current, grand, Leeman Ferry location, that’s an explosive amount of growth. Straight to Ale seems to be Huntsville’s WLP99. That’s a super yeast, in case you don’t know.

 In part one I mentioned a conversation I had with one of the Straight to Ale brewers. His name is Bob Giles. I asked Bob how he got into brewing, about any training he might have, and what advice he might have for homebrewers…

 I was a homebrewer and working part time at something else when I applied to work here. I’ve been here three years. My advice: have fun when you’re homebrewing, do what you want to do. Don’t just try to do other people’s recipes. Be patient when brewing and always be sterile. We use boiling hot water to sterilize and a PAA. That’s what we do. We use 212 degree water for about 2 hours for our heat exchanger, and for everything: anything, the beer is going to pass through.”

  I asked, other than homebrewing, what else attracted him to brewing… Continue reading “Brew Biz: Werts and All… Straight to Ale, BIG Plans and BIG Beer, Part Two”

Elysian and the AB/InBev Sale: The Response

TPFIn the wake of my criticism of Elysian’s former owners for their sale to AB, I expected to get a lot of scorn and derision for what I wrote from those who have anointed themselves and each other as the TRUE movers ‘n’ shakers of craft beer…and I was not disappointed. I completely understand that many people are close to Dick Cantwell and love Elysian and could not possibly have been happy to see them referred to as “lazy”, “uncreative”, and as giving a big “Up Yours/Fuck You” to its fans. What I had thought was frankly beneath them was an attitude that nobody counts in the beer biz unless they own a brewery or suck up to those who do.

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