A lot has changed in just a few years. Now, ornately labeled bottles of amari like Meletti, Braulio, Ramazzotti, Cynar and Amaro Nonino are shaking off the dust of the back bar and making their way front-and-center in many high-profile bars and restaurants across the country from Sotto and Osteria Mozza in Los Angeles to Amor y Amargo and Maialino in Manhattan. At Balena in Chicago, the amaro-spiked cocktail menu even ranks their drinks with a 1-10 scale of bitterness to help you navigate the list and land on the perfect bitter note.
61 Brewers Speak Out: What I Wish I’d Known Before Starting a Brewery
So remember that first time when you said, “I think I want to start a brewery”! After all of those experiences of getting the brewery up and running, if you could travel back in time and tell yourself some advice, what would it be? At MicroBrewer, we wanted to know and thought that you might too so we asked craft brewery owners the following question:
What do you wish you had known before starting your brewery?
Dr. Pat McGovern, a biomolecular archeologist at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, in Philadelphia, is standing before some large and inscrutable scientific equipment on the museum’s fifth floor as he explains his process to me. “We always start with infrared spectrometry,” he says. “That gives us an idea of what organic materials are preserved.” From there, it’s on to tandem liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry, sometimes coupled with ion cyclotron resonance, and solid-phase micro-extraction gas chromatography–mass spectrometry.
The end result? A beer recipe.
Dogfish Head’s World Wide Stout is as formidable a beer as you’ll ever find. In its softest years, it bottoms out at 18% ABV—at its strongest, it’s been 23%. Rich, deeply complex, and pretty darn sweet, it’s a beer best sipped contemplatively while wearing fuzzy slippers by a fireplace somewhere.
It’s probably not best enjoyed twelve bottles at a time. But that’s exactly what we did.
Coffee took its sweet time making it up to Norway. After crossing the Turkish Bosporus strait into Europe, it would take close to 150 years to slowly snake its way up through the continent, and longer still to make it up to the Northern tip.
The first recorded mention of coffee in Norway was in 1694. In an inventory list detailing the possessions of a high-ranking customs official in Christiania (Oslo), one of the items was a kaffekiele, or coffee pot. So it began.
During the first half of the 18th century very few people—mostly wealthy merchants and nobility—enjoyed coffee with anything even resembling regularity. It was relatively rare and quite expensive, comparable to fine wine.