As most local brewers are fighting to beat each other over the head with highly-hopped big beers with high-IBUs, there isn’t much locally-produced beer to drink for those of us who prefer solid, malt-forward beers. I hope to fill that gap in the local beer scene and bring some more traditional styles to the “Made-In-Oregon”-friendly market.

My goal is to fuse traditional Irish- and English-style beers with Portland’s craft brew sensibilities. By studying classic Irish- and English-style beers, and reproducing them using locally available ingredients, I hope to bring a taste of the Emerald Isle home to Portland. I’ll also periodically offer variations enhanced with uniquely Oregon additions, as well as experimenting with traditional styles.

My Beer Lab series is my experimental outlet. As I’m in the process of fine-tuning my base profile of recipes, I’ll be trying new variations on three primary styles of beer: Stouts, Bitters/Ales, and Reds. There’s still a lot that I don’t know about brewing, how different grains, hops, and yeast strains affect the final flavors, but I expect that going through this formal experimental process will help improve the recipes I already have, and give me ideas for new recipes to try.

5 Gallons to Glory!All of my beers so far have been brewed on a 5-gallon stovetop ‘Brew In A Bag’ (BIAB) setup. I start with a 6-gallon mash tun where I heat my strike water before adding the grains. I then move the grain bag to a drainable bucket over a 5-gallon kettle and sparge from my 3-gallon HLT. After the boil, I cool my wort in an ice bath before pitching into my 6-gallon glass carboy. After the yeast has done its job and my FG is where I want it, I move the wort to my bottling bucket and fill a number of flip-top growlers and crown-cap 12-ounce bottles for conditioning. It’s a mildly inefficient brewhouse, in all honesty, but hasn’t made a bad batch of beer yet and I’m only improving from here.