Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Sorry for the long time between updates, everybody. August proved to be a major challenge, as our bottling facility encountered hardware difficulties and our original choice for second brewer decided that Søgaards wasn't the right place for him.

However, two new brewers have now joined me at Søgaards: Bjarne Olsen, formerly of Thisted Bryghus, and Markus Ott, who brings a significant amount of brewing experience from Germany. Bjarne will manage packaging operations once he's gained some additional training, and Markus will help me run the brewery and cellar. Both have already proven themselves skilled and extremely helpful, and have already boosted our production capacity and quality. With brewing work spread across a larger number of experienced staff, I should be able to breathe a bit easier.

Brewing Beer Here Hopfix and drinking
Executioner IPA: A good Saturday night, all in all!
Not that I haven't taken time to work on interesting projects, of course! I recently collaborated with Christian Skovdal Andersen of Beer Here on a new creation: Executioner IPA, brewed for one of his favorite bars in Rome, Mastro Titta. It's styled after the "West Coast" style of IPA in the US, making it very dry and bitter while maintaining a huge hop flavor and aroma. We used all pale malts with a smattering of light crystal malt for the grain base, then combined that with a large dose of Amarillo, Centennial and Citra hops. The result: A 7% IPA, pale as a pilsner and just as dry, but with a huge hop aroma and lots of fruity, floral flavor. We celebrated the release of this beer with a small party at Søgaards Bryghus, featuring the band Christian sponsors, Morten Skou Andersen. Executioner IPA proved dangerously easy to drink, after a few of my friends started nodding off towards the end of the night! We're already on our way to brew a second batch, since the first is in high demand - this one will feature Galena hops in the dry-hopping, which should give it an interesting addition of pineapple and lime notes.

A good likeness of me, albeit a tad heavy on the back hair.
Another project in the works: A wet-hopped beer, using fresh hops gathered from hop plants growing wild around the Aalborg area! My friend Rassmus and I will be gathering some hops from some of the larger plants growing here in Vejgaard this weekend, so I'll be posting about the expedition in the near future. It should prove an interesting experiment, and a valuable exploration into the possibilities of brewing in Denmark.

Brewing hasn't occupied 100% of my time in Denmark, of course. I've become involved with Platform 4 and Hal9K, two hacker/makerspace groups working in buildings in the old industrial harbor. Both groups are heavily invested in artistic and technical projects, and regularly hold excellent concerts and performances. Recent highlights include a 10th-anniversary concert for European electronic label Ad Noiseam, and a concert featuring Europe's largest Tesla coil for the "Aalborg i Rødt" cultural festival.

Some of my friends who work with these groups are interested in starting a homebrewing operation, so I will be helping them build a setup in one of the buildings. And I may just get to tinker with some more experimental recipes as well! In the meantime, I'd like to build a theremin just for the heck of it - music is still one of my passions, after all.

For those of you in Aalborg who want to try some beer fresh off the fermenters, we have new batches of Utzon Blonde and US Pale Ale on draft right now. Utzon Blonde is an easy-drinking light beer featuring honey and a touch of Cascade hops, while the US Pale Ale displays a robust floral character from Centennial hops. Until next time - vi ses!