August 18, 2016
So, we’re making beer here at Critz Farms – but what kinds? What’s on tap at Critz?
One of the exciting things about craft beer for both brewers and beer drinkers alike is variety. The craft beer revolution over the past several decades has given rise to unprecedented variety – not to mention quantity and quality – of delicious craft beer.
Here at Critz we have a 2.5 bbl brewing system, which means we are quite tiny and fall under most definitions of a nano brewery. This small size means a few things: for one, our ales are truly handcrafted: you can bet that I am up on a scaffold stirring each and every mash, and then down on the floor scrubbing out each and every kettle. It is a labor of love. But making beer in batches of about 75 gallons at a time also means flexibility, experimentation, and variety.
If I really need to be cranking out the kegs, we have fermenters and finishing tanks that can accommodate double and even triple batches. This really comes in handy when trying to keep up with making enough of our core beers. But I can also scale down batch sizes to experiment with new recipes and techniques: already in less than 9 months, we have done on the order of 15 different recipes.
So, then, what’s on tap at Critz?
We have four core beers: IPA, Pale, Honey Blonde, and Pig City Porter. These are (almost) always available, and what we distribute the most off the farm. We also have a lineup of seasonal beers: Maple Porter (early spring), Pumpkin Ale (fall), Critz Christmas Ale (holiday season), Oatmeal Stout (winter), and we are currently enjoying our summer seasonal, Watson’s Blueberry Wheat.
Beyond core beers and seasonals, you can be sure to find a changing lineup of one-offs and special releases. Some beers we will have very frequently but not necessarily all the time, like Lakeside Light. Some of our one-offs just might become more regular if we hear from enough folks that they really like to drink it.
You can often find one-off IPAs – come to the farm now and you might find one of our Single Hop IPAs, our first Double IPA (a single hop, but also single malt), or a one-off called TreyPA, an east coast IPA made with three hops, three malts, and fresh ginger. Keep an eye out for our first Amber Ale, which I just happen to be kegging as I type. Rest assured that we will be brainstorming creative ways to combine our award-winning cider with our brewing: the first of these experiments was harvesting wild yeast (Brettanomyces) from cider apples and double-fermenting a batch of Pig City Porter to create Wild Pig.
Whether you come for one of your favorites in our core lineup or to find something brand new and experimental, we will do our best to keep things tasting great and to offer plenty of variety across our ever-changing lineup of handcrafted ales.