If you have been to Rhinegeist within the past few months you may have noticed a large expansion underway. The new brew system is dialed in and production is ramping up daily. That leaves room to create some exciting new beers on the original system. Head brewer Jim Matt let me in on a couple of hush hush beers that are planned very soon. Actually, I found his diary in one of the offices and read it when he wasn’t looking.
No, they are not releasing shaving cream. They are about unleash a canned Puma. Expect to see these cans released very soon. I really enjoyed this beer from the can. The summer heat will pair well with a 6er of Puma.
The first sour mash will take place this month with the introduction of Lactobacillus. What is lactobacillus? Simply put, it is a bacteria that produces something called lactic acid. The lactic acid provides the tartness in yogurt and many sour beers. The Berliner Weisse style has historical significance in Cincinnati and has experienced a major comeback over the past few years. Brewing this style wasn’t really possible before the new brew system was installed. A sour mash requires a dedicated time allotment of a mash tun so the lactic acid can work. This can take hours or even days.
Cincinnati has really missed out on the growing popularity of craft ciders and Rhinegeist wants to change that. This fall they plan to can a couple cider varieties. If you are familiar with the licensing to brew cider, you know that means a wine license is probably in the works. It will be interesting to see where they go with this. Hopefully, Jim will let me come in and brew a couple of my meads. Hint Hint…
Emergency Hop Kit
Sun King and Rhinegeist are brewing a collaboration beer called “Emergency Hop Kit.” It was brewed at Sun King late last month, and the Rhinegeist version will be brewed in June. Sun King is planning to can their version later this month (in their own 16 oz cans) and Rhinegeist will can their version toward the end of June/early July.
Barrel Aged Madness
If you did not know already, there is a massive barrel aging program underway at Rhinegeist. They have a lot of room to play and are taking full advantage of the space. In addition to the barrel aged beers planned this year, some extremely rare double barrel aged varieties will be available. For example, there is a batch of Mastodon that has been aged in Pinot Noir barrels and is now resting in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels. This beer is already amazing with some serious complexity to it. By far, one of the best barrel aged beers I have tried. Be on the lookout for these!
I had an opportunity to take a tour of everything that is under construction at Rhinegeist. There are a lot of things going on and planned. Some plans are still being dreamed up. The brewery is gradually turning into a mini metropolis of fun. I cannot wait to see how this all comes together. Here are a few pictures I took on 3/8/2013. It is mind blowing how fast Rhinegeist has grown in 2 short years. Cheers to success!