Keep up with Chapel Brewing

Naming The Fermenters

It might seem obvious, but each tank in a brewery needs to be labeled. First, there's the practical reason: a brewer needs to be able to know which beer is fermenting where. There's also the legal reason: the federal government requires each tank to be "uniquely identified." Some brewers uses names like "Fermenter 1," or "Fermentation Vessel #2," or even "FV-3."

I'm not one of those brewers. I'm the kind that thinks fermenters should have some ... personality.

Click through to find out how the fermenters got their names

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Building a Brewery, Part 3

The previous iterations of this series have shown you the inside of our buildings, but now I want to give you a tour of our exterior. In a lot of ways, the work you can see from the road is how most people gauge our progress. When there is construction being done, and folks see the changes as they drive by, they know that something is happening. So when big changes pop up, like the deck, people instantly stop and notice. That's been a lot of fun. 

What I'd like to do in this post is first show a little bit of the work that's been going on recently, and also walk you through why our site is laid out the way it is. Because it all comes back to the river. The Cannon River is maybe our greatest resource as a business. Rivers bring people together, and part of the draw of our taproom is the ability to sit on the deck, overlooking the river, with a craft beer in hand. 

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Building a Brewery, Part 2

What would a brewery be without a taproom? It's funny, because when I started to get into craft beer, taprooms weren't even legal in Minnesota. Now it's unthinkable to imagine a brewery without one. If the brewhouse is the heart of the brewery, the taproom is its face. The taproom is how a brewery greets the world, and it's the first way that many craft beer fans become acquainted with a new brewery.

Every taproom is different, and this variety is part of what makes craft beer such a fun passion. Most taprooms are pretty industrial – large open spaces with lots of metal and sparse decor. Some breweries turn their taprooms into fancy restaurants, some taprooms don't even have food. Some taprooms are spacious, some a tiny. What will our taproom be like?

Click through for pictures of our progress

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Our take on the 'Independent Craft Beer' debate

If you're reading this blog, chances are you're a fan of craft beer. Chances are, you have some idea of what's going on in the beer industry. But I'd bet that even some of the more "tuned in" beer fans may have missed the back-and-forth controversy that has pitted "Big Beer" against The Brewer's Association over the last week. 

The Brewer's Association announced a new trade logo last week that they think will fix a problem in the marketplace. The problem the BA wants to solve is that it is becoming increasingly hard to know what is "craft beer." As companies like ABInBev have felt threatened by the rise of craft beer, they have taken a "if you can't beat 'em, buy 'em" approach to growth. One by One, big name craft breweries have been bought by Big Beer.

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Building a Brewery, Part 1

By Andrew Burns, Head Brewer

It's been a busy couple of weeks over at Chapel Brewing, and we've got some exciting updates for our thirsty (and patient) fans.

Click through to see pictures of our progress.

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What's In a Name?

Meetinghouse. Meetinghall. Chapel.

As head brewer of a future brewery, I've had to rewrite my title plenty of times. I thought for my inaugural blog post, I'd share a little bit of what has gone into the development of our business, and especially its name.

One of the interesting things about opening a brewery is that you spend a lot of time “test driving” ideas. I've had plenty of opportunities to pour my beers for our future customers, offering free samples, using it as a chance to experiment and tweak my recipes. The reactions and criticisms have helped me shape my recipes, and develop my own personal voice as a brewer.

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