Calibrating the Beer Wall

is it beer in the milk jug

We have six serving tanks and six keg lines, each with its own beer line. Each beer line requires calibration to ensure that each ounce of beer registered by the system is precisely one ounce of beer poured. To calibrate the self-serve beer wall, you need beer. Well, obviously you need beer – right?

Rick Weber of Table Tap, said, “We will be ready to calibrate the beer wall tomorrow and we will need cold beer”. The question on our minds was- what happens to uncalibrated beer?

The answer: it goes through the system and then drains into a bucket, milk jug, or other receptacle. It was then further clarified that we needed a half barrel keg full of beer that we were, more than likely, never going to drink.

16 gallons is a lot of beer to sacrifice for calibration. After all, we currently have so few kegs of Athentic Beer*, and it was a struggle to think of “my precious” going into a bucket and then down a drain.

Weber must have seen the anguish in the situation and quickly stated, “any beer will do. Go get a half barrel keg of the cheapest beer you can find and bring ice. It will need to be chilled.”

So off Paul Skinner went to the Five Points Bottle Shop. Skinner promptly went up to the counter and said emphatically, “I will take a half barrel keg of the cheapest beer you have”. It was said with so much gusto and enthusiasm that the young lady that was working seemed to think he was asking for the best beer they had available. She started to show me the list of premium keg beers, when he said again, “I will have a half barrel keg of the cheapest beer you have!” She quickly exchanged the list she had just given me with a new one, entitled “Discount Keg Beer”. Now we were talking…

Two discount kegs caught my eye; one for $39 and another for $45. Wow – now that is some cheap beer. Considering that the keg deposit by itself was $75. You can only find gems like this in a college town. The $39 keg was nowhere to be found (bummer- someone else must be either calibrating a system or there might have just been a huge football game in town), so we ended up with the slightly more expensive one.

The lady that was helping Skinner to fill out the required paperwork for the keg deposit asked if he would be drinking the beer at the same address as listed on the driver’s license. Skinner gave her a perplexed look and said, “Drinking the beer? No, I am actually going to pour it down the drain.” Well – that statement caught the attention of everyone standing within earshot at Five Points. Apparently, this is not something that you hear every day in a package store.

He went on to explain how we needed to the beer for calibration of our self-serve beer wall at the Athentic Brewing Company and she seemed much happier, knowing that he was not some kind of crazy prohibitionist.

As he was transporting the keg of beer back across town to the Athentic brewery, he got to thinking that the first beer to be poured in our new craft brewery was going to be a cheap macro beer and started chuckling.

*Note: Athentic Beer was previously brewed at the Akademia Brewing Company

Cheers to the Revolution

lightbulb ideas

By supporting craft microbreweries, like Athentic Brewing Company, you are a true revolutionary! You want – no – dare I say, you demand more full-flavored beer, more beer choices and most importantly you insist that the beer you are drinking is brewed locally by small independent craft brewers.

A revolution is defined literally as a “turn around” and is typically a fundamental shift and sudden change in a new direction, often in the face of resistance. The rise of Craft Beer is and has been a revolution against the mass marketed dominance of the big national brands and the laws that prevent the little guys (microbreweries) from getting a fair shake.

We raise a pint and a resounding “Cheers!” to some of these inspiring figures in the revolution of craft beer:

Fritz Maytag

Maytag took a huge risk in 1965 when he purchased the then failing Anchor Brewing Company. He altered the traditional Anchor Steam Beer recipe and the complex brewing process, and in time the beer surged in popularity. As the brewery grew, Maytag helped competitors become proficient in microbrewing. Maytag won the 2008 James Beard Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement award for his work at Anchor Brewing.

Rich Doyle and Dan Kenary

The founders of Boston’s Harpoon Brewery set out to solve a simple problem in 1986; there wasn’t a beer that thrilled them in the pubs where they lived. After a trip abroad, they discovered the world of beer that was available to those who searched, and they decided to bring these different beers to Boston. They proved that innovation and experimentation would be rewarded in the craft beer industry.

John Maier

In May of 1989, Maier arrived in the small coastal town of Newport just in time to create brew number one at Rogue Brewery. 27 years and 20,000 brews later, John still rides his bike daily over the Yaquina Bay Bridge to the brewery where he continues to create innovative brews that have garnered international acclaim.

Brian “Spike” Buckowski and John Cochran

Buckowski and Cochran worked together at the Atlantic Brewing Company before partnering together to create the Terrapin Beer Company. In April 2002, they created and introduced Terrapin’s Rye Pale Ale at the Classic City Brew Fest in Athens, Georgia. In October of the same year, their Rye Pale Ale was awarded the American Pale Ale Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Festival, which put Terrapin on the craft beer map. They knew from the beginning they had something great and worked to see a dream fulfilled. Their passion inspired many of the Georgia brewers that we know today.

Nancy Palmer

Today’s craft beer revolution is led by no other than Georgia’s own Nancy Palmer, the Executive Director for the Georgia Craft Brewers’ Guild, who became the first woman to receive the F.X. Matt Defense of the Industry Award for her passion and tireless work to help modernize Georgia’s antiquated beer laws. Cheers to you Nancy for everything you do!

Who’s Next?

Who will be the next person to push the boundaries of the craft beer industry?  Just maybe you know this person or perhaps it might be you. The Athentic Brewing Company looks to the past to be inspired and looks to the future to be part of the next chapter in the craft beer industry.

Cheers to the Revolution!

Join our revolution by supporting the Athentic Alliance. Memberships can be purchased here.