I spent last week all over the place. We finalized a new section of our website that allows you to locate all of our customers in the greater Stockholm area so that you will always be able to find an NCB beer. I spent a lot of time compiling this list of around 100 customers and then pin pointing them on a map. We thought that this was very important for our brewery as most breweries have a feature like this on their websites. It will really help people see our reach and influence as a member of the Stockholm community.
On Tuesday I spent the day with Steve, our brewery ambassador, as we went around collecting things for our upcoming events from banners to a ping pong table and more. We have an amazing porch at our brewery and to have that porch be as lively as possible is very important to us. A ferry from the city center docks right outside NCB so it is a natural way to attract customers!
On Wednesday I kegged an entire batch (104 – 30 liter kegs) on my own. This was not the most fun day I’ve had so far, but important experience nonetheless. They say in sports a coach can’t make his team run sprints and drills that he himself has never done, so this kegging is a rite of passage in a way. The head brewers will always step in on the keg line to show the younger guys that they can and will still do it.
Thursday, I was charged with writing some tasting notes. This was an exciting task for me since it is such an important aspect in this kind of business. It is important for the brewery to have accurate and credible tasting notes in order for our customers to understand what they are drinking and to ensure that they can enjoy it as much as possible and in the right way. These tasting notes go into quite a lot of detail and include the specifics of the beers such as alcohol content, original gravity (the density or amount of sugar in the wort / beer) and the types of hops and malt and yeast used. Further, tasting notes include food pairings which we believe is of particular importance.
Of course I have done beer tastings before but this time I had to pay strict attention to every part of my palate and every taste bud in my mouth. It was my turn to finally decipher each note and character that I could taste, and not have someone tell me what I was tasting. In order to do this to the best of my ability I read a famous book by Brooklyn Brewery’s own Garret Oliver: The Brewmaster’s Table: Discovering the Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food which goes into incredible about virtually every type of beer and the proper ways to enjoy them.
This week I will be going to Belgium and the Netherlands to visit some of the worlds top breweries such as Stella Artois, La Chouffee and Heineken and other smaller local craft breweries on the way. Now with real brewery experience it will be very interesting to compare and contrast these operations to NCB. It’s also the perfect region to drink quality beer!