If you’ve ever opened your own business, or done a major project of any sort, you’re no stranger to delays. They are inevitable. In fact, for a brewery, it’s normal to be delayed by months, if not, years. We are no exception to that rule.
I knew going into it that my timelines would need to be flexible. Having said that, I am surprised it took this long. I’m ok with that. Why? Because the beer needed to be right. I certainly wasn’t going to release something that wasn’t up to snuff. I figured a few test batches, a few adjustments and we’d be ready to roll – I was definitely mistaken. My homebrewing system was dialed in so much that I never gave it a second thought. I knew how it worked and I knew how to get great results out of it. What I forgot was what it took to get me to that point.
With our brewhouse, not only did I have to get to know an entirely new system, but how to get the results I wanted from a much bigger volume! 500L conicals and 19L glass carboys are different beasts. There were also the inevitable mishaps with connections and spills. My cleaning regimes needed to be properly executed to maintain cleanliness at all stages throughout the brewing process. There was also yeast management on a scale that I had not done before, of which I took great steps to prevent contamination. I had to wade through a number of water chemistry and pH issues. I adjusted each batch to reach the parameters that I wanted. It’s a slow process, because you brew, wait, taste, make a single adjustment as not to throw off your troubleshooting, brew, wait, taste and repeat. It is what it is and I didn’t face anything that I haven’t or wouldn’t have faced brewing at home. It just takes time. It cannot be rushed. It was interesting to see that a factor that doesn’t necessarily show itself too much when brewing 19L, all of a sudden becomes an enormous influence on the final beer when brewing 500L.
Through all of this, there were many people that offered their help, ears, and advice to me. I would like to thank them (in no particular order): Mike Bray and all the gang at 5 Paddles Brewing Company, Sean Walpole at the William Street Brewery, the fine gentlemen at Forked River Brewing, Chris Schryer at the Toronto Beer Blog, Cody & Scott at Amsterdam Brewing, Jeremy Coghill at Lansdowne Brewery and Eric Cousineau from GTA Brews. If I’ve forgotten some of you, please forgive me.
Above all, I would like to thank my very talented wife Susan, who’s unyielding patience, support and efforts have brought into focus Muddy York’s visual and esthetic look. It’s something I’m very proud of. I couldn’t have possibly done this without you babe, thank you!!
At the end of the day, the beer needed to be right. No matter how much time or money went down the drain.
I’m proud to say, that the day has finally come!
We’ve been keeping touch with some of our favourite craft beer bars and restaurants over the past year. Our friends at these establishments have offered us encouragement and support and are as excited as we are to release our first of many beers. To start, we will be available at The Wren, The Mugshot Tavern, Buster Rhino’s Southern BBQ in Oshawa and The Bent Elbow in Kitchener. We will also be pouring at The Only’s Winter Beer Fest on Saturday February 7th along with many other great breweries.
Our first release is our Muddy York Porter. It is decidedly easy drinking with notes of dark chocolate and roasted marshmallow. The porter style ties into the historical theme of the brewery, and considering the season, we thought it would be the natural beer to lead off with. It may surprise some of you how easy drinking it is, especially if you’re used to stronger and sometimes flavoured versions. At 4.7%, it certainly is a beer that can be enjoyed over the course of a night. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Please feel free to check in on Untappd or any other beer rating app you may use and tell us what you think. Honesty is always welcome and encouraged. You can check out our Presently Pouring page to find out where we’ll be pouring next.
Let’s fill those pint glasses, the journey has only just begun!!