Earlier this month, BSG and Rahr hosted a delegation of brewers from Illinois for a tour of the Rahr Malting Company campus in Shakopee, MN, as well as a bit of education. What did they see and do on this field trip? Let’s find out:
Paul Schroeder, BSG CraftBrewing’s Chicago-based Sales Development Coordinator, joined the group (including brewers from Revolution Brewing, Two Brothers Brewing, On Tour Brewing, Sketchbook Brewing, Begyle Brewing, Obed & Issac’s Brewing, Penrose Brewing, and Oak Park Brewing) for the 6-hour bus ride from Elgin, IL to Minneapolis. With one stop in Wisconsin to pick up some New Glarus beer, Paul tells us the drive was filled with shop-talk about beer, process, and the direction of the industry. After arriving in Minneapolis, our crew spent the evening visiting Town Hall Brewery and Indeed Brewing.
The next morning started off with malt education, including talks from Rahr maltster Aaron Eernisse on Malting 101, BSG’s Central Midwest Sales Manager Ashton Lewis on malt modification, and Dr. Xiang S. Yin and Dr. Pattie Aron from the Rahr Technical Center speaking on stability in beer and the capabilities of Rahr’s lab facilities, respectively. Paul reports that each talk spurred a lot of questions from the visiting brewers.
After the talks, the field trip group toured BSG’s Shakopee distribution center, the recently-commissioned Malthouse #6, and the Rahr Technical Center and Brewery. The tour concluded with a view from the top of Malthouse #5 to survey the Minnesota River valley, which has been home to Rahr Malting Co. for generations.
We’ll let Paul relate the conclusion of the visit in his own words:
“After that we headed to Surly Brewing for a dinner and tour. As the night was winding down, we had to stop and get some of Minneapolis’s world-famous burgers, so we head to Matt’s [Bar & Grill] for some Jucy Lucys. The kitchen was closed and all hope was lost, but one of Matt’s employees had 6 fresh-off-the-grill Lucys and traded them to us for some Illinois beer that we had with us. Mission accomplished! Took off the next morning at 7:45 am and made it back to Chicago by 2 pm. Great trip and can’t wait to do it again.”