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NoCoast BrewLab

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As we close in on the anniversary of our first year of beer production we can’t help but look back on the past year with both pride and frustration. Starting a brewery is hard work. It takes time, perseverance, long hours, short weekends, and an unwavering commitment to the goals you have set for yourself and for the brewery.  There are many “firsts” during this first year that remind us of why we enjoy what we do so much; the first successful batch of beer that is ready for market, the first beer festival, the first listing on Untapped, the first interview with local media, the first face-to-face feedback from the people who enjoy our beer, and the first time we saw our beer on the store shelf.  

There are also many other “firsts” that are just as memorable, but would more appropriately fall into the category of frustration; the first stuck mash, the first negative review, the first time we pitched the wrong yeast, the first time we pulled the carb stone off a tank that we thought was empty, the first time we dry hopped a spunded beer.  But the greatest frustration comes from issues of quality.  Every brewery, especially startups, deal with quality issues at some point.  There are so many things to figure out, adjust to, and tune in, that you are inevitably going to have quality issues at some point.  Any brewer who says otherwise is either a supernatural uberbrewer, or is not adequately concerned about the quality of their product.

That being said, we at NoCoast are very proud of how far we have come in such a short period of time.  We are confident that we are producing quality beer.  But how do we really know that is true?  How do we really know what our dissolved oxygen levels are, or what our diacetyl and other off-flavors levels are?.  How do we know that each batch is consistent with previous batches in color and IBUs?  Although we have established a sensory panel that helps us compare batches and test for off-flavors, there are limits to sensory panels.

So, in an effort to produce the highest quality beer possible, we at NoCoast have invested in the development of the NoCoast BrewLab (NBL).  Unlike many brewery startups, the development of the NBL was not an afterthought.  At the same time we were planning the brewery itself, we were training for, and planning the lab.  We at NoCoast believe that brewing is both science and art, a balance between the tangible and the intangible.  We value and appreciate the intangibles in our business, but at our core we desire to quantify the unquantified.  Science will never replace the art.  It will never be able to produce a beer that everyone thinks is the best beer in the world and that wins all the awards every year.  But it will help us improve our art, and thereby enhance our customer’s experience every time they “Take a Chill Pill-sner” or “Kraken to a Cold One”.

So celebrate with us as we embark on the next chapter of our brewing journey; as we delve deeper into the complex in order to make nothing more, and nothing less than Good Beer, Plains Simple!

 

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