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Collin McDonnell

Collin McDonnell

Co-founder, HenHouse Brewing

Collin McDonnell claims to be a born and raised Petaluman with a career in building sugars out of starches to feed to fungi for various stainless steel collectors, yet our background checks could not confirm or deny any of that. Things we actually do know: insatiable lust for cured meat. Frustratingly large flavor wheel vocabulary. Hereditary fixation with chickens.

  • Location: Petaluma, CA

How to Buy Fresh Beer and Why it Matters

Does beer go bad? Have I been drinking spoiled beer? Should I go to a doctor?! Calm down, you're fine. Beer is certainly perishable, but it won't spoil in the way, say, a quart of milk does. Beer past its expiration date isn't unhealthy, but it is sad and not delicious. Today, I'm here to guide you through the ins and outs of buying fresh beer. More

How to Buy Fresh Beer and Why it Matters

Androiduser, as I mentioned, Mike has done an awesome job pulling together a primary on aging beer here:http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2012/06/how-to-start-a-beer-cellar-how-to-age-beers.html

In the US, IPA is by far the fastest growing style of beer and one of the styles which stales fastest, so the emphasis on freshness is important given Americans' taste. There are no hard and fast rules about how beer is best served, but given what styles of beer are popular it's always better to err on the side of freshness.

How to Buy Fresh Beer and Why it Matters

DarkandMalty, the freshness of beer served from large tanks is more because the beer has been moved minimally. Movement between tanks, through a filter, and particularly through packaging lines is where beer absorbs the most oxygen, so serving beer unfiltered directly from bulk storage tanks removes many of the parts of the process where beer can begin staling. In the US, many brewpubs serve directly from tanks and some production breweries do so at their tasting rooms. Come visit and check it out!

How to Buy Fresh Beer and Why it Matters

I don't think that's misleading. There are a lot of by products of fermentation, such as sulphur, acetyldahyde and diacytel, that yeast will process and remove from your beer after primary fermentation, and it necessitates a period of aging. This is what I mean by the brewer doing the aging for you; breweries will release beers after they've had time for the yeast to clean up after itself.

Thanks for reading!

So You Think You Want to Open a Brewery...

Dom21, glad you enjoyed reading! HenHouse raised money from friends and family, which is pretty common for companies of our size. We'll hopefully be able to make about 2000bbls of beer at the new location, which isn't much in the grand scheme of things, but is a lot for us!

So You Think You Want to Open a Brewery...

Joe, we're just brewing our first batches now at our new expanded facility and those will be available in the SF bay area.

Bvocal, It's not always that contentious but it certainly can be. Brewpub brewing has it's own set of challenges and difficulties, but the ability to work directly with food is awesome. Some of the best food and beer pairings I've ever had came from brewers and chefs who'd been working together for a while at brewpubs.

So You Think You Want to Open a Brewery...

What Beer1 said. I know that such software exists, but getting it to fit the data I record and at a reasonable price point is always the trouble.

So You Think You Want to Open a Brewery...

Dan, I use Excel but I know there's a lot of brewery specific software out there. Sadly, I can't remember any of the apps right now. Definitely a growing market though.

So You Think You Want to Open a Brewery...

Sea Witch, only the sales work is soul crushing. The brewery work is hard but hugely rewarding. I don't think I've ever finished a day in the brewery with a soul ache.

Cheers78, congrats on the job! Professional brewing experience is hugely helpful in starting your own brewery for a lot of reasons, but mostly because you get to make a lot of mistakes on someone else's dime. Never underestimate the importance of learning from your mistakes, or the convenience of having someone else pay you to do so.

/lifecoach

So You Think You Want to Open a Brewery...

What Symmetriad said, Cleanfreak. There's going to be nothing but more and more QC jobs in this industry, get in on the ground floor.

So You Think You Want to Open a Brewery...

Thanks, Phunnyfarm! I'll do what I can to put beer in your fridge.

So You Think You Want to Open a Brewery...

Pomme, I'm not trying to make anybody hate the idea of brewing, I just want people to have a better idea of what brewery life is like. Thanks for reading!

Colonelcash, hopefully you'll pick up some HenHouse! Cheers.

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