I’ve been meaning to brew a batch of beer at Fermentations on the Danforth since I first heard about the place 4 years ago. Unfortunately, I never got my act together to make it in. My wonderful sister and brother-in-law, however, recently bought me a gift certificate which gently nudged me towards making my dreams a reality.
Well… what an awesome experience it was. The knowledgeable staff had several great suggestions for beers to brew and were able to explain in great detail the science behind brewing beer. You can also make wine if that’s your forte.
Wort, yeast, sugars, carbonation, mash, hops, malt, your-own-secret blend – these were some of the words thrown around. I felt like a kid in a candy store.
To brew a batch takes 2 weeks and a commitment of about 1 hour (or less). On the first meeting, you choose your beer wort, pour it in a keg, then add flavouring ingredients. That’s it… it takes about 10 minutes. On the 2nd meeting, 2 weeks later, you bottle your beer. You can bring your own bottles or you can buy half-litre or full litre bottles from Fermentations. Fermentations will tap your keg, then you fill your bottles (or your pint if you’re up for a fresh sample of your beer). I made a beer that resembled Tankhouse and my sister and brother-in-law made an Oatmeal Stout. Both were amazing.
One of the best parts of the experience was the fun atmosphere when bottling. My sister, brother-in-law, and I met a regular bottler named, Bob, who was a great character. I said hello to Bob when I first got to Fermentations, then he vanished into the night. He came back a while later with a couple of coffees and some bourbon. He was quite proud of the 66% bourbon he bought and was offering samples to all of us. He also had some great lawyer and engineer jokes. Punch line: “God wasn’t able to reach a deal with the devil to get the engineer to come back to heaven because God didn’t have any lawyers.”
I’m looking forward to brewing another batch soon. Hopefully, Bob’s around next time too. Thanks to the boys at Fermentations for a great night.