I’ve always brewed for pleasure, but also with a purpose. To me recipe formulation has been one of the most exciting parts of brewing. Every time I have a beer I really like one of the first things I think of is “how did they make it?” Sometimes a quick search on the internet will give you an idea of the ingredients, but that is just half the story. The brewing process can have just as much an effect on the final product, and that can be more difficult to figure out or perfect.
In the last 18 months my goal has been to nail down several recipes that I wanted to mass produce. Many of those recipes I done for years, and added my own special tweaks in order to make them unique and special to me. This week I made the Pale Ale recipe that I hope to be one of the flagship beers at WMBC, and I am really excited about it because it is at the point were it is a beer I am proud to make and that I would want to drink.
It started off many years ago when I was trying to brew a clone of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Obviously it is one of my favorite beers, and a great benchmark for brewers. As I recall the beer that I made was completely unlike SNPA in almost every way, and I was disappointed with the results. Bare in mind it wasn’t a bad beer; just not what I thought I was going to make. So it was back to the drawing board were I made changes to ingredients and process, and several more attempts without the success I had hoped for.
At some point one of these “mistakes” ended up being really good, and it dawned on me that while I may not have all of the elements together to produce an exact replica of SNPA, I was working towards something that was unique to me. Several more trials, lots of good feedback from friends and other guinea pigs, and today I have a beer that stands on its own. It will be one of the first beers we produce on our new brewhouse, and I’m excited to offer it to you. Joel Pelote, Working Man Brewing Co.