Wednesday, February 8, 2012

We Need to Invest in Brewery Oompa Loompas

Every day when I walk into work, I hear the song from Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory in my head.  It is like a land of pure imagination (one WITHOUT Brewery Oompa Loompas cause Randy says its not in the budget) where you learn something new every day . Take my experience as example:  Day One I learned how to operate a Mac, Day Seven I learned that it is a bad idea to try to high-five the Governor (True story...coming soon to a blog entry near you), and Day Ten I learned that beer can be made from any cereal grain.

When you Google "Brewery Oompa Loompa" this is what comes up.  I am learning to live with disappointment.
As part of the tour training process and rubber booting, each team member in the brewery learns the process of beer production from start to finish.  Quite a bit of time is spent on the importance of the four ingredients that go into every beer: water, malt, hops, and yeast.  According to the Germans, these are the ONLY ingredients that should be in beer. They were so serious about the purity of their beer, they instituted the Reinheitsgebot in 1487.  If you read the text of this law, it only mentions water, malt, and hops.  The reason for the omission of yeast is that it was not discovered until the 1800s as a result of Louis Pasteur's Germ Theory (Louis is kind of my personal hero).  But enough nerding out.

Very few people are aware of the role that the malt plays in any beer.  Not only does it determine color, but also taste and mouthfeel. As I mentioned before, malt can be made from any cereal grain (Bud uses rice, which is the reason for the horrible hangovers).  And that grain is toasted and roasted until it reaches the range of color that will cause the beer to taste and color a certain way.  The base malt of most beers is a lightly colored pilsner malt.  The base malt is then combined with other specialty malts to create the desired product.  These other malts may include, for example: caramel malts, which give a beer a caramel flavor; dark malts, which give Bocks their dark coloring; and black malt, which causes a slightly burnt flavor.  Little known fact:  the amount and type of malt used determines the alcohol content of the beer.

This is malt...duh

You just got knowledged and a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

As soon as I heard the word "cereal," I immediately began thinking of ways to make beer out of real cereals.  The logical first choice as the malt base would be Cheerios.  Those seem closer to whole grains than any other cereal.  But those are not any fun. For days I have been trying to convince SOMEONE to make a beer out of Wheaties*.  I think it would be great as the base in a Hefeweizen.  This breakfast of champions could roll out in time for the the Olympics with the slogan "Go for the Gold." I would also probably drink a beer that was made out of Lucky Charms just based on the concept.

*I am writing about my ideas here so that in the future I can whine that someone stole my idea and have just a little bit of proof.  If you are reading this from the future, elevator pants and Desk Pets were also my idea.

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