Field Trip- Melvin Brewing
I spent last Friday down at Melvin Brewing in Alpine, Wyoming, which is located about 30 miles south of Jackson. Melvin started out of Thai Me Up, a restaurant in Jackson, as a nano brewery producing just enough beer to serve in house. After the awards started stacking up for their IPAs, they decided to expand to a production brewery so they could package and distribute their hoppy hoppy ales.
With a bare bones crew of only 3 people- head brewer, lab tech, and mechanic- they are setting up the brewery in a brand new, huge warehouse with spectacular views. Andrea, their lab tech, let me come visit her lab on a day when she was getting a new instrument installed- the brew PAL powered by Veriflow. It is a crazy new technology that can isolate and identify specific problem bacteria for brewers in 3 hours (they also have something similar for wineries and packaged food)! Typically, you would mix biological media, pour plates, let them set overnight, plate your sample, incubate the sample for 3-4 days, isolate your colony, incubate overnight, and then identify it! So this technology greatly reduces the amount of work and time in identifying bacteria.
As the craft beer movement continues to grow and expand, we as craft brewers need to concentrate on the quality of our products if we want to lure more people away from the big, flavorless domestic beers.