Summer Beer Crunch Time

Light, crisp, and full of bright flavor, summer brews are a great way to beat the heat and enjoy a relaxing summer day.  Now, even though the summer months are starting to slowly tick away, there is still plenty of time to enjoy the refreshing experience of a tasty summer brew – so make one last crunch, and head out to enjoy some summer beers!

Every year breweries across the world, and especially around the US, brew up some amazing beers to compliment summer, and with the wide base of brews being offered, it can be hard to cut through the noise to find one to go out and try.  Well, we have you covered!

Below are some links to well formulated lists of top summer brews for you to check out and enjoy.

www.summerbeerreview.com

Want a quick and organized list to run through to find a summer brew? Here is the bible of such a list.  Tasted and reviewed, there are 161 seasonal summer beers on their list to make for a compact guide on what to hunt down to try.

The 12 Best Summer Beers to Drink Right Now – Esquire

Esquire went out and found 12 great summer beers that are worth your time to seek out.  Delicious brews from across the US, this list provides a quick guide on finding some last minute summer brews to try.

The 20 Best Beers for the Summer Season – HiConsumption

Another list compiled to highlight some top summer brews out there is one by HiConsumption, which consists of brews from large domestic breweries to craft breweries, giving a wide range of options.

 

 MBEC Customer Brews

These lists are great an all, but we are excited to also provide our own list of MBEC equipment customers and the fabulous seasonal beers they provide, and beers that also just go great with summer.

Mispillion –Citron

Bigwood – Amigo Grande

Tin Whiskers –Flipswitch IPA

Red Leg Brewing Company – Cutter WIT 

Lucid – Silo

Fat Point Brewing – Big Boca Ale

Mexitaly – Extra Pale Ale

Burning Brothers Brewing – Fused

Arcade Brewery – Grapefruit IPA

Ale Syndicate – Du Sable Hoppy Saison

612Brew – GLAM Session IPA 

So what are you waiting for? Summer isn’t going to be sticking around forever, so go to your local watering hole, grab a six-back, or make a trip to a local brewery and be sure to check out some seasonal beers to wrap up the summer months.

 

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Beer Health Benefits: Part 2!

Last post we brought to you 6 amazing facts on how beer is good for your health. From increasing bone health, to getting your body the vitamins it needs, beer packs more than a tasty punch, it is also good for the body.

Continuing where we left off, we have 6 more surprising beer health benefits to let you in on!  

7. Good Source of Fiber

Aiding in good digestion and overall good tummy and body health, beer contains a type of soluable fiber called beta-glucans. A 12 ounce bottle of lager sports 0.75 grams of fiber while the same amount of dark beer boasts 1.3 grams.

8. Lowers Blood Pressure 

Overall, wine has been the drink to get the most buzz about being great for your heart, but beer is just as good. A Harvard study found that women 25 to 40 who moderately drank beer were less likely to develop high blood pressure than women who drank wine or other alcoholic beverages.

9. Reduce Cancer Risk

Sounds to good to be true, right? Drink beer, no cancer! But there is truth behind it friends. While the research is still young, early studies have found that In beer there is a cancer-preventing agent called xanthohumol.  A compound found in hops, xanthohumol can helps fight off cancer causing enzymes and aid the body in breaking down carcinogens.

10. Keep Your Eyes Clear

Researchers in Canada found that 1 daily beer, especially a lager or a stout, can help increase the level of antioxidants in your body and antioxidant activity, which can help stop the formation of cataracts in the eyes. However, drink to much and the opposite effect can occur, so moderation is key!

11. Fight off Infection 

According to a study done at the Oregon Health & science University, having 1 or 2 drinks daily may help boost your immune system and fight off infections.  As with many health benefits to beer, this is also one where drinking moderately is key.

12. Reduce Stress

Probably not hard to believe (and experienced first hand by many, ) drinking 1 – 2 glasses of beer a day can help reduce work-related stress and anxiety, according to a study done at the University of Montreal.

 

And there you have it folks! Spread the good word of the health benefits of beer, and head to your local taproom or waterhole to help your health one pint at a time!

 

Sources

Kitchen Daily – 10 Surprising Health Benefits of Beer

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics – Have a Brewski! It Can Help Your Health by Karen Ansel, MS, RD, CDN

Yahoo! – 5 Surprising Health Benefits of Beer by Kaboodle.com

Martin’s – The Health Benefits of Beer: 12 Reasons Why You Should Drink It!

Men’s Health – 10 Reasons to Have a Beer RIGHT NOW!

 

 

 

Beer Health Benefits!

For centuries people have indulged in the grand beverage known as beer, and beer has gotten a bad reputation over the years. Well, no more to that thinking, feel free to knock back a cold one guilt free, because beer has many health benefits that may surprise you!  Beer is loaded with minerals, anti-oxidants, and several other components that can  lower your heart disease risk, improve brain health, help your immune system, in addition to several other benefits.

In this blog we cover for you the first 6, out of 12, surprising health benefits of beer, so read on because been knowledge is power!

  1. Beer Health BenefitsHealthier Kidneys

Based on a study performed in Finland, for each bottle of beer drank by men daily, their risk of developing kidney stones lowered by 40%. Why? Well there is still speculation for the exact cause/effect relation, but one thought is that the water content in beer helps maintain hydration, as well as hops providing a slower release of calcium from bone, which can be reabsorbed as stones in the kidneys.

  1. Stronger Bones

Beer may not make you Wolverine, but several research institutes and facilities, including Tufts University, found that those who had 1 or 2 drinks daily had higher bone density.  Beer contains high levels of silicon, which aids bone health. Before you go drowning in beer to make your bones stronger, having more than 2 drinks daily has been linked to an increased risk of fractures – so stick to 1 or 2!

  1. Boost Brain Health

Beer may not make you a genius (if only!), but a 2005 study found that older women who were moderate drinkers (1 drink a day) lowered their risk of mental decline by as much as 20% when compared to non-drinkers.

  1. Have a Stronger Heart

Consuming a beer or two a day can help elevate levels of HDL, the good cholesterol that helps keep arteries clean and clog-free.  According to a Harvard study, studies have shown that drinking moderately lowers your risk of heart attacks and dying from cardiovascular disease by 25-40%. However, drinking high quantity amounts of alcohol can cause your risk of heart disease to increase, so again, moderation is key.

  1. Reduce Type 2 Diabetes Risk

A study of 38,000 men found that when they began consuming moderate amounts of alcohol, their risk for developing type 2 diabetes dropped by 25%. Researchers found that alcohol can increase insulin sensitivity, which helps in protecting against diabetes.

  1. Boost Vitamin Levels

Beer has many ingredients and minerals, and now, because of a Dutch study, it’s been found that the beer drinking participants of the study had 30% higher levels of vitamin B6 levels versus their non-drinking counterparts.  Beer also contains B12 and Folic acid, so drink up and giver your body a boost at the same time!

SOURCE:

Men’s Health – 10 Reasons to Have a Beer RIGHT NOW! by Kristen Domonell

Yahoo! – 10 Surprising Health Benefits of Beer by Lisa Collier Cool

This blog is the first in a 2-part series. Stay tuned until next month for the rest of the list, and find out more ways beer is healthy for you! 

Behind the Scenes – Delivery Day

Here at MBEC we do a lot of exciting things behind the scenes of the Craft Brewing industry.  Although each part and process when working with each customer is exciting, one of the most anticipated moments of the entire process with a customer is when the equipment that was thoughtfully designed no longer is an idea on paper, but is finally real and delivered to its forever home at a brewery.

Ever wondering what delivery day is like when bringing brewing equipment to a customer? Well wonder no more, because we are going to give you behind the scenes tour and answer any burning questions about what goes into delivering brewery equipment.

1. Meeting The Truck

LEFT, CENTER TOP, 612 Brew, CENTER BOTTOM Mispillion River Brewing, RIGHT Big Wood Brewery

The first step in the grand excitement of the arrival of brewing equipment is being on hand, and ready to meet the truck to get the process of unloading started.

We ensure that all trucks carrying the equipment arrive on time (or if not, we are in communication with the trucking company and driver to make sure all trucks are en route). No matter how many times we deliver, seeing the glorious sight of the equipment truck arriving is always fun and exhilarating!

2. Taking a Gander

LEFT Tin Whiskers Brewing, CENTER Mispillion River Brewing, RIGHT 612 Brew

LEFT Tin Whiskers Brewing, CENTER Mispillion River Brewing, RIGHT 612 Brew

The next step once the truck arrives is one, stepping in and seeing what equipment is present, making sure we have everything, and looks a-okay to move. Then two, getting out of the way and allowing the company hired to handle the equipment to get rolling!  We provide assistance where we can, but mainly let the processionals handle this precious cargo.

3. Unload The Equipment

TOP LEFT, Burning Brothers Brewing, TOP RIGHT, 612 Brew, BOTTOM LEFT, Mispllion River Brewing, BOTTOM RIGHT, Ale Syndicate/Arcade Brewing

TOP LEFT, Burning Brothers Brewing, TOP RIGHT, 612 Brew, BOTTOM LEFT, Mispllion River Brewing, BOTTOM RIGHT, Ale Syndicate/Arcade Brewing

Once the truck has arrived, we’ve opened it up, and taken a gander inside and concluded everything is ship-shape to move, here comes the fun part – Unloading the equipment (carefully) off the truck!  This process is done one piece at a time.  Even the smallest equipment on the truck is quite large, so each piece gets the undivided attention of the crew. From 30BBL Fermenters, all the way to piping, it all comes off piece by piece.

4. Moving Equipment

LEFT Crooked Letter Brewing, CENTER Big Wood Brewery, RIGHT 612 Brew

LEFT Crooked Letter Brewing, CENTER Big Wood Brewery, RIGHT 612 Brew

Next, we move the equipment into the brewery! This is a nerve-wracking experience, even when you are prepared beyond belief.  Since each piece of equipment is treated like an infant made of eggshells (both to ensure everything is done safely, both both crew and equipment) this process goes nice and slow.  This can mean you can take quite a long time moving just one piece, so moving equipment into the brewery can be a whole day (sometimes multiple day) adventure. But it is exciting every step! We never want to rush this process though, no, no, this process takes as long as it takes, and we are a-okay with that.

5. Placing Equipment

LEFT Big Wood Brewery, CENTER Mispillion River, Brewing, RIGHT 612 Brew

LEFT Big Wood Brewery, CENTER Mispillion River, Brewing, RIGHT 612 Brew

Once all the equipment is safely inside the brewery, the next step is to place the equipment.  Each piece of equipment has already had it’s spot known even before it lands, so next is to look at the blueprints, talk with the brewery owners, then with the movers, and confirm where each piece of equipment is suppose to go.  This can be an all hands on deck to place, since some equipment (depending on size of brewery) needs special circumstances to place. Some need to tilt one way then moved another, some you can rotate and place in one fell swoop, but no matter what a lot of care is put into make sure each equipment piece is where it is suppose to be.

But wait, the fun doesn’t stop there!

6) Setup and Install

MBEC

Once everything has been unloaded, moved, and placed in it’s forever home, the next big step is to install and setup the equipment – now we are getting to the fun part!  This is where Dan the Brewman! flies into help when called. With every brewery, we make sure each pipe is connected to the right place, electrical is all setup up correctly, and walk through how each piece of equipment operates with the brewmaster so they can start brewing ASAP.

The process of moving in new equipment is always a joyous, emotional experience full of excitement, despite the number of times you do it! And now you can say you know the ins and outs of how the process of unloading brewing equipment goes, so be sure to gloat!

See the whole process in action! Watch the video below to see the unloading equipment arrival day unfold!

Can’t get enough equipment unloading photos and media? head to our Facebook Photo Albums to see more, as well as our YouTube channel!

To check out the breweries that were pictured here that MBEC has provided equipment for, follow the links below:

612 Brew – www.612brew.com

Ale Syndicate / Arcade Brewery  (Who are currently alternating proprietorship of Ale Syndicate’s brewing equipment, the first of its kind in Chicago) – alesyndicate.com, www.arcadebrewery.com

Big Wood Brewery – bigwoodbrewery.com

Burning Brothers Brewing – www.burnbrosbrew.com

Crooked Letter Brewing – crookedletterbrewing.com

Mispillion River Brewing – mispillionriverbrewing.com

Tin Whiskers Brewing – twbrewing.com

Craft Brewers Conference Recap!

Another Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America ™ has come and gone, can you believe it?  Everyone here at MBEC can’t believe how quickly it came and went, but have been reveling on having an amazing show!  Being our sophomore year at the show, the jitters weren’t quite as high (though still present none the less!) and had experience on our side, and had a great time meeting and talking with people from all walks of the craft brewing industry again. Nothing quite like the atmosphere of the CBC. Although no show goes without a few hiccups, we were extremely pleased with how the show went, and can’t wait to travel to Portland next year! With the CBC and BrewExpo growing so rapidly, there is never a dull moment while you are there – and it’s exciting to watch the growth!

Even though the show ended a couple weeks ago, our team is still working hard to follow-up with everyone we met and getting information, quotes, and feedback out.  The buzz of the CBC has a lasting ripple effect for us, as well as I am sure for other exhibitors, to reconnect with those we met – and we want to make sure we are both efficient and thorough getting to each and everyone.

Minnetonka Brewing & Equipment Company 2014 CBC Booth

MBEC BrewExpo America Booth

Weren’t able to head out to the show? Don’t worry, we went walking around the floor of the BrewExpo tradeshow, and you can live through our video!

Was fun to see how vast and far reaching the Craft industry goes just by walking the floor.  We had the chance to meet and talk with those across the brewing industry to talk business and form collaborations, which was a definite highlight of the show.

A special shout out to MBEC customers Mispillion River Brewing and Red Leg Brewing Company for their 2014 World Beer Cup wins, which were presented at this years Craft Brewers Conference.  A major congratulations to them, well deserved!

 

We can’t wait until next year, see you in Portland!

What To Expect When You’re Expecting a Beer Show

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In one week thousands of craft beer breweries, businesses, and fans will flock to Denver, CO for the annual Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America™. This is a must go to event for pretty much anyone associated with the craft beer industry, especially for emerging breweries.

Now, as exciting as craft shows can be, and especially the Craft Brewers Conference, it can also be quite overwhelming for first time goers. Where should I start? What should I focus on? Your mind can feel pulled in a million directions the second you walk into the convention center. SO, have no fear, MBEC is here!

We are here to provide 5 key points to help anyone, not just new comers, on how to navigate the Craft Brewers Conference!

Plan a Schedule

There are a lot of amazing panels to attend, as well as a large floor of vendors to see, so making a schedule – even a rough one – of what you absolutely want to see and do ahead of time, will help you avoid a headache and heartache. You can’t do it all, and you don’t want to burn yourself out, so planning a schedule will help tremendously to make sure you get to everything you want to.

This year the CBC has made it even easier to plan ahead with their mobile app. Utilize it! Plan out where each panel you want to see will be at what time, where the vendor you wanted to check out is located, and of course, find out where all the fabulous beer stations are located. This will help you to coordinate it all to work in the 3 days of the conference.

Make A list, Check it Twice!

There are a lot of amazing vendors at the BrewExpo America ™ (ourselves included!), and for a brewery this is an entire floor of resources and opportunities to learn more about services, equipment, etc. for your brewery. Make a list of booths you want to check out (make sure booth 1801 is on the list!) and to make sure you address all of the various needs you and your brewery may have. Making a list of places you want to check out while you are in town doesn’t hurt either. There are always things going on around town for the CBC, make a list of what you want to checkout! Lists will help keep you organized, and on track so you make sure you get all the info you wanted to get at the conference.

Don’t Forget your Supplies

Between attending panels, networking, and walking around the vendor floor for a grand total of 3 days, you will want a few supplies to help you.

  • A notebook to write down everything. Whether your notebook is electronic or old fashion, make sure you have one! There will be a lot of information you will gather, having something to organize your thoughts will be a life saver. With so much going on, it’s easy to forget information – write it down and make it easy to understand for follow-up!
  • Business Cards, a must. You will meet a lot of people, a lot of vendors, and you will be handing out your info left and right. Make sure you have enough!
  • Pen/Pencil
  • Backpack – no reason to carry everything by hand!
  • Folder – You will obtain an obscene amount of flyers, brochures, business cards – a folder will help keep them organized. Make a folder for “EQUIPMENT VENDORS”, one for “SERVICES”, etc,, to help keep your mind straight at the end of the day, and for when you head home. It’s very easy to jumble everything into one and mistake who you liked, and didn’t like.
  • Extra snacks. Between running around between panels, and potential long lines to get food at the conference, having extra snacks to keep you energized (and absorb the beer) will prove handy.

Make time for second Glances

Leave some extra time toward the end of the conference to swing back to any vendors you want to talk to further, or something you just want to take a second look at. Whether that is the beer station again to try a yummy beer, or a vendor, leave some wiggle room for a second go around on what you want to see, do, or learn about!

Deep Breath. . .

And have fun! The CBC is an amazing experience for vendors and attendees alike. There are amazing people, presenters, and breweries that will all be there, so take a deep breath and soak in the craft brewery goodness!

Minnetonka Brewing & Equipment Company is extremely excited to be headed back to the Craft Brewers Conference this year.  Last year was amazing, and can’t wait for what Denver has in store for us this year! Can’t wait to try fantastic beer, and meet amazing people.

Be sure to stop by our booth, 1801 to see us! Grab an awesome giveway, see our equipment, and talk with our team members one on one to see what Minnetonka Brewing & Equipment Company can do to help your brewery, whatever size it may be.

To learn more about the Craft Brewers Conference, and to download their mobile app, head to their webpage at www.craftbrewersconference.com

What Makes A Good Beer?

Beer is the second more popular drink in the world, considered one of the oldest created beverages, and the craft beer industry is currently going through a boom within the United States.  So with all the craze, often the question comes up of ‘What Makes a Good Beer?”, especially when nowadays there are numerous options available to consumers.  Every beer fanatic and enthusiast knows that not all beers are created equal, some are amazing, while others not so much, so, what really does make a beer good? It may sounds like a simple question at first glance, but a loaded one indeedGood Beer

Most would attribute recipe and recipe formulation as the sole factor to what makes a beer go from bad to great, but au contraire, there is so much more! What does a beer maker need to do to create a great beer?

Let’s explore what goes into making a great beer…

  1. Let’s start with the obvious…
    • A great recipe will be the first hurdle to ensure your brew will be spectacular.  Some combination of ingredients, time, and prep will work better than others, and will produce something amazing, while other combos may not.  Knowing what ingredients go well with others, and knowing how to cook/ferment/produce that combo will ensure your beer will turn out great.  Experiment, don’t be afraid to try new recipes and perfect them! You will also never understand what truly great beers are out there or can be produced until you test and try all different types of recipes. Once you find something you know works, go with what you know and perfect – that will make a great beer!
  2. Knowledge is Power!
    • Understanding the chemistry of beer, how the magic of beer happens, and all that jazz will only help you in creating a good beer.  Not knowing how the main ingredients interact with each other to create beer will make it extra hard to know what could produce a good beer.  Most people have tasted beer from a first time homebrewer where it wasn’t that great, and you wonder how much understanding of the beer chemistry they have (not saying that all who try out beer making for the first time don’t make something good). Beer is a complex chemistry masterpiece, and the more you understand that process, the better your beer will be!
  3. Only The Best
    • Don’t skimp on your ingredients; get the best you can get.  Bad quality of ingredients will certainly make it harder to create a good beer.  Also not having a plentiful supply of those top ingredients will ensure you make a great beer.  Always have full stock of the best of the best, hard to make beer with crappy ingredients!
  4. Great Team for Great Beer
    • Having a great team of brewers who both love beer and understand the inner workings of beer, best practices and procedures, and understand the recipe they are creating is essential to ensure your beer will be great, and have great quality.
  5. Keep it Clean!
    1. Not having a clean and sanitary brewing area will not bode well for brews.  Keeping both sanitation and cleanliness at the top of your priorities will lay the way for you to create great brews.  So remember, keep it clean!
  6. Great Equipment, duh!
    1. Having state of the art, well-made and maintained equipment will help ensure your beers won’t fail.  You want equipment that you can rely on, easy to work with, and easy to upkeep to make sure your beers will hold up to ‘great beer’ status.  Luckily for us, we can help you out with this stage!  (we aren’t ashamed of selfish plugging).  Great equipment makes for beer, duh! Working to get the best equipment for your needs to make sure you can keep producing a great product is something we completely understand, and getting the best equipment can be the first biggest step in creating exceptional beer! Head to our website www.mtka-bec.com to see what equipment would fit your needs!

What do you think makes for a great beer?

Have a favorite recipe that you know never fails, know of a place to get the best ingredients to make sure the quality is always great in a brew? Share your wisdom!

Reference:

Steele, Mitch. “What Makes a Great Beer?”. Stone Brewing Blog,  http://blog.stonebrew.com/index.php/what-makes-great-beer/

Safety First!

Brewing is a tough, fun, and, although we don’t want to think about it, a dangerous business.  Dusts and particles can be flying everywhere, fluids spraying around, and you are working with large mechanical equipment – Things can go wrong very quickly, which is why safety should be a key component to any brewery.

Can Never Be To Safe!

Establishing a strong safety environment and procedure within your brewery isn’t only great for your brewery and employees, but it will create a better craft beer industry in whole.

There are many components to making a stronger safety environment within a brewery, and creating a better ‘Safety-Culture’ (as described in the Brewer Association’s New Brewery Safety issue that was released last year)    whether you are a brewery that has been around for years, or just opening your doors, is a critical part of being a strong operational brewery.  Remember, Safety first, then comes the fun!

Find your benchmark, aim higher

What are your safety regulations now? What could you do to make your brewery a model for brewery safety? Set a benchmark and aim higher for how safety is addressed, performed, and talked about in your brewery.

  • Enforce Cleanliness and Organization
  • Designate a brewery safety coordinator
  • Ensure your brewery is compliant with state and federal regulations
  • Form a safety board
  • Create prevention through the design of your facility
  • Identify critical employee behavior and create self-responsibility
  • Take a trip to other breweries, see what they do and how you can reach that level of safety
  • Identify employees who can set the stage of model safety behavior, and influence others to do the same

One Safe Does Not Fit All

For each portion of the brewing process, there are different safety concerns that may need to be addressed.  Be sure to walk through each process you perform, and create a procedure on how to do it safely.  Make sure the procedures are in a place that all employees can see or read, and make sure people know where they can go to ask for questions or demonstrations.  You may have your own safety measures, so just because someone performed something one way somewhere else does not mean they will know how to do the same at your brewery.  See someone doing something wrong or right? Ensure to talk to employees about something they should improve on, or something to exemplify so everyone on your teams is on the up and up.

Cleaning, Cleaning, Oh MY!

One area in particular to pay attention to how safety is addressed is cleaning.  Numerous areas and equipment of a brewery need to be cleaned, do you know how to do it safely?  There are confined spaces, chemicals used, and it can be a matter of life or death (don’t want to be to strict or harsh, but it’s true) if safety measures are not intact before performing any cleaning act.  Be sure know how to clean your brewery properly, and safely, so you can keep your brewery chugging along smoothly.

 

Safety is something quite important, so don’t feel you can take it to seriously. Changing your outlook and behavior in a brewery when it comes to safety can be tough at first, or can cause some confusion, but don’t be afraid to reach out to informative materials or people to ensure you are doing everything you should to keep your brewery safe for all you come in contact with it.

So, go forth and brew safely!

Resources:

BA: Material Safety Data Sheets – For all your safety regulation needs

Brewery Safety Courses.  This is just one, there are more out there, so don’t be afraid to do some research, or hire someone to come to your brewery for safety demonstrations

 

References:

The New brewer. January/February 2013, Vol.30, No.1. 46-74. Print

NEWS ALERT! : New Customer

LTS BrewingHere at Minnetonka Brewing and Equipment Company we excited to announce we will be providing 7BBL brewhouse equipment for the newest craft microbrewery to hit Rochester, MN, LTS Brewing Company.

Opening this coming summer, Minnesota’s expanding craft brewery scene will get a bit bigger with adding a great new craft brewery site to the southern part of the state. To learn more about LTS and track their progress as they get closer to opening, head to their website at www.ltsbrewing.com or like them on Facebook at.www.facebook.com/ltsbrewing