Local Homebrewer's Session IPA to Debut at Rendezvous at the Rock Fest


This past Friday I had the distinct pleasure of assisting with the brewing of a pro-am collaboration beer between Rockyard Brewing Company and a member of our local homebrew club (Brew Brothers of Pikes Peak), Dan Ramos.Two to three times per year Rockyard invites different local homebrew clubs to submit entries for their ‘Homebrewers Gone Wild’ competitions.  The winning beer, as judged by Jim Stinson (Owner) and Kyell Wygant (Head Brewer) of Rockyard, is brewed on Rockyard’s fifteen barrel system and half is served in their restaurant while the other half is bottled for distribution.  For this competition, the goal was to craft a sessionable IPA with an ABV of less than 5%.  Dan created a beer that uses a pretty large amount of wheat (47% of the malt bill), which he explained adds a nice body to the beer since it has lower alcohol content. This is backed by a hefty load of hops towards the end of the brew along with a double dry hopping of Columbus, Simcoe, and Amarillo.  Slight modifications to the recipe were required for the larger system at Rockyard of course, but the end product should be very much the same.Dan Ramos prepares to brew his session IPA with Rockyard BrewingYou can expect to find bottles of this session IPA in liquor stores around Colorado Springs by early September, and it will be pouring at Rockyard’s Rendezvous at the Rock Beer Fest on August 23rdTickets are on sale now.  Don’t miss out on this great fest and an opportunity to try this session IPA!Rendezvous_RockCheck out our photo recap of the brew day:The brew day started at 8AM with a safety briefing from Rockyard’s Head Brewer, Kjell Wygant.  Knowing where the hot water is coming from and when it’s turned off can be very important for one’s health and well-being in a brewery!  Once we knew what to look out for, it was time to start the brew!Safety FirstMashing in:  A hydrator (that tube on the left) wets the grain as it flows into the mash tun.Milling: Feeding bags of malted barley and wheat into the mill.   This feeds into the next room and into the mash tun.The mash tun is filling up nicely.  The long wire you see is a temperature probe to make sure the mash temp stays consistent.Stirring 700+ pounds of grain and water is hard work.  Everyone took turns giving the mash a spin.Mid-way through the day, I noticed a familiar white sticker on the wall in the brewhouse...I’m not clear on how I ended up cleaning the mash tun, but I had a good time doing it.  I only whacked my head on the grain chute once.Cleanup was a team effort.Dan (and the rest of the Brew Brothers in attendance) enjoyed the opportunity immensely.  Many thanks to Kjell Wygant and Rockyard Brewing for the great brew day!