Brewing Behind the Scenes

By: Elizabeth Donatelli
By: Elizabeth Donatelli
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June 27, 2006

There are few things more American than watching a football game and drinking a cold beer, but did you ever wonder where the beer comes from? Here is a behind-the-scenes tour of how it all happens. The beer industry is changing because beer drinkers pay more attention to the flavor.

"The diversity in the flavors, and the different products that are out there right now, we're seeing a real Renaissance to the way that beer is being bought consumed and brewed," said Mark Thompson, owner of Starr Hill Brewing Company.

Starr Hill uses four ingredients: water, hops, malt and yeast, but it's what kind and the amount, that changes the taste.

"The stout for instance has a lot of coffee malt or chocolate malts. We get a lot of flavor from that. The hefeweizen, Love, is a yeast product, so we get a lot of flavors, the banana flavor comes from the yeast," said Thompson.

Once the goods are brewed, or cooked, they are fermented in giant tanks for two to three weeks. Then it's time to bottle and keg.

"We can do about 800 to 1,000 cases per day," said Thompson. "We package about 100 bottle a minute, four cases per minute. It goes pretty fast."

After all the hard work, you get to tilt your glass, fill it up, and you are ready to go.

"Beer is the universal beverage throughout cultures. Beer crosses all races, religions, colors, and creeds. It is one of the few beverages on this earth that is made in every single culture and every single continent," said Thompson.

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