One of the big downsides when I first moved to Dayton was the lack of craft beer. Sure, I could find a decent selection to purchase in local stores, but finding it on tap in local bars was, when I first arrived, a much more difficult proposition. Happily, that day has passed. And even better, it appears that we are on the cusp of resolving the next dilemma, the lack of locally produced beer. Last spring saw the opening of Dayton Beer Company, and now we are on the cusp of a second opening, Yellow Springs Brewery. And I’ll be honest—I’m much more exited about the opening of this one, primarily because I know people involved with the brewery, specifically Jeffrey McElfresh, who is the head brewer. You all, of course, should remember Jeffrey: he currently ranks somewhere between England and North Carolina in the postings. Something tells me, though, that just like the Jeffersons, he’ll soon be moving on up.
So since I know Jeffrey, I’ve been lending a hand whenever I could. After all, opening a brewery requires a hell of a lot of planning and work, the vast majority of which focuses more on the thank-less drudge-like variety than on the dreamy rock-star brewer variety. Nonetheless, it has had its moments. Scrubbing the residual pepperoni smell out of the walk-in cooler was an experience: who would have thought that pepperoni had such staying power? Talk about your funk of 40,000 years! Then there was the day I spent taping insulation around glycol lines. I learned two things that day: 1) mindlessly repetitive tasks can, on occasion, be enjoyable, and 2) Chris Wyatt, while scientifically-minded and logical, can’t tape worth shit.
But all of this brings me to today. Today was the pay-off for the previous days, because today was a brew day. Just like at home with the homebrewing, but on a much, much larger scale. Much larger. I’ve provided a couple of pictures—yes, just acouple—from a day spent revelling in brewing on a professional scale: we brewed a saison using 3711 and Nelson Sauvin, which means that the beer contains everything a growing boy (or girl!) needs in saison form. Sure, I could have probably taken more photos (and I did), but we can save some of those for later. After all, I’m pretty certain there will be more on Yellow Springs Brewery in the near furture. And as the grand opening looms closer, I’m also guessing there will be more opportunities for hijinx and chicanery, and well as more of the diligence and hard work alluded to before. Which is all just a fancy way of saying both thank you and welcome to Yellow Springs Brewery.