Our commitment to one of our core values – People who inspire – is not limited to business or, better yet, our business.
Our DTP colleagues Alex, Horatiu and Dorin have set up a small brewery. And since the month most famous for beer drinking is drawing to a close, what better send-off than a little chat about the art of making a good pint?
1. Why craft beer?
Tastes are changing. Back in the day, we did not have the possibility to experiment so much. We only knew about lagers – that crisp, malty, cold reduced flavour brew. However, these days, we are far more discerning and like to keep things varied. We’re often on the look-out for new flavours and interesting, creative approaches of the beverage. Innovation. We love Ales for their pungent hop aroma that can lead to awesome peach, pineapple, mango, passionfruit, in other words “exotic”, and flavoured malt structure – oaty, biscuit, caramel. Think about that!
2. How do you produce it?
To keep it simple, beer is: grain, water, yeast and hops. The grain is heated in water and the starches converted to sugars. The resulting sugar water is eventually boiled to get rid of contaminants. At or near the end of the boil, hops, the flowers of a certain vine, are added to create a bitter balance to the sweetness leftover from the grains. This is then cooled and yeast is pitched and shaken to create a fermentation whereby the yeast digests the sugars and spits out alcohol. Each stage of this process creates different flavours. Yeast provides earthy and bready flavours, and the resulting alcohol adds certain characteristics like heat to the mixture.
3. What has been the biggest challenge so far?
Our biggest challenge was (and still is) related to temperature. The variety of yeast strains is growing. The yeasts we use for our Ales love to sit at about 20°C. For example, we have a California Ale Yeast from WhiteLabs. This yeast is famous for its clean flavours and it is very balanced. It accentuates the hop aroma and it is extremely versatile. Low fruitiness, mild ester production. So, in order to achieve this, we need to keep it for at least 5-10 days at 20°C. It’s a struggle because in the first 2 days the yeast is working and bubbling a lot, creating CO2. By doing this, the temperature rises, so control is important. We use a homemade method with a cooling bag in which we put bottles with ice to reduce the raising temperature. So yeah, it’s a challenge.
4. What has been the greatest achievement so far?
Our greatest achievement was winning first place at the APA (American Pale Ale) Section at the third edition of the Romanian Homebrewing Competition held in Bucharest 2018, earlier this year in May.
5. What’s in store for the future?
We specialise in Ales so expect IPAs, DIPAs, Pale Ales. But as the winter is coming, we would like to go to the dark side – Porters and Stouts, but also a crisp Pilsner. So maybe soon we will produce some minty dark chocolate Oreo stout.