Saturday, August 21, 2010

Church is in Session...the Birth of Atomic Church Brewing Co.

For the last year or so, as I collected the equipment necessary to brew beer on my own, I've been thinking about what "name" and "theme" I wanted for my beer.  As most of you have probably noticed, most brewers (on a large or small scale), usually go with local geography or landmark names when coming up with a theme for their beer.  Meaning, the name of the brewery and the names of the beers usually have a local theme to them.  Heck, some brewers usually try to use locally grown products in their beers as well.   

A good example of what I am talking about is Boston Beer Works.  A quick scan through their draught board will reveal beverages with names like Fenway American Pale Ale, Back Bay I.P.A., and Bunker Hill Blueberry Ale.  All of which are common landmarks around Beantown.

If not going with a local theme, most brewers go with some sort of experience or topic that interests them.  A good example of this could be The Lost Abbey which took a religious theme with their name, beers, and even decor a their brewery.  Beers like Angel Share, The Gift of the Maji, Judgement Day, and The Ten Commandments, are just a few of the beers that you can find from this brewery. 

My point here is that I needed to come up with something that I was either interested in or represented my local ties.  Well truth be told, I'm not a life long Marylander.  I grew up in Massachusetts and went to college in Vermont.  So having spent just a 1/3 of my life here in Maryland, I figured that the local angle wasn't going to work.

Ok so what are my interests?  Well I love sports, weather, and music.  The sports and brewing angle is always tricky from a trademark end of things, especially if I ever went commercial.  So that's out the window.  Weather themed beers?  Seems like a good idea, but it's been done.  Plus you can only take that so far before sounding like a total geek.  So that left music.  Well those of you who know me, know I love my music fuzzy, loud, and rockin.  Come to think of it, that is how I like my beers.  So it seemed like a no-brainer to go with a music name.  Now the big question was "What should I go with?"

Well that's what gets me to the name "Atomic Church".  When it comes to stoner rock bands, there is one band that really blew me away within the first 5 seconds that I started listening to them....Roachpowder.  This band was formed sometime around 1995 and was brought to my attention when I received a copy of their "Viejo Diablo" album while working at WWLR in 1998.  To say I was floored would be an understatement.  This was stoner rock the way it should be made, no ifs, ands or buts!  In 2001, Roachpowder released their second album, "Atomic Church" and it was even better than the first.  In fact, if it weren't for Down, I think it would be my favorite stoner album of all time.  Bottom line, this album was legendary and game changing for me.

Another reason why I like the name Atomic Church is because it wraps in the religious beginnings of brewing.  For those who don't know or are new to craft beers, if you go back in history, a lot of beers were brewed by monks at abbeys...hence the name of some styles like Abbey Ale and all the religious tie-ins with beer naming.

So with that in mind, I decided that Atomic Church Brewing Company was a damn good way to pay tribute to probably the greatest stoner rock band next to Black Sabbath and Down.  Then from there, I could name all my brew concoctions after songs that I love.  To date, we have "The Writ's Wit" (named after the Black Sabbath song), "Sky Pilot Scottish Ale" (named after the Eric Burdon and the Animals song), and "Breakfast in America(n) Pale Ale" (named after the Supertramp song).  It seems to fit.  I want my beers to be different.  Ya know, something "fuzzy, loud and rockin".  I think the ACBC name fits who I am and what I do with my beer best.

With all that said, I officially release the logo of Atomic Church Brewing Company, designed by my cousin Jocelyn (a.k.a. Doggie).  Here it is.  Hopefully you enjoy!

Oh and at some point, I'm going to have some t-shirts made.  Here's what they will look like:

Thanks for taking the time to listen (or read) about the background behind the naming of my beer.  I hope your brew adventures are as rockin as mine have been so far.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Writ's Wit Recipe

In case you were wondering what the recipe for The Writ's Wit was, here you go:

Download in Beersmith:  TheWritsWit.bsm
Download in BeerXML:  TheWritsWit.xml

BeerSmith Recipe Printout -
Recipe: The Writ's Wit
Brewer: Brenton MacAloney
Asst Brewer:
Style: Witbier
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (35.0)

Recipe Specifications
Batch Size: 11.00 gal     
Boil Size: 13.69 gal
Estimated OG: 1.048 SG
Estimated Color: 2.9 SRM
Estimated IBU: 14.8 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes


 Amount    Item                               % or IBU
11.50 lb  Pilsner (2 Row) UK (1.0 SRM)         60.53%

7.50 lb   White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM)          39.47 %
0.50 oz   Saaz [4.00 %]  (60 min)             3.4 IBU
1.50 oz   Tettnang [4.50 %]  (60 min)        11.3 IBU
0.50 oz   Saaz [4.00 %]  (1 min)              0.1 IBU
0.50 oz   Coriander Seed (Boil 0.0 min) 
0.50 oz   Ginger Root (Boil 0.0 min)
0.50 oz   Orange Peel, Bitter (Boil 0.0 min)
2 Pkgs    Belgian Wit Ale (White Labs #WLP400)

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 19.00 lb
Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge
Step Time   Description                     Step Temp    
60 min      23.75 qt of water at 163.7 F    152.0 F      

Started with the Allagash White clone on