If you read the most recent issue of CRUSH Magazine then you saw that it featured interviews with some of the local brew masters in SWFL. Among those interviews was Momentum Brewhouse's Brian Hahn. Brian gave very insightful answers to the questions asked but he hit the nail on the head with his response to "Next Style Trend?" Most other brewers responded with something along the lines of "If I knew that, I'd be rich/brewing it now." Brian, and I agree with him, says that sour beers are on the up and up across the country. IPA's are still the king of beers at the moment but I have noticed a steady incline in the supply and demand of sour beers.
Brian, and his Head Brewer Tom Gambino, are getting ahead of that curve here in Southwest Florida. They have been brewing a Berliner Weisse called "The Machinist" since June 2016 as a small batch offered occasionally. The Machinist grew a large following so quickly that by January 2017 it was given a permanent home on the tap list at Momentum Brewhouse.
The Berliner Weisse style is an ale known for its straw-like color, low alcohol, and its sour palate. The ABV of The Machinist is a meager 3.5% and with a light body, lots of carbonation, and a lemony character imparted from the yeast it is a perfect summertime beer. This beer style is deliberately soured for a duration of about 48 hours between the mash and the boil with an addition of Lactobacillus (lactic acid bacteria). This process of souring is called "kettle souring", so this is a very time-intensive beer style to brew.
There is always a story behind the name of a beer and The Machinist is no different. Here is Brian's story behind the name:
"Tom and I were looking for engineering terms and looking at career titles that translate to someone who is a craftsman and an artist. Machinists can take a blank piece of metal and turn it into something very useful and long lasting. They are craftsmen and artists at the same time. They also research, analyze, and plan before cutting or fabricating the metal. Very much in the same way that Tom researched, analyzed, and made prototypes of this beer before we released it. This methodology of brewing has always been our way of doing things. Machinists are also a "dying breed" with the amount of automation out there. We feel this fits our brewing style as well with our direct fire system and hands on approach to most everything."
The "momentum" of The Machinist is showing no signs of slowing either. It was just announced yesterday that Momentum Brewhouse has begun distribution of The Machinist in the local Southwest Florida region! The first off-site location that has already begun pouring this wonderfully crisp and tart beer is No. 3 Craft Beer & Brews Bar in Cape Coral, FL. You will also be able to find The Machinist pouring at Nice Guys Pizza in The Cape as well as World of Beer at the Bell Tower Outlets in Ft. Myers, FL in the very near future.
Momentum Brewhouse is the first local SWFL brewery to offer a regularly distributed sour beer! So, if Momentum isn't close enough for you to be able to grab a pint fresh from the brewhouse then you're in luck because it may soon be at your favorite local watering hole.
Brian and Tom are constantly experimenting with The Machinist as well which are tapped as small batches along side the regularly offered version. Currently, on their "Tapping Soon" list are two variations of The Machinist; one will be treated with mangoes and the other with peaches. They have even released a small batch of a dry-hopped Machinist.
Be sure to follow Momentum Brewhouse on social media to stay up-to-date on their small-batch releases and other locations where you can find The Machinist!