Central Provisions & Foundation Brewing Company beer dinner

We would like to thank Chris and Paige Gould, Central Provisions’ proprietors, for inviting Foundation Brewing to a special beer dinner last Wednesday night. We knew we wanted to make something special for the event, so when we were working out the details, we asked what they would look for in a beer if they could create it themselves from the ground up. Chris and Paige suggested a beer to highlight caramelized and toasted flavors, something that would have some maltiness and body to it. Joel and John knew right away the beer for this job, and Burnside, our take on an English brown ale, was born.

Confit Pork Belly

Confit Pork Belly

Patrick, CP’s Bar Manager, developed a delicious Eddy Shandy to round out the beer offerings of Blaze, Eddy and Burnside. The Eddy Shandy was made using peach infused brandy, a house-made grenadine using Chinese Knotweed, and of course, Eddy, our Saison.

It was tough going, but we had to try all the beers with all the selected pairings (and then some) to make sure everything worked like we had hoped. The general consensus was that for John & Tina, the favorite dish was the Pasilla Chicken Tacos (radish, cotija, lime crema) paired with Blaze. Just to make sure, we had to order the dish twice! That said, the pork belly confit marinated in a reduction of Burnside was also stunningly good. Joel & Christie found instead that their favorite pairings were Burnside with the Caramelized Sheep’s Cheese, and the Eddy Shandy with a Key Lime Tart for dessert.

Chicken Tacos

Chicken Tacos

Thank you, Chris, Paige and the entire staff of Central Provisions, for a fabulous evening enjoying our Foundation beers in a marvelous and quintessentially Portland setting.

Open House, Mustard & Pickles

Two days ago, we hosted an open house.  We thought it would be fun to have our friends in the industry drop by, check out our space, and have some good eats.  It was great to share some food and beers with old and new friends alike, and we look forward to doing it again in the future.  Thank you again to everyone who came.  We continue to be amazed by the great people we have met and the sense of community that we have found.

One of the fun things for us when we host events like these is the excuse it gives us to play around in the kitchen.  We decided to make some quick refrigerator pickles with Eddy as a base, and a freshly ground spicy mustard with Blaze.  Several people asked us about the pickles and the mustard, so we decided to share the recipes. 

mustard and pickles

Eddy Pickles

Makes 2 pints, use wide-mouth canning jars

  • 4-5 pickling cucumbers (2 to 2-1/2 per jar)
  • 1-1/4 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1-1/4 cups Eddy saison
  • 1 Tb. Pickling salt
  • 3 Tb. Dried malt extract (or substitute 2 Tb. white sugar)

For each pint jar:

  • 2 peeled and smashed garlic cloves
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns

Wash the cucumbers, cut off the ends, and either slice into spears or discs. The ends of cucumbers contain an enzyme that will make the pickles mushy, so you always want to cut those off. In a large pot (preferably with a pouring spout), combine the vinegar, beer, salt and malt extract/sugar. Bring to a simmer. Wash your canning jars and lids, arrange jars on the counter and put garlic and spices in each jar.  Arrange pickles in the jars, packed firmly. It’s best to start by placing spears straight up along the outer edge of the jar and then packing the middle to get the most cukes in there without wasting space. Definitely use wide-mouthed jars as it’s difficult to get pickle spears in regular mouth jars. Pour the brine into each jar, leaving ½ inch of headspace.  Tap gently on the counter to release any trapped air bubbles. Put on the lids and allow to cool on the counter.  Then place in the refrigerator.  Let sit for a day or two in the refrigerator before eating, and then it’s best to eat them within a week or two.

Blaze Mustard – this recipe originated with the Beeroness, and was modified a bit.  If you have not had a chance to check out her blog, we highly recommend you do so.

  • ¼ cup dried brown Mustard seeds
  • 2 TBSP dried mustard powder
  • ½ cup Blaze (yes, you can use other IPAs, but why?)
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • A few dashes of Tabasco or other hot sauce
  • ¾ tsp ground horseradish
  • 1 tsp honey

Mix the mustard seeds, mustard powder, beer, vinegar and salt and let sit covered on a counter for 8-12 hours.  Pour the mixture in a blender, and add the horseradish, honey, and Tabasco.  Blend until it thickens, and most of the seeds are blended, but you want to leave some whole, whatever looks good to your eye.  Keep refrigerated.  Makes about 8 oz. of mustard.  

Cheers, and thanks again!

John and Joel

There’s beer in the tank

We’re excited to share the news that we’ve finally brewed our first batch of beer, which was Eddy. John and I worked many hours counting down to brewday, and with some technical assistance from our awesome neighbors at Allagash (thanks Dee Dee!) we put some fantastic smelling wort into FV1, and let our house yeast go at it. And go at it they did.

Brewery in action

Now, as any new brewery will tell you, there’s some learning to be done on your equipment, and how to scale your recipes. We’re no exception. The flavor and aroma of Eddy are awesome, but we’ve still got a little bit of work to get it exactly where we want it. For this reason, you’ll see some minor changes in Eddy in the coming months. We’re putting out a beer that we’re proud of, but we’re not satisfied with just being good. We’re committed to making the best beer that we possibly can, and in the coming months we’ll get there. We hope you’ll join us on that journey, it’s going to be a blast.

Joel & John

Ooh, shiny!

1461123_518795668228486_386560568_nIt’s been a busy month at the brewery – things are finally happening on a big scale. Our brewhouse (mash/lauter tun kettle/whirlpool) arrived this week, along with the keg washer, grist hopper, and glycol chiller. This was delivery #2, two weeks ago our four large tanks arrived (out hot liquor tank, brite tank, and two fermenters). All the large equipment is finally in place, and Nason Mechanical has been laying pipe like madmen, running steam and glycol all around the brewery.

What does this mean to us? Over two years of work, deliberation, decision making and questioning, combined with many months of waiting for equipment to be built, is finally bearing fruit in the form of big, shiny, stainless steel vessels, soon to be filled to capacity with delicious beer.

Bear with us as we head down the home stretch. 2014 is going to be an exciting year for us as we brew and serve our first batch of beer, soon to be followed by many more.

Joel & John

Next Steps

ttb-application-submittedSince last we spoke, we’ve ordered brewery equipment, picked up some toys for the tasting room, and have been working closely with our contractors to plan the work our brewery needs for the massive delivery of stainless steel coming in the near future. A whole lot of work is planned, but we’re still waiting on approval from the city before we begin construction.

The upside is that this week we got our first phone call from the TTB, letting us know that with a few minor additions to our application, it’s now moving on to processing, and it shouldn’t be long before we get our Brewer’s Notice. This is the last piece standing between us and the remaining permits and applications that we need to fire off to the state and federal government.

In the meantime, we’ve been sharing our pilot batches with many friends and family members, making sure that our first batches of beer are as good as they can be on brand new equipment. We’ve also been talking to our neighbors next door and down the street, and we’re going to work together to make our neighborhood a fantastic beer destination.

Laying the Foundation

building-frontAs you may have gathered, we’re in the process of launching a brewery. We’re pretty excited about it. We have been working on Foundation Brewing Company for nearly two years, and we are starting to see our beer at the end of the tunnel.

We’ve kept many details quiet up until now, and that’s mostly because we wanted to make sure that they would happen the way we wanted them to. Also, it’s fun to have a surprise! For those of you who have been in the know, and have helped us to keep it (mostly) quiet up to this point, we thank you. For those of you who have been wondering who we are and what we have been up to, thanks for being patient with us.

As of July, we’ve leased space at the infamous One Industrial Way building, the same complex that birthed some other Maine breweries you may have heard of, like Rising Tide and Maine Beer Company. We’re psyched to be moving in to such a great space down the street from Allagash. Hopefully some of the great beer mojo of Industrial Way will rub off on us.

So, why are we announcing this now? Well, to put it bluntly, we’ve secured our financing, and can order up a bunch of shiny new brewing equipment. We also now have a (somewhat) predictable timeline leading towards producing beer.

What’s next? We’re currently working on remodeling the spaces we’re leasing, making them our home. We’ll be ordering our equipment this week, filling out paperwork for the feds, more paperwork for the city, more paperwork for…well, you get the idea.

We hope you’ll join us on this ride. We can’t wait to see you in our tasting room when we open later this year.

Joel Mahaffey and John Bonney