Jeremy Jenks: Hey, guys. Jeremy with the Trembley Group here. As you know, we do a ton of sales and a ton of business in Market Common. One of the most common questions that I get is, “What’s your favorite restaurant in Market Common?” Everybody seems to want to know, so we’re here today at that location, Gordon Biersch, which my family and I are … definitely I’d say we’re regulars.
We’re with Michael Grossman, our head brewmaster, head brewmaster here at Gordon Biersch. He’s going to take us through the beer-making process, so you all can see it from home and see what they do, kind of a little bit of a peek behind the scenes.
Michael Grossman: All right. Well, first starts with malt. The first step would be milling that malt. We start with the mill, crush the malt. It’s just a coarse grind, then gets conveyed up to the grist case. That’s kind of a convenience for myself. It allows me to mill in the day before.
Jeremy Jenks: All the malt you use is from Germany, correct?
Michael Grossman: Yeah. It’s all imported from Bamberg, Germany. Next step would be mashing, so then it’ll drop into what’s known as mash tun, mixing in with water. It’s warm water. What that does is it triggers enzymes in the malt to start breaking down, start to turn into simple sugars.
Jeremy Jenks: That’s this big one right behind us, right?
Michael Grossman: That is correct. Actually, what we do is step mashing, so there’s different temperature ranges that I’m achieving and holding it to create different complexities of sugars. All right. That process takes approximately an hour and a half … two hours. After all the sugars has been converted, it then gets transferred into what’s known as a lauter tun. Think of it like a big metal coffee filter. It’s got a false bottom, a screen on the bottom, which is separating out that sweet liquid that I’ve created in the mash that’s known as wort. Then, that’s going through a lauter grind and some pipes back into what would be now my kettle.
As I’m lautering, I’m also heating up that wort, so during the lautering process, I’ll spray more hot water over the grain bed to rinse out more of that sweet wort. Once the kettle is full, I’ll bring it up to a rolling boil and boil it for like an hour and a half. During the boil, I’m adding hops that will balance out the sweetness of the wort, as well as provide flavor and aroma.
Jeremy Jenks: Now, is that where you add like … that you get the different fruity flavors from? Is that the hops or …
Michael Grossman: That’s hops, as well as yeast can play a role in creating fruity flavors in ales.
Jeremy Jenks: I don’t know how you feel about those. I know that’s been popular lately, the raspberries and the blueberries and all that stuff.
Michael Grossman: Well, sometimes the fruit flavors are actually added in.
Jeremy Jenks: Oh, okay. Interesting.
Michael Grossman: Once the boiler is done, then it has to go be cooled, so it goes through a heat exchanger. It’s cooled down to a temperature suitable for the yeast to survive in because you’ve taken it from boiling, you can’t just add yeast. You’ll kill them. It goes through a heat exchanger, it gets cooled down to a temperature for fermentation. Yeast are introduced and they start feeding on the sugars, creating alcohol and carbon dioxide.
Jeremy Jenks: How long is that fermented for?
Michael Grossman: It depends. Lagers take about seven to ten days to ferment out. Ales three to five days and it’s completely fermented out. The rest of the time is the maturation time or the conditioning time. Then, the beer will either be simply transferred into a serving tank or filtered into a serving tank, and then, it’s done. Lagers typically take five to six weeks.
Jeremy Jenks: Wow. Michael, one of the other things that I wanted to ask you about, too, is why is Gordon Biersch have so many regulars? Why does it seem to be such a hub for Market Common?
Michael Grossman: Well, we’re a unique restaurant. We’re a brew pub. We brew all our beer fresh on-site. That’s one aspect that makes us unique, as well as we have excellent food and great service. With the combination of those three, it keeps people coming back. It’s an exciting place to come to even if it’s your first time because we have a brewery here made fresh on-site.
Jeremy Jenks: Yeah, absolutely. It’s great. I like my little points card. I get to try and accumulate points and …
Michael Grossman: Yeah, the passport. For every dollar you spend, you get points. During happy hour, we do a program where you get double points during happy hour.
Jeremy Jenks: Awesome!
Michael Grossman: It’s a great way to get rewarded. You can get anything from cashing those points into simply gift cards, all the way to a trip to Germany, which one of our guests just did.
Jeremy Jenks: Oh, that’s fantastic. I think I have a new goal.
Michael Grossman: Yeah, you go to Germany for Oktoberfest …
Jeremy Jenks: Wow.
Michael Grossman: … and everything is covered. It’s all-inclusive.
Jeremy Jenks: That’s pretty cool. Now, I know from my experience here, you guys have a great menu and great service. My wife and girls love it and that’s the most important part to me. All right. Michael, thanks. I appreciate it. Let’s go try some finished product.
Michael Grossman: Absolutely.
For more information: Jeremy Jenks, Vice President of Sales, TheTrembleyGroup.com, 843.638.3002
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