Almost all of Other Half's beer starts with malt from British company Thomas Fawcett and Sons. "It’s probably the best malt in the world to get your hands on," says Monahan. "It’s awesome. That’s what’s in all of our beers except the imperial stout, which is Rahr base malt."
Richardson pours malt into their mill. It works for now, but he'll be happy to upgrade. "I would love to have a super fancy mill, a six roll mill that yields perfect crush all the way through."
Smelling the Hops
Deep breaths from a fresh hop shipment. Hops are sourced from as far away as New Zealand, where the Motueka hops for their Motueka Pale Ale are grown.
After the grains are milled, the beer starts its life in Other Half's 15-barrel brewhouse.
Other Half is currently operating with three 30-barrel fermenters and one that's 15 barrels, but they have room for nine more in their current space.
Richardson and Monahan intend to build a sour and farmhouse beer program. They've got space set aside for an increasing collection of barrels for aging.
Richardson uses a hydrometer to check on a batch of beer. A veteran of Pyramid Brewery in Seattle, WA, he applies to rigid quality control standards of a large brewery to his current operation. "I’d rather dump a batch of beer than send something out that I think is a problem," he says. "I mean, it’s just gotta be good."
Monahan cleans kegs before filling them with Hop Showers. Brewing beer requires meticulous sanitation at every step of the process.
After initially distribution in smaller sixtels, this was their first full batch to be put in kegs. Filling requires careful attention so as to ensure no beer is wasted.
During the build-out process, the guys made a refrigerated room in which to store beer. Kegs are kept at a chilly 40 degrees until distribution, a process that Richardson and Monahan currently manage themselves.