Craft Beer Im­mi­grates from Penn­syl­va­nia to Wuhan

精酿啤酒,从宾夕法尼亚到武汉

Special Focus - - Contents - Xu Kuang 许旷

Com­pared with tra­di­tional beer, craft beer is a new ar­rival in the beer com­mu­nity of China. Brewed with stronger in­gre­di­ents and cre­ated by the brewer on their own, the craft beer in­dus­try is dis­tin­guished from the large-scale in­dus­tri­al­ized brew­eries. The spec­trum of var­i­ous col­ors, fla­vors, and tex­tures makes craft beer pleas­ing to the palate, which is glo­ri­fied by the unique artis­tic brew­ing style of each brewer. Re­cent years have wit­nessed the rise of craft beer in Wuhan.

In­te­gra­tion of the Western and the Eastern

No sooner had we got to Devil’s Brew­ery than the tan­ta­liz­ing aroma of malt reached our nose. Walk­ing into the brew­pub, we found there stood a row of brew­ing fa­cil­i­ties with equip­ment taller than a per­son on the left, and hand draw­ings on the wall. Tay­lor Arm­strong was dis­cussing when to add the hops to the next bar­rel with his brew­mas­ters Li Min and Yang Boxu. There was a rum­bling noise from up­stairs —Tay­lor said they were hav­ing the bar re­dec­o­rated for a sec­ond time and an­tic­i­pated it to be ful­filled as con­ceived. “May I put the hops now?” asked Tay­lor.

“In a minute,” replied Li Min, the brew­mas­ter.

When the time was up, the brew­mas­ters poured a bag of hops into the fer­men­ta­tion bar­rel. The fer­men­ta­tion of wort takes two weeks af­ter the process such as crush­ing, feed­ing, sac­cha­r­i­fi­ca­tion, fil­tra­tion, boil­ing, stir­ring, and in­oc­u­la­tion with yeast. 300 liters of craft beer will fol­low in two or three weeks.

Hardly had the hops been added when Dawn, one of the cus­tomers, loudly greeted a lady who just en­tered. Hear­ing this ex­cla­ma­tion, Tay­lor turned around and en­cir­cled her with

“精酿啤酒”,是相对于一般常见工业啤酒的一种啤酒类型。全部由麦芽酿制,从麦芽的糖化到发酵都由酿酒商自酿而成。与工业化流水线生产的啤酒截然不同,精酿啤酒色泽与质地的变化带来丰富的口感,诱人非常,每个酿酒商都有自己独具艺术感的酿造风格。精酿啤酒是彻头彻尾的舶来品,近几年,在武汉也渐渐流行起来。

中西结合

刚到小恶魔精酿啤酒屋门口,一股麦芽的甜香味儿扑鼻而来。走进酒吧,左边是一排过人高的酿酒设备,墙上有大片手绘涂鸦。屋内,泰勒正在跟酿酒师李闵和杨博旭探讨,下一桶该什么时候加啤酒花。楼上时不时传来轰隆隆的装修声,泰勒说他们正在进行第二次装修,希望与想象中的酒吧效果更一致。“可以加啤酒花了吗?”泰勒问道。“还有一分钟。”酿酒师李闵说。时间一到,两名酿酒师将一袋啤酒花倒入发酵缸,经过粉碎、投料、糖化、过滤、煮沸、回旋沉淀、接种酵母后,麦汁经过两周的发酵,两到三周后,就能酿出300升精酿啤酒。

酿酒师刚加完啤酒花,客人Dawn大声跟一个刚进门、身材高挑的女生打招呼,泰勒听到声音,立马转身迎上去搂住女生。这就是泰勒的女朋友李梅,李梅笑意盈盈地向大家问好。

30岁的泰勒是土生土长的美国人,毕业于美国田纳西州Mem­phis 大学地震学专业。2010年玉树地震后,泰勒第一次来到中国,前往玉树做震后地质研究,随后,他来中国的次数增多,去过四川、青海、云南等地,考察古地震。2012年,泰勒在本校读博,2014年,读博期间,他来到中国地质大学(武汉)继续从事地质研究。

在武汉认识了湖南姑娘李梅以后,他的人生变得更加丰富多彩。开精酿啤酒屋对两人来说,是一个偶然。

李梅是湖南衡阳人,毕业于武汉音乐学院架子鼓专业。毕业后误打误撞,进入银行工作,因不喜欢银行朝九晚五按部就班的工作,她便辞职与朋友一起创业,做起金融咨询。同时,她利用本专业,开办了架子鼓培训班。如今,除了架子鼓培训班,李梅的大部分精力都放在小恶魔啤酒屋。

萌生想法

2015 年6月,泰勒带李梅回美国。那是李梅第一次接触到精酿啤酒,“虽然我喜欢喝酒,但是我并不知道精酿啤酒,也不知道他还会酿酒。”泰勒带李梅去买酒,她第一次看到像工厂一样的酒吧,“差不多三层楼高的发酵罐,一整排三十几个酒头出啤酒,太大了!”更让李梅吃惊的是,还有咖啡和巧克力味道的

his arms; it is Tay­lor’s girl­friend, Li Mei. She wel­comed us in a friendly man­ner.

Tay­lor Arm­strong, a 30-year-old Amer­i­can, grad­u­ated from The Univer­sity of Mem­phis in Ten­nessee, with a de­gree in Seis­mol­ogy. The first time that Tay­lor vis­ited China was to con­duct a post-earthquake ge­o­log­i­cal study in Yushu af­ter the 2010 quake. He later trav­elled to Sichuan, Qing­hai, and Yun­nan to fur­ther study the ef­fects of earth­quakes. In 2012, Tay­lor con­tin­ued to pur­sue a doc­tor­ate at the Univer­sity of Mem­phis, dur­ing which he came to China Univer­sity of Geo­sciences, Wuhan, in 2014.

There he met Li Mei, a lady from Hu­nan. Tay­lor then em­barked on a more fruit­ful life, as they started up a brew­ery to­gether in Wuhan.

Af­ter grad­u­at­ing from Wuhan Con­ser­va­tory of Mu­sic with a de­gree in Drums, Li Mei, a na­tive of Hengyang Hu­nan, worked re­luc­tantly in a bank, where she quickly grew tired of the nine-to-five rou­tine work. Sub­se­quently, she re­signed and part­nered

啤酒。“当时有个念头一闪而过,我能不能在武汉开一家这样的酒吧?”2015年 10月,李梅一个人去美国加利福尼亚大学洛杉矶分校学了三个月语言,其间特意去参观了洛杉矶的很多酒吧,并阅读大量酿酒方面的书籍。回国后,她和泰勒一起去采购小型设备,参考美国酿酒达人们分享的视频,加上泰勒的家人们累积多年的酿酒经验,开始了创业之路。在美国,精酿啤酒已有数百年历史,连国父华盛顿都写过自酿啤酒的手稿。现代精酿啤酒是源于1970年代英国和美国的精酿啤酒运动( The Craft Beer Move­ment)的产物,是啤酒从超大规模工业化生产,回归小型、独立、传统、多元化、个性化,乃至迸发出无限创新活力的一场运动。过去20年里,美国小型酿酒商数量正以每年约20%的速度增长。泰勒的家乡宾夕法尼亚州正是北美精酿重镇之一,最为啤酒爱好者熟知的Golden Mon­key 和 Hopdevil 就出自宾夕法尼亚。“我小时候,妈妈会自酿葡萄酒,让我们姐弟四人帮忙踩葡萄,这是件快乐的事。”五六年前,泰勒帮妈妈挑选生日礼物时,发现有一种小型酿酒工具。“容量大概30升,很好玩,可以让妈妈在家里试试。”泰勒买回家送给妈妈,他自己也开始在家里研究酿酒,“我觉得味道不错。”精酿啤酒只使用麦芽、啤酒花、酵母和水,用传统方式进行酿造,原则上不添加任何人工添加剂,加的其他辅

with friends to work in fi­nan­cial con­sul­ta­tion. Mean­while, she took ad­van­tage of her pro­fes­sion­al­ism to launch a train­ing course on drums. At present, Li Mei doesn’t get in­volved in fi­nan­cial con­sul­ta­tion any more. Ex­cept for that train­ing course, she de­votes most of her ef­forts to Devil’s Brew­ery.

In­cu­bat­ing Ideas

In June of 2015, Tay­lor in­vited Li Mei back to the United States where she had her first ac­cess to the craft beer in­dus­try. “Al­though I love drink­ing, I knew noth­ing about craft beer or Tay­lor’s brew­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties.” said Li Mei. Tay­lor headed to a fa­vorite brew­ery with Li Mei. She had never seen such a place. “It is amaz­ing that there ex­ists al­most three-storey fer­men­ta­tion bar­rels with more

than thirty pour spots in a row.” What as­ton­ished Li Mei more were the malty beers with cof­fee and cho­co­late fla­vors.

“An idea crossed my mind: could I open such a kind of brew­pub in Wuhan? ” In Oc­to­ber of 2015, Li Mei spent three months study­ing English at the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Los An­ge­les, on her own, dur­ing which she vis­ited a num­ber of bars there and browsed the guide­lines on brew­ing. When Li Mei re­turned from Amer­ica, she and Tay­lor, with the Arm­strongs’ years of ex­pe­ri­ence in brew­ing, were ready for the busi­ness af­ter pur­chas­ing mini brew­ing de­vices and re­fer­ring to the videos shared by Amer­i­can brew­mas­ters.

Craft beer (also home­brew­ing or mi­cro­brew­ing) has ex­isted in the United States for hun­dreds of years, which was even in­cluded in the man­u­script of Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton, the Found­ing Fa­ther of the United States. The mod­ern Craft Beer Move­ment in the United King­dom and the United States be­gan in 1970, and is char­ac­ter­ized by a shift in pref­er­ence from large-scale cor­po­rate brew­eries to small, in­de­pen­dent­ly­owned, tra­di­tional, di­ver­si­fied, in­di­vid­u­al­ized and in­fin­itely in­no­va­tive brew­eries. The num­ber of mi­cro­brew­eries has been in­creas­ing by 20% an­nu­ally in the United States over the past two decades.

Penn­syl­va­nia, the home state of Tay­lor, is one of the most renowned places for craft beer in North Amer­ica, whose top draws are Golden Mon­key and Hopdevil, known to the beer en­thu­si­asts/lovers all across Amer­ica.

“As far as I can re­mem­ber, my mom made our own wine at home. It was a plea­sure for us four si­b­lings to help tram­ple grapes dur­ing my child­hood.” Around five or six years ago, Tay­lor found a mini wine kit when pick­ing up a birth­day gift for his mother. “It looks very cool and has a vol­ume of about 30 liters.” Tay­lor bought it as a gift to his mother and he

料也只为提升口感。

泰勒可以酿造30多种口味的啤酒,季节时令不同,辅料也不同,包括草莓、橙子、巧克力、柠檬等,味道也各具特色。这些都是商业环境下无法进行的复杂手工艺。

每一款精酿啤酒色泽与质地的变化,都带来丰富的口感,且独具艺术感。泰勒告诉记者:“我不断酿造新口味,也会根据大家的需求不断创新,让大家总能尝到新啤酒。”

梦想成真

准备近一年,他们特意选在两人相识2周年纪念日开业。2016年

8月27日,小恶魔精酿啤酒正式营业。开业大半年,已经积累不少口碑。

“我闻到了小恶魔酒吧精酿啤酒的香味儿,所以从上海来到了武汉。”印度人Dawn开玩笑说。“当然,上海也有精酿啤酒,但是,这家的精酿太香了,我想天天在这里守着,能在这里喝到正宗的精酿啤酒,太让人满足了。”Dawn现在在光谷一家公司从事AI(人工智能)产品研发,闲暇时光几乎泡在小恶魔酒吧,他总是眼巴巴地等着第一杯精酿,泰勒还以Dawn的名字命名了一款酒

Don of the Devil。

除了精酿啤酒,店内的美式小吃也让顾客赞不绝口。

BBQ猪肉沙拉汉堡,猪肉用苹果木炭慢慢熏烤10个小时以上,果木香气浸入肉中,鲜嫩多汁,又焦香四溢。汉堡搭配的粗薯条,手工厚切,过两道油炸制,根根焦香浓郁。芝士熏肉玉米片,脆脆玉米片、焦香烤肉再加上秘制墨西哥酸辣酱料,口感十分丰富,特别适合下酒。

这些小吃也都是泰勒独家研制,“开店以来,我长胖了40斤,瘦不下来啦!”泰勒笑着说。

李梅说自己更喜欢吃泰勒做的中国菜,“我们回美国的时候,他们家人都一起吃他做的中国菜。”泰勒自己也觉得中国菜更适合自己的口味。

谈到将来,泰勒希望毕业后能留校任教。李梅说,眼前最重要的就是下半年开分店,他们想在武汉大力推广纯正的美式精酿啤酒。

精酿啤酒口感较工业啤酒更为浓郁厚重,酒精度略高,且动辄几十甚至上百元的价格,可能不被国人普遍接受。泰勒认为,咖啡刚传入中国时,也不符合中国人的传统口味,“他们不喜欢咖啡的苦味,但现在,中国各地遍布着大大小小的咖啡馆。”工业啤酒偏清淡,而精酿啤酒在美国却是越苦越畅销。泰勒表示精酿啤酒在武汉普及还需假以时日,但只要是尝试过的人,都会发现其有趣之处。

李梅认为,不能说精酿啤酒一定就是比工业啤酒更好喝,只是说,一定有人更偏爱精酿啤酒这种纯手工酿造的啤酒。

“我是他的脑,他是我的手。”李梅笑称,是泰勒把她的想法变成了现实。

also be­came im­mersed in brew­ing at home. “It tasted great!”

Craft beer re­mains faith­ful to tra­di­tional brew­ing meth­ods, which use malt, hops, yeast, and wa­ter only—and in prin­ci­pal, is free of ar­ti­fi­cial preser­va­tives. Ad­di­tional in­gre­di­ents are added just to please the palate.

With all sorts of nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents in sea­son avail­able, Tay­lor is able to cre­ate more than thirty dif­fer­ent fla­vors of beer, such as straw­berry, orange, cho­co­late, and lemon. These fla­vors are con­cocted to bring out dis­tinc­tive aro­mas and tex­tures. It is dif­fi­cult to have com­pli­cated mi­cro­brews ma­te­ri­al­ize in a pro­duc­tion line.

The spec­trum of var­i­ous col­ors and tex­tures in each craft beer is quite fan­tas­tic and artis­tic. “I never stop cre­at­ing new tastes; and I am in­spired by high end cui­sine to sat­isfy my cus­tomers with up­dates.” said Tay­lor.

Dream Re­al­ized

It took Tay­lor and Li Mei al­most one year to pre­pare for the busi­ness. They launched Devil’s Brew­ery on Au­gust 27, 2016—the 2nd an­niver­sary of the day they met. They have gained much rep­u­ta­tion since the brew­ery was un­veiled six months ago.

“I left Shang­hai for Wuhan by track­ing the aroma of Devils’ Brew­ery.” Dawn, an In­dian, joked. “Well, craft beer is also avail­able in Shang­hai, but the recipes at Devils’ Brew­ery are more at­trac­tive; the aroma per­vades the bar. I want to hang out here ev­ery day for au­then­tic craft beer; it is some­how like walk­ing on air.” En­gaged in the R& D of ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence prod­ucts in Op­tics Val­ley, Wuhan, Dawn haunts the Devils’ Brew­ery at leisure, ea­ger for a fresh glass of craft beer. One type of craft beer, named Dawn of the Devil, was named af­ter Dawn.

Be­sides the craft beer, the Amer­i­can snacks there are also widely rec­og­nized. Take for ex­am­ple, their Pulled Pork Sand­wich, with pork slowly grilled over apple char­coal for more than 10 hours so that the

fra­grance of the fruit-tree wood is in­fused into the pork. It tastes ten­der and juicy with a roasted burnt fla­vor. The French Fries and the Sand­wich’s mate are sliced by hand and fried twice for an in­tense fla­vor. Other fa­vorites in­clude BBQ Pork Na­chos, Chips & Salsa, and Grilled Pork served with Mex­i­can Chut­ney go well with beer.

All these snacks have been ex­clu­sively de­vel­oped by Tay­lor. “I’ve put on quite a bit of weight since Devils’ Brew­ery was opened. It is hard for me to lose weight with all this good food and beer.” Said Tay­lor with a smile.

Li Mei prefers to en­joy the Chi­nese cui­sine cre­ated by Tay­lor. “All his fam­ily ate the Chi­nese food cooked by him when we were in Amer­ica.” Like­wise, Tay­lor finds his stom­ach hap­pier with Chi­nese cui­sine.

When it comes to the fu­ture, Tay­lor hopes to stay on Cam­pus as a teacher af­ter grad­u­a­tion. Now their first pri­or­ity is to set up some branches in the sec­ond half of the year to pro­mote gen­uine Amer­i­can craft beer in Wuhan, said Li Mei.

Com­pared with tra­di­tional beer, craft beer tastes more strong and sticky, with higher al­co­hol and a higher price tag, which makes it dif­fi­cult for Chi­nese to gen­er­ally ac­cept the craft beer. Ac­cord­ing to Tay­lor, cof­fee, when first in­tro­duced to China, was not pop­u­lar with the Chi­nese, ei­ther. “Peo­ple dis­liked the bit­ter cof­fee then; now var­i­ous cof­fee bars have spread across China.” Tay­lor said the tra­di­tional beer is lighter, but in the U.S., the more bit­ter the craft beer is, the more pop­u­lar it will be among cus­tomers. It will take some time to in­cor­po­rate craft beer into the com­mu­nity of Wuhan. Only if some­one has a try will he or she find its mag­netism.

Ac­cord­ing to Li Mei, it is less proper to as­sume craft beer must be bet­ter than the tra­di­tional one. Some are more prone than oth­ers to be par­tial to craft beer.

“I am his brains as he is my hands.” Li Mei said with a smile. It is Tay­lor that makes her dream come true.

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