In the first JJ Abrams Star Trek one scene involved Kirk running through the engine room. “That looks like a brewery,” I thought to myself. It was: Anheuser Busch, it turns out.
Some of that “am I on a spaceship?” vibe persists at Hydraulic Hearth. They started brewing there last week, with our Assistant Brewer Robert Turley — who you should know as the creator of The End Is Rye but who will forever live in my heart as the guy who washes kegs so I don’t have to — donning the mantle of Head Brewer. He’ll continue to work at both CBW and Hydraulic Hearth, exemplifying the lineage. Us, but southeast.
Ethan lured me there with the promise of bagels: I could get a blog post out of a trip during a brew day, sure, but I had my kids Han style1 that day. He brought up brunch, with food provided by BreadHive, and hey I could take some pictures and feed my kids! And have a beermosa.
BreadHive and Hydraulic Hearth split the duties, with the former handling food and the latter drinks. Glancing over both menus I felt that familiar sinking feeling, the paradox of choice, because I wanted everything. I know I have to say that, as someone with a financial interest in the venue2, but its truth persists.
We had waited for my wife before coming down, and ate and drank and listened to the live music (played by people I recognized from the Wake of Rutherford B. Haze) and generally had a good time. My kids only ate a third or so of their bagels each, meaning I ate two or three, but I did not care. Man shall not live on bread alone, but I think I could make a go of it with bagels.
Full of bagels and prosciutto and Witte and orange juice, I headed into the back. There I found the spaceship innards, their 7 bbl brewhouse, with Mr Turley manning the helm. We climbed — up a steel ladder, with burrs for traction! — to look at the proto-Frank. Robert opened the lid of the mash tun and shined a flashlight inside. Its light diffused through lazily rolling steam, and I told him it reminded me of the egg scene from Alien.
Sorry. I’m shoving too many science fiction references into this small space. Sort of like how the TARDIS is bigger on th- sorry. Sorry.
Around the corner I saw Matt Redpath, formerly of Gordon Biersch and currently of Woodcock Brothers, spraying the everloving hell out of a fermenter with water. You can call a brewery many things, but certainly not “dry”. Robert took me into the cooler, filled with our familiar black 1/6 bbl kegs. I surveiled the surroundings: the same, and yet very different.
Not wanting to take up too much of his time, and also mindful of my family waiting for me in the car3, I said my farewells and headed outside. My son had wanted us to eat outside, and we’ll do that soon enough, but considering the literal whiteouts I drove through to get there we thought it best to leave the outside alone for now. Hydraulic Hearth has plans for that outside, and the inside, and probably for things which have no sides or which are made only of sides.
Like a tesseract.