BREWING UP GOODNESS
ROCK BOTTOM BREWERY FRIENDSHIP:
For years, we would head on over to La Jolla and join our amazing friends at Rock Bottom Brewery & Restaurant to learn how they brew their special Fire Chief Ale. This special brew is only available for the month of February, and a portion of every Fire Chief Ale sale comes back to FirefighterAid. We love learning about the process of brewing in January and then celebrating the brew being ready to share! Every February, we celebrate with a tapping party and start the fundraising right there at the bar!
Thank you Rock Bottom Brewery & Restaurant in La Jolla for supporting FirefighterAid and inviting us to make a special brew with us. We are so grateful for your support year after year!
THE BREWING PROCESS:
1. GRAIN STORAGE - The main ingredient of the beer is malted barley, stored in a massive 30,000 lb. silo on the patio or in another space able to accommodate its size. For small-batch seasonal brews, we'll often store specialty malts in 50-pound bags in the grain room. The malting process takes place before we purchase the grain and involves wetting and sprouting the barley, then dry roasting it. The color of these malts depends on the temperature and duration of the roasting: darker malts were roasted hotter and longer; lighter malts weren't.
2. THE MILL - Your local Brewmaster starts the brewing process by selecting desired grains for the recipe and pouring them into the grain mill which crushes the husks between two adjustable steel rollers.
3. GRIST HOPPER - The ground grain, or grist, is stored in a grist hopper. The grist drops by gravity through a hydrating collar which sprays hot water on the grist forming a porridge-like mash.
4. MASH TUN - The mash collects in a huge mash tun, inside which more hot water is mixed with the mash and is stirred by the brewer with a wooden paddle; no mechanical stirring blades here. As the mash steeps, the starches in the grist are converted to sugars. More hot water is sprayed on the bed, called sparging, and the liquid is pumped again through the bed of mash. This liquid, called wort, is sweet to the taste.
5. BREW KETTLE - In the next step, the wort is pumped from the mash tun to the brew kettle where it's brought to a rousing boil. Here, the Brewmaster adds the all-important hops to impart bitterness and aromatics to the beer.
6. PLATE HEAT EXCHANGER - The wort flows from the brew kettle through a plate heat exchanger (very similar to a radiator) where cold water cools it from a near-boiling temperature to approximately 65 degrees Fahrenheit. In the process of cooling the wort, the cooling water becomes heated and is stored in the hot water back.
7. FERMENTATION VESSEL - The wort is pumped from the heat exchanger through stainless steel pipes to one of the five large, tall stainless fermentation tanks. Yeast is introduced to the fermenter as the cooled wort enters, and the fermentation process begins. The primary fermentation takes about five days with the temperature in the fermenter held at approximately 65 degrees Fahrenheit. When the primary stage is complete, the tank temperature is lowered to approximately 32 degrees Fahrenheit and the beer works its magic for another week to ten days.
8. SERVING VESSEL - After proper conditioning, the beer is transferred to serving tanks and is ready to drink.
It's with heavy hearts that we say farewell to our wonderful friends and supporters at Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery. For the last few years, we have partnered with Head Brewmaster, Dan Anderson, and their amazing team to bring you the special Fire Chief Ale brew that benefits FirefighterAid. We have loved every single minute of working with them at tapping parties and in our #SD911MSC beer garden.
Sadly, Rock Bottom's La Jolla location closed in February 2020, so that means our Finish the Keg party was canceled. While that is a huge bummer, we can always enjoy the memories of years past and working with Dan and all the amazing staff who helped make our events successful and #DoMoreGood for our Firefighters and their families.
Another GREAT time with our friends at Rock Bottom Brewery & Restaurant this year! We had a fantastic time sharing drinks, laughs, and stories with all of our incredible fire family and friends. We raised approximately $1,000 with all of your help, so THANK YOU for coming out to have a good time! All of the donations go towards FirefighterAid's mission of helping firefighters and their families in times of need. Thank you Rock Bottom, our fire family, and everyone who came to share a drink with us for being a hero to hero. See you next year!
We can't have a good time unless you have a good time. And we think you had a good time! THANK YOU Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery for being amazing community partners and inviting us to be your honored guests last night at the Fire Chief Ale Tapping Party. Thank you GovX and TEAM PHUN for all your support and just being awesome, we love you guys! Thank you, Katie Fisher Photography for capturing all the laughs. To all of our Firefighters and friends who came to support and taste the beer... you ROCK! We raised $1,206 to support Firefighters and their families!
FIRE CHIEF ALE PRESS LINKS:
2019 - Fire Chief Ale Brewing Party