Homebrewers Project 1st Beer Release!!9 May 2019
In January this year, we published an add and info on our Facebook page, regarding starting a completely new project. We decided to find homebrewers, willing to cooperate and make their name known to the world by creating beers under Browar Rockmill brand.
Knowing how vast and well-developed the homebrewing community in Poland is, we figured out that this positive energy and passion cannot go to waste. That is why we decided to give some of them a chance to present their skills and recipes to the beer lovers not only on Polish but also on international market.
During first three months, this idea evolved from being just a brazen thought, to a solid project focused on Brewery-Homebrewer cooperation, which we’ve given a codename: Homebrewers Project!
We’ve already had a couple meeting with homebrewers, one of them resulted in beer being already in the fermentation tank. Homebrewers Project #1 has been there for a while and the release date is coming up with big steps. Are you wondering who we chose? What style of beer and most important, what kind of beer is that?
A secret has been revealed
Who else is going to answer those questions better than the brewmaster himself? All we are going to say is that the first beer from new project is going to be called “A New Hope”, and it’s recipe has been created by Artur Romejko, whom we asked a couple of questions during the brewing:)
Artur, basic question to start off, when did you start your adventure with homebrewing?
I got really into homebrewing around 2014. At first i was buying different craft beers, starting with iconic ones, those which started craft beer revolution in Poland. After some time, i thought to myself that it would be really cool to make your own beer, and to be able to enhance it with whatever additions i’d have on my mind. Especially given the fact that the store offer hasn’t been developed properly yet. Of course i taught myself how to brew, using guidelines from the famous Polish beer forum piwo.org, watching Tomasz Kopyra videos on Youtube and asking my mentor- Michał Białozór, who in 2016 won Kuźnia Piwowarów trophy. I, myself, one year later managed to get second place in the same competition, but in Belgian Blond style category.
How many batches have you made yet and what’s your favourite style?
I wouldn’t say i’ve done some significant amount of batches, right now i’d estimate them at around 40. Ever since, the selection in stores had grown massively, i’m not as active brewer as i used to be. When i’m brewing at home, i usually go for my favourite darker style of beers, mostly stouts, which i’m a very big fan of. At first, i was trying to brew in every style possible, but i assumed, that most of the beers i’m making, i have to drink it then:) So, very reasonably, i started brewing in styles which i prefer the most, so stouts and veeeeerrry hoppy IPAs.
Ok, so the beer, brewed by you can be called a byproduct of two of your favourite styles, so dark beers and hoppy IPAs. Before you reveal to us, what kind of beer will be the first one from the Homebrewers Project series, i will ask you, if this style is not being somehow bypassed by craft beer revolutionaries?
First things first, i will reveal this big secret. It’s going to be a DDH (double dry hopped) Black IPA in 2 versions, first with juniper berries, second with juniper berries and Earl Grey tea. In my opinion there is not enough Black IPAs on the market. That’s why i decided to send this particular one to guys from Rockmill. Maybe it’s a bit on a contrary, but this beer is inspired by craft beer revolution, which created a huge amount of very hoppy and light beers with a distinctive bitterness. I personally think, that it’s an art to create dark beer, which is going to taste like a light one, even during blindtasting.
We can’t wait for the first blindtests of your beer. Tell us, where did you get the idea to use juniper berries in “A New Hope”?
The idea to add juniper berries came from tradition. This particular fruit had been used in many recipes during XIX century in Germany, so i thought it’s a good idea to remind people about it by using it in the most suitable style of beer, so a Black IPA. A New Hope is also inspired by forest. Hops, which we used are supposed to carry on a slightly citral note (Citra, Ahtanum), but also resinousness, associated with smell of trees and forest (Simcoe). To complete the recipe and balance the taste properly, i used juniper berries, which incorporates proper bitterness
In the medieval times, juniper was very often added as a beer spice, mostly because it has very similar strenghtening and aromatic qualities. It’s also being very commonly used in Gin. Back in the days, around Kurpia region, they used to make traditional beer using only juniper. Right now, you can find juniper mostly in Sahti style beers, which originated in Finland. Have i made a good job? I’ll let the beer lovers decide!
What’s your impression after first brewing, using big pots? Have you been suprised by anything or was it just as you imagined?
Brewing commercially in a big brewery is a lot different that homebrewing. It’s definitely more physical work, demanding even bigger brewing knowledge and familiarity with both the equipment and safety procedures. Fortunately, first brewing for me was exactly as i imagined before in my dreams. I’ve received a huge amount of support from Michał Kordek, Brewmaster in Browar Bytów, in which Rockmill beers are being made. I would like to thank him the most for guiding me through the entire process. The only thing that really suprised me was the fact, that you can create many home-made constructions, which are helpful in the entire brewing process in such a big facility