Finding ourselves at loose ends on a Saturday afternoon we decided to head out to the newest brewery in the area Kindred Spirit Brewing. The brewery has only been open since August 27th and it’s alway fun to check out the new kid and see their approach in a crowded beer field.
It was a little bit of a drive from town and is tucked into a corner off of West Creek Parkway (12830 W Creek Pkwy). Any parent that has a child in Strikers soccer or works on the West Creek Capital One Campus will be familiar with this area and it will make a nice stop after a hot afternoon game or rough day of work.
It’s nondescript from the exterior but the interior shows a polish and welcoming atmosphere that you seldom see in brand new spots.
The day we were there it was packed with thirsty patrons but extremely well staffed so that nobody was lacking for beer. A cover band keep things lively and got a few folks up and dancing. The staff were quick with baskets of complimentary popcorn, a practice that all Richmond breweries should adopt.
The IPA’s we tried (Planetary, Paid in Full, Headspace) were fine examples of the style. I regret not trying the Hoppy Brown which seemed quite popular but that gives me the perfect excuse to head back.
One section of the bar opens up to the brewery. It looks very similar to every other brewery you’ve ever seen.
Until your eye catches this contraption.
Our questions to staff resulted in the owner Joe Trottier coming over and talking to us. In laymen’s terms it’s a giant squishy thing that takes the mash and filters out all the good stuff.
Here’s a truly technical description from Craft Brewing Business:
The mash filter is a simple pneumatic press. With a mash filter, HEBS users don’t use a screen. “We mix the grain and the water, however, the grain is ground much finer — we grind our mill to .45 thousands, which is basically equivalent to flour,” Morgan said.
This mash mixture is stirred thoroughly for 45 minutes while saccarafication occurs, and then the team begins to pump the mash into the filter. The filter is setup with a membrane and a companion. The membrane is equipped with essentially a water bladder that, when actuated, will squeeze the grain against the companion sheet and recover almost every drop of wort and doing so at a crazy high level of efficiency.
Morgan said they produce really brite worts, sitting at 91 to 93 efficiency for wort extraction.
It’s part of a High Efficiency Brewing System or HEBS. Joe was very easy to talk with and said that the system cuts brewing time roughy in half and pointed to the panel that is control center for the brewing process.
If you’re beer geek wanting to see a bit of cutting edge brewing technology you should head out to Goochland. You should also head out there if you’re game for some new beers in a comfortable atmosphere. We’ll certainly be back.
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