Beer Camp by Adela Crandell

“I’m taking the bus,” George said.

“But why?  You can drive to Cincinnati in a day.”

“It’s Beer Camp.  A bus seems like the right mode of transportation.  Besides Oldenberg Brewery is in Kentucky, not Ohio.”

That’s right.  GMP Institute is just over the river from the Oldenberg Brewery.  Or at least it was several years ago. GMP Institue is sold and  Jim Wulfeck, the founder, moved on to other things.   The Oldenberg Brewery was sold  to the Silver Creek Brewing Corporation.

I attended the GMP Institute for a “Train the Trainer” seminar in Cincinnati.  That’s where I learned the catch-phrase, “GMP is a Lifestyle.”  Many of our case studies were based on issues Oldenberg actually had, or pretended to have:  Sanitation, storage of materials, procuring quality materials, maintaining batch consistency, preventing contamination.  Other quality attributes brewers must consider are familiar to those of us who work in the FDA regulated industry:  Additives, flavor standards, clarity, quality control, and consistent manufacturing processes.

So many things go into controlling beer quality.  The mineral content of brewing water will make a difference in the taste and quality of the beer.  Enzyme content, starch and protein content are controlled by the type of malt added to the formulation.  Hops, although a minor ingredient, are not only important to flavor and aroma, but they ply an important role in preventing bacterial growth and precipitation of the proteins. (You can find out more in the Brewer’s Handbook.  That’s what I did.)

As an added perk, attendees at the Train the Trainer seminar got a chance to taste several of Oldenberg’s 200 plus micro-brewed beers.

I picked up a flyer for the Oldenberg’s Brewery’s Beer Camp.   Hmmm, this might make a good birthday present for a certain at-home beer brewer.  That was one of my most genius moment.

Beer Camp came with the expert classes where “campers” learn how to tweak  their own recipes, and make new beer buddies.  Each camper got assigned a group:  Pilsner, Lager, Stout, etc.  The group members exchange brewing/consuming war stories, make up their own songs, and compete with other groups.  The second of the three-day camp session ends with a pub crawl on both sides of the river and across state lines.  Campers are on a bus, of course.  What better way to demonstrate what the campers learn?

George’s complimentary Oldenberg Beer Camp T-shirt, is still a conversation starter. Still, it is showing some signs of wear.   I wonder if he’ll notice if I relegate it to the rag box.

This month’s ASQ 1212 section meeting is at The Onion Pub and Brewery.  We’ll get a tour of the micro-brewery and bottling facility where our host will demonstrate what goes into maintaining their high quality beers.  All that is followed by a dinner that is sure to please.

The Onion Pub is one of George’s and my favorite places to eat.  Our visits always bring back memories of Beer Camp.  Maybe I can talk the Master Brewer at The Onion Pub into starting their very own Onion Pub Brewery Beer Camp.  I could ride my bike there.  Better send someone to pick me up afterwards.  Afterall, I have my Mug Card, and I’m saving points for a new t-shirt for George.

See you there!



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