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By in Uncategorized Comments Off on Environmental Health and Beer

Environmental Health and Beer

People ask Erin and I all the time if we have day jobs outside of the brewery.  And yes, we both do.  We both work in Environmental Health.  Erin is a Food Specialist for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  I am Solid Waste Team Supervisor for Ottawa County Department of Public Health.  Both of us have been working on the regulatory end of Environmental Health for some time now.

 

Friday, October 13, 2017 I had the opportunity to combine the day job and the brewery for a brief time.  Over the past 3 or 4 years I have provided education to fellow health Sanitarians who have to inspect breweries.  While most inspectors have dozens of traditional restaurants on their inspection roster, they occasionally may have a small brewery like ours to inspect.  Depending on how much beer they distribute, they may be inspected by either local public health departments or the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.  Those inspectors are often very familiar with regular food production equipment but not the specialized equipment we use in brewing.  This can make a very stressful situation for both the inspector and the brewery.

 

For about 90 minutes I was able to present the basics of beer, equipment, processes, and inspection concerns to around 50 inspectors on site at 4 Two 4 as part of the Southwest Michigan Environmental Health Association’s Fall Conference.  The attendance and Q & A for this presentation was fantastic.  It’s great to interact with regulators in a way that allows them learn about what we do, so both side come to a better understanding of the process and regulations.

 

Through events like this we hope to continue to provide education and outreach to those tasked with regulating our industry.  For our part, you can rest assured that we do everything we can to always follow proper brewing practices and food safety regulations to bring you quality products served in a quality manner.

By in Blog, Craft Beer, Uncategorized Comments Off on Washed in Black

Washed in Black

Beers brewed to style can be great.  But sometimes they can box in a brewer. Sometimes you need to go outside of the box to find the cool stuff.  “Washed in Black” is one of those beers.  I created this beer years ago specifically to have all of my favorite things in it.  Thankfully, everybody seems to like a lot of the same stuff I do.  It starts with a fairly typical IPA grain bill.  From there, we add a substantial amount of Rye malt that adds a great bite that balances out the sweeter malts.  Finally, we add Black malt which adds a touch of dry roasted flavor and washes the beer black.  Hence: “Washed in Black”.  

“Washed in Black” is a great descriptor of the beer.  It is also an homage to a great band.  “Washed in Black” is lyrics pulled from Pearl Jam’s “Black”.  One of my favorite songs from my favorite band.

As you taste this beer, try to find the subtle roasty notes up front followed by the crisp spicy rye and sweet caramel malts.  And finally, the bitter punch of Simcoe and Columbus hops on the end.  

A beer competition judge may say that this beer is out of style.  There is no such thing as a “Black Rye IPA”.  That is just fine with us.  We just categorize it as “delicious”.  

Dave

By in Uncategorized Comments Off on What does that Sign Mean?

What does that Sign Mean?

Back (L to R): Paul Busscher, Erin Busscher, Bruce Anspaugh
Front (L to R): Amy Anspaugh, Jane (Overway) Busscher, Erin Miller, Dave Miller

If you’ve visited our brewery, you’ve probably seen the sign. It’s written in Dutch, and it has a special meaning beyond the words engraved.

Many of you have asked what it says; some were even able to figure it out. Today we will go behind the words and give you some insight on the man and the story behind those words.

Good friends of ours, I’d venture to say, our Holland family, the Overway/Busscher clan, graciously welcomed us into their family circle 10 years ago when a chance reunion occurred. Erin and the “Other Erin” happened to meet at UW-Green Bay while in graduate school, and when we moved to Holland (the 424) we just so happened to move across the street from (the Other) Erin’s Aunt. We’ve been part of the “family” ever since and you’ll see them visiting their tulip glasses very often.

Now, back to the sign…Erin’s grandfather, Marv, was quite the character. He was 2nd generation Dutch-American and grew up in Noordeloos. He was a railroad engineer and a World War II Vet. He had many “Marv-isms” which he would exclaim in Dutch, much to his delight because no one would really know exactly what he was saying. He loved life and worked hard for everything he ever acquired, which meant his life was grand. He had all he would ever need in life. He always offered you a beer and he loved the Cubs. Marv also loved the water. He paid cash for a modest house on Lake Macatawa and he loved to be on the water fishing. One of his most endearing Marv-isms was one he’d always say while out fishing, and that saying is now hanging on our wall.

It says (in Dutch): “Today we brew beer, so don’t shit in the river!”

We’re not exactly sure where Marv aquired this saying, for all we know he made it up!  But, we do know that clean water is important for all of us, and it extends to making good beer too. When the Busschers said they wanted to give us this sign we were honored to accept it, and to hang it in our brewery. Not only does it epitomize a great man, it also ressonates with us because our water resources in the Holland area are of upmost importance to our (collective) lifestyle and local economy. We can’t enjoy life to the fullest like Marv did if we dirty the very things that bring us joy and satisfaction. So next time you’re in the brewery, raise a glass to Marv and the great resource we have in our back yards, the Lake Michigan water used to brew the beer at Brewery 4 Two 4.