2017 was a fantastic year. We had a surge of new faces in the Taproom and although it was a struggle at times, we kept up, improved our beer and service, and we saw those fresh faces as well as familiar ones return.
We certainly have some ambitious goals for 2018. If you are reading this email you will be one of the first to hear about them as they become reality. I would like to share with you today our 2018 resolution. OK, resolutions may be cliché but this one will make a lot of folks happy. By the end of the year we hope to offer half the beers on our menu as gluten reduced.
Thanks to an enzyme, brewers are able to offer gluten reduced beers that fall below FDA standards for a gluten free product (<20 ppm). The enzyme is added prior to fermentation and works to break down protein chains that cause chill haze. One of these protein chains being gluten. Although it falls in line with federal standards for “gluten free” our beer is labeled as “Crafted to Remove Gluten” since the beer originally contained gluten protein chains that have been broken down into protein fragments. For those who have a sensitivity to gluten or have chosen to avoid gluten for dietary concerns these beers are generally safe. If you have a severe reaction to gluten, it is still recommended to avoid these beers. As I am sure my lawyer is reading this, I will add: Consume at your own risk! There is still a risk of cross contamination since barley and wheat are widely use at our facility. To be clear: all of our products are originally brewed with gluten.
We are far from the first brewery to do this but you may be asking “Why doesn’t every brewery do this?”. Adding the enzyme is easy and relatively inexpensive. However just because you properly dose the beer with the enzyme doesn’t mean the protein chomping sorcery will take place. Careful documentation and lab testing must take place which adds time and cost to each batch produced. Because the equipment for testing gluten is terribly expensive for our 3bbl brewery, we send a sample of the finished beer off to a lab to be tested. The test results for each of our beers are then posted on our website upon receipt. In edition, although the enzyme is designed not to have an effect on beer flavor, expect a gradual roll out as we validate the effects on our products.
On tap now is our first American Stout that is Crafted to Remove Gluten. You can spot it with a GR symbol on the menu. The test results can be viewed here. Its a Nice roasty dark beer and for some reason we haven’t brewed a generic stout yet. I guess we were focusing on our Loonar Uprising 🙂
10K Brewing will be celebrating our 2nd Birthday Saturday November 11th with a charity concert benefiting Nice Music! We will be shutting down 2nd Ave in front of the taproom to make room for a stage, lighting and sound!
Nice Music aims to provide resources and support for underfunded K-12 music programs, students who cannot otherwise afford instruments through no fault of their own and scholarships for higher education.
Event Cost: Free! (ACBC Food Shelf will be taking food donations on site. Please bring non-perishable food items!) Location: 10K Brewing 2005 2nd Ave, Anoka, MN Event Date: November 11th Road Closure: 1pm – Midnight Event Time: 4pm – 10pm Opening Band: 5-7pm Derek Callender & Band Headliner: 8-10pm The Plott Hounds
Weather Contingency: In the event of lightning, rain, heavy snow fall or ice; the outdoor event will be canceled. Both bands will still perform inside the taproom instead and we will still be serving beer! We will however have limited indoor capacity. Check here for updates regarding weather contingency. Currently the outdoor event is still on! We will not cancel this event for cold weather. Dress warm!
Q. Will you accept credit cards at this event? A. We will accept credit cards for beer purchases inside and outside of the Taproom. Food will be cash only. We will have several ATMs on site! Q. Will this event be family friendly? A. Yes! We will have Killebrew soda available.
Special Beer Releases
Bourbon Barrel Aged Release: Wee-Heavy
White Knuckle Lager
Coconut Moose Nuts
Food & Non-Alcoholic
Casa Rio will be hosting a taco bar until 9pm
Von Hanson’s flavored pretzels
Killebrew Root Beer & Cream Soda
June 10th is our annual 5K/10K run along the Rum River. Tickets are sold out but you can still get in on events all day long! We are releasing a barrel of Wee-Heavy that has been aging for 8 months. Lots of bourbon flavor and some nice oak notes. We are also releasing our last barrel of “The Worst Beer We Ever Made”. This beer comes from a spoiled batch of Scottish Ale that was inoculated with souring bacteria and aged in a oak barrel for 11 months. The result is one of the most interesting sours you will ever try! Bring the family, we have food specials for everyone and soda for kids. Just be sure to stay for Blues Night at 7pm!
$1 Whistler Craft Soda for kids all day!
$6 Bacon Cheese Burger
Add Fries for $2 more
$6 Naked Burrito
Add Chips & Salsa for $2 more
10am Taproom & Patio Opens
11am 5K/10K Begins (City Hall Plaza Behind The Brewery)
2pm Barrel Aged Wee-Heavy (Aged 8 Months) Release
2pm Barrel Aged Sour Scottish Ale “The Worst Beer We Every Made” (Aged 11 Months) Release
Before opening the doors to 10K Brewing we had two goals. With stride, struggle, and success we have certainly exceeded our goal of providing a rotating selection of craft beer with regular new beer releases and returning favorites. We have also succeeded in our goal of delivering a rotating selection of entertainment with live music performances, Comedy nights, crafts and more! Now we are going all in on live music and entertainment, starting the journey of a brewery and entertainment venue.
Over the last year we have worked hard to deliver entertainment that pairs well with our mission of “Nice Beer. Nice People.” We have never charged a cover, we work with local musicians as much as possible booking them first and we treat our musicians like we treat our employees making sure our bookings stay mutually beneficial. You even voted us “Best Place To Hear Live Music” through the Anoka County Shopper in 2016. Though live entertainment was one of our primary goals, it has always been secondary for us and for good reason. We are first and foremost a brewery. Procuring the tools we need to brew better beer and improving ourselves as brewers was priority. But now that we have taken a strong hold on the brewing forefront, we are making becoming Anoka’s top live entertainment venue one of our primary objectives as well. We often refer to our mission of “Nice Beer. Nice People” as a challenge to our commitments. Add Nice Music to that list.
Delivering On Our Commitment
If you have come for a comedy show, bingo or trivia night in the past, you may have found it difficult to hear, even hard to enjoy. In the last month we have installed a house sound system which bands, duos, and solo acts may use to deliver crystal clear sound throughout the taproom. The sound system offers a slew of other benefits including allowing smaller acts without their own system to play and more floor space for you to enjoy shows. In addition, we are doing away with the speakers that delivered radio static and have pervade in serving background music up until now. We have increased our music licensing to allow bands to play a wider range of music and allow us to play popular recorded music while you enjoy your beer.
Stay In The Know
We are now offering entertainment every night. Our goal in the coming months is to make you more aware of what options are available in the taproom. We currently use a calendar on our website and Facebook Events to deliver this information. Soon you will be able to receive bi-monthly text messages with our entertainment schedule. Just text NICE MUSIC to 81018 to get on board!
The Road Ahead
We have much more in store for this year to come including adding an open mic night for both comedians and musicians alike. You will also see an even wider spread of performances and activities in the taproom. We are very fortunate to have our brewery in Anoka. One of the best places for live entertainment in Minnesota, where you need not go far to find world class talent. We cannot thank the performers enough for making that possible.
Thank you for continuing to support us and here is to exciting things to come. Cheers!
We have produced 16 batches in our single hop Nice Pale Ale series. The rules for this particular beer are simple. Only one variety of hop used in each batch. No modifying the hop schedule. No modifying the malt bill. This allows the person enjoying the beer to see how each variety of hop changes the beers flavor, bitterness, and aroma.
The Azzaca variety of hop is one of my favorites so far. It does a great job of creating a smooth, consistent but not overpowering bitterness to the beer. The flavor is very intriguing. Unlike other varieties of hops that are piney or floral, Azzaca has a fruity flavor. I get a melon flavor from it, almost musky. But again, flavorful with out being in your face. We also dry hop each batch of Nice Pale Ale. Azzaca does not contribute a lot to the aroma department but it does make this batch smell more hoppy than malty. Which evidently, is exactly how a pale ale should smell!
And Of Course, Its Brewed With The New Water
Our filtered water almost makes the Nice Pale Ale a whole new beer. The hops are more forward without being harsh and keeps a nice medium malt body. The Nice Pale Ale has always taken a long time to clarify. With the new water, the beer clarifies in about 1/3 of the time which results in a overall better beer.
When I brewed at home, I used a mix of 1 part bottled water to 1 part carbon filtered tap water. Add a little pH stabilizer and it resulted in awesome beer!
When opening 10K Brewing, buying even half of the ~160 gallons of water it takes to make a batch in bottle water obviously wouldn’t work. Anoka’s water comes from aquifers located under the earth’s surface. As water makes its way into the aquifer from the surface it collects ions. In addition, aquifers are fluid and as they flow, the water picks up even more ions. As a result this makes Anoka water very hard when we compare it to surface water sources. Hard water is not necessarily a bad thing, but it becomes very difficult to brew with all of the extra ions and the beers that I brewed at home were no longer turning out awesome.
What The Heck Are Ions?
Ions are minerals that have dissolved into the water. Calcium, magnesium, sodium, etc. To keep things simple, I am going to talk about just one ion, sulfate. Anoka water is low in sulfate. Most municipal water is. Sulfate accentuates hop flavor and the perception of bitterness. Whereas our water being low in sulfate and high in other ions does the opposite, it accentuates malt flavor. There are a few ways to increase the sulfate level. The most common being magnesium sulfate (Epson Salt) and calcium sulfate (Gypsum). But our problem is that our water is already extremely high in both magnesium and calcium. So adding these to the water to accentuate hop flavor would ultimately do more harm than good.
Without anyway to remove these extra ions we focused on brewing beers that were more malty than bitter. Not a huge problem since our target market prefers malty beers. But as the brewery grew I felt limited in the quality of beer we could produce and that limitation revolved around sub-par water. A few months after we opened Sisyphus Brewing offered to come in for a brew along. The first question the head brewer asked was “Do you have hard water?” By the end of the brew day I had the kick in the ass I need to pursue water treatment options.
Searching For A Solution
Until now our water treatment consisted of particulate filtration (filtering organic materials), carbon filtration (filtering chlorine), and citric acid to acidify the water within acceptable range. But we needed a way to remove those pesky ions. Reverse osmosis (RO) was the obvious choice and most brewers that don’t have access to applicable water sources in Minnesota, go that route. But there is a few problems with reverse osmosis:
Reverse osmosis is wasteful. Reverse osmosis forces water through membranes that allows pure water to pass but not larger ions and other dissolved solids. What doesn’t pass through the membrane needs to leave the treatment system through brine water. Most RO systems waste 1 part water for every 2 parts it cleans. That means you waste 50 gallons for every 100 gallons of clean water. In addition it works so well that it strips almost all of the ions away. But for brewing we actually need to keep some of the ions around. So brewers will mix back in 40-70% untreated water to add ions back in.
Because reverse osmosis removes almost all of the ions and dissolved solids from the water, it is no longer Anoka water. It’s just pure water. I takes away the uniqueness.
Most RO membranes are designed to last less than a year. This is because the manufacture wants to make money on replacement membranes. The system itself is cheap, but upkeep and maintenance turns a premium.
RO water is also corrosive, energy intensive, and requires additional pretreatment equipment. To me, RO was not an obvious choice. I began looking outside of Minnesota for a solution. Water is not scare here. We have plenty of it but that doesn’t mean we should waste it. Our water is also very high quality and unique to the region. So why should we strip it of its uniqueness? California regularly experiences droughts. In recent years it has been considered the driest since record keeping began. They don’t have the water to waste. Traditional RO systems are unacceptable.
A Better Solution Is Out There
EconoPure is a company experienced in water treatment with roots in sea water desalination and treatment of water for fracking. Located in California, they understood exactly the problem I was describing. 10K Brewing partnered with EconoPure to help test and develop their LF Nano water treatment system.
Unlike RO, Nano filtration leaves some ions in the water. Providing EconoPure with the correct information allowed them to procure membranes and prepare the LF Nano for entry into the brewery market. The LF Nano also resolves the pitfalls of traditional RO filtration:
The LF Nano significantly reduces brine water being 90% efficient. That’s only 1 part waste for every 10 parts cleaned.
Because we are leaving some ions in the water, it is still Anoka water. By designing the membranes correctly, it gives us the exact water we need for brewing.
The LF Nano’s patented design significantly reduces membrane fouling. Membranes are estimated to last 4-7 years. EconoPure is not focused on driving income from replacement membranes. They focus on creating the best treatment systems that solve water problems faced around the world.
The result is water that in itself can once again result in awesome beer. But also gives me the flexibility to design a water profile that best fits the beer I am brewing. We started this project in March of 2016 and we expect to be fully converted to the new water by March of 2017. The project itself involved 10K Brewing building a new water treatment room, redesigning recipes, and changing our brew process. EconoPure designed new membranes and adapted the LF Nano for brewery operations. A technical endeavor that combined the strengths of Minnesota values and California innovation.
Join as we roll out new beers (such as the Citra Session IPA) and convert your favorites using the new water. To help identify these beers, look for the following water symbol on our menu:
The Fine Print: This is the first time we are offering 64oz growlers. We will only fill our own 64oz growlers. Only 100 will be sold. Price does not include growler fill. 64oz growlers will be filled at a flat rate of $20 per beer. Some beers excluded. One 64oz growler per customer. Tickets will be handed out to customers in line starting at 11:30am.