Short Pour: Q & A with Omega Yeast Labs

Like many of you, part of why I brew beer is to experiment and create new recipes. Sure, we all have our favorites, but even then, changing up a few of the ingredients can yield surprising results.

Farley’s Feature – Brewing an Exciting Future

Brewing an Exciting Future

Friends – I started this business 23 years ago this month because of my passion for quality beer and the joy of brewing from my own home. We have seen tremendous growth in homebrewing in that time. Our community continues to expand as does the diversity of quality ingredients and equipment available.

Northern’s family is much bigger today than it was in 1993, but I’m proud to say that we have never lost our identity. Our employees and managers come to work every day with a commitment to be the best in the industry, period. Someday we want homebrewing to be as common a household craft in America as cooking or gardening. But we all know that we won’t get there through complacency.

Many of you have seen the news that we’ve closed a deal to be acquired by ZX Ventures, the global Disruptive Growth Unit of Anheuser-Busch InBev.

I’ll admit, we didn’t share this with you the way we should and for that, I apologize. I think this is a really important moment in our company’s history and an important moment in our shared passion for brewing great beer. Let me tell you what that means.

First, nothing will fundamentally change as the result of this deal. Our entire leadership team will remain intact and our company will continue to be independent. Our staff of dedicated employees will continue to serve our customers and help our industry innovate. Our culture will remain as it is today: vibrant, energetic, fair and dedicated to our mission and to you.

Second, this partnership with ZX Ventures is about growing our company and providing our customers with unparalleled opportunities. This deal will make us stronger and able to pursue our passion with even greater focus, better tools and ingredients.

We are convinced that this partnership will be good for us and great for you. We share the same mission with ZX, to provide “consumers with exceptional beer experiences, anytime, anywhere.” That is, after all, why we’re all here.

This is a really exciting opportunity that doesn’t come around that often. We’re proud of this deal and are excited to begin working with the team from ZX. We’re confident that in time, you will realize just how much we’re going to gain from this partnership and how everyone – you, our company and our community – will be better off because of it.

You have made our community thrive and made our business what it is today. Here’s to more than twenty years of brewing great beer together. Cheers to you and to the future.



Short Pour – What The Funk?

We often hear the word funk tossed around when people talk about Brettanomyces (Brett) and/or sour beers, but what does it mean? Some people interpret it as a barnyard, leather or horse blanket character. To others, it’s fruity aromas and flavors that are reminiscent of citrus or stone fruits that are a couple of days past ripe.


Short Pour – Lagers & Lederhosen

The weather is changing, the days are shortening, and one of my favorite beers is finding its way onto the shelves. I don’t just mean the rich caramel flavor of this Märzen style lager, but the 206 year-old celebration itself, Oktoberfest!


Short Pour – To Harvest, or Not To Harvest?

If you’re like me, you get tingles when you think about hop harvest season. Like a helicopter parent, you’ve coddled your backyard hop bines since they were babies, tending to them religiously and watching proudly as they’ve grown over the summer to be 16, 18, perhaps more than 20 feet tall! And now you’re staring at their beautiful cones, just waiting to be lovingly bombed into that IPA recipe you’ve been itching to brew. The time is now! you think to yourself.


Short Pour – Re-used Spent Grains: Re-diculously Delicious

Whether you’re steeping grains for an extract brew or mashing in an all-grain system there are usually a lot of grains involved. Grains add color, body and flavor to every brew but their usefulness doesn’t need to end there. Even after the wort is made, the spent grains have leftover fiber, protein, minerals, vitamins and essential amino acids waiting to be used anywhere but the landfill. Beer and food tend to go hand in hand and that is why I recommend incorporating spent grains from your kettle into your kitchen recipes.


Short Pour – Keeping It Sanitary

In my last post about ‘Keeping it Clean’ I discussed the importance of cleaning your brewing equipment. To all the brewers that are now using alkaline cleaners instead of dish soap, you made my day; your brew will thank you.


How to Catch a Pikachu… Milwaukee Style #PokemonGo

The Northern Brewer Milwaukee store may not have a PokeStop, but we can set an old-fashioned trap, knowing that no man, woman or Pokemon can resist some Plinian Legacy homebrew.


Short Pour – Hard Cider Made Easy

If you would have asked me three years ago about hard cider making I might have scoffed and rolled my eyes. I’m a “beer guy.” Two years ago a friend talked me into making a few 6 gallon batches of hard cider using apples from the family farm. It was excellent!


Short Pour – Why Bother With Bottles?

Seems like the answer should be pretty straight-forward: “So I can drink it!”…right? After all, almost everybody who brews started out by bottling their beer.