It’s been two years since I wrote the last Notch blog. It was something I did on a regular basis in the first 5 years of Notch, as a vehicle to educate about all things session beer. But when we built a brick and mortar facility I was brewing in my own brewery again, and other things took priority. So much has happened since we opened in Salem in July of 2016, it would be impossible to summarize all of it with one blog.
I had one major goal when opening the Salem brewery- strive to be the very best lager brewery in the country and do everything that is required to get there. Be it process, equipment, people, ingredients, method of dispense… anything. Why? To me, the very best session beers in the world are traditional lagers, and if our Salem brewery were to do session beer justice, to elevate a category some find gimmicky, it would need to deliver lager at the very highest level. I am very proud of the lagers we are making, but are they the very best in the country? When you start to think that, or think it’s "good enough", you shut yourself off from learning and making yourself better - and at that point you are walking a path to mediocrity. The best is still ahead of us, and it will be a delicious ride for everyone along the way.
I'll leave you with two very different yet traditional lager methods of dispense - the German gravity cask and the Czech draft pour. Details, it is all about sweating the details.
Author - Chris