ALPINE, WY — When it comes to Melvin Brewing — the GABF’s 2015 Brew Pub of the Year —we toast to forward drinking flow. Melvin Brewing has officially launched production of its award-winning beers at their new 20,000-square-foot facility on six acres in Alpine, Wyoming.
Initial production of Melvin Brewing began quietly on December 13th in Alpine and includes Clinic ISA, Melvin IPA, 2×4 DIPA and Hubert MPA (a Melvin Pale Ale, or what some other breweries would call an IPA). This January, Melvin Brewing will expand distribution to Colorado, Washington and Idaho.
The production facility, located some 35 miles from Jackson, Wyoming plans to open a tasting room, host tours and events in the summer of 2016. Or it might not, guess it all depends on if they get a road and a parking lot…
In addition to the new brewery and expanded distribution, National 2×4 Day will be celebrated at 24 bars nationwide on February 4th. Check out www.2x4man.com in January for more details. 2×4 Double India Pale Ale has won a couple of local participant ribbons as well as two Alpha King’s in Denver, a World Beer Cup and GABF Gold. “We are proud to announce that 2×4 has also beaten out the famous Canadian and Mexican IPA’s by winning a couple Gold medals at the North American Brewers Association’s annual awards, twice!” said Melvin’s Co-founder and Field Hoperative, Jeremy Tofte.
The R&D system will remain in Downtown Jackson at Thai Me Up restaurant, while production and distribution will be facilitated at Melvin Brewing in Alpine, with four full-time employees and five to seven part-time hires. Head production brewer Dave Chichura, former head brewer of Oskar Blues, will present Melvin to the people. Chichura will focus on maintaining his charm, production consistency and culturing the Melvin crew to the sweet musical sounds of Ween. Head brewer, Kirk McHale, will continue to push craft brewing boundaries with his praying mantis style hop attacks, and Wu inspired wisdom. Within the facility, there is also a mad lab to ensure the chemistry and artistry of Melvin’s beers are always accurate. A lab wizard, or beer chemist by the name of Andrea Baillo, PhD, holds a doctorate in chemistry from Wayne State and ran the Maui Brewing Co. lab for two years before joining the team at Melvin.
The nuts and bolts of the brewery …
Melvin’s new brewing apparatus features a Newlands semi-automated, 30-barrel, four-vessel system engineered for Melvin’s higher gravity beers. The GEA centrifuge was chosen with Melvin’s remote location in mind, providing a higher-yield that will help equalize shipping costs. Melvin emphasizes the 5th ingredient, CO2, a staple of larger brewers that can be overlooked by smaller breweries. “If there is anything we can learn from the big boys, it’s proper carbonation,” said Tofte on assembling the new equipment. “We took a page out of their playbook and acquired the technology for in-line carbonation. This takes the guess-work out of the process and gives us proper, lip-smacking carbonation every time. We don’t ride flat mountains, so why would we drink flat beer?”
“And since our distributors have always wanted us in the can, we went ahead and bought a Wild Goose canning line.” Look for cans throughout west this spring.
Bottles will play a lesser role at Melvin, with a limited run of hand bottled 22-ounce bombers for particular markets, and in due time Melvin will produce cork and cage bottles as part of the Manual Release Series ©. The Manual Release Series will be Melvin’s experimental series focused on various barrel aging, different grains and yeast strains. In late January, 22 ounce bottle bombers of Hubert, Melvin IPA and 2×4 will be available in various bottle shops in the Boise, Idaho area as well as numerous Albertsons.
Melvin Beer can be found on tap in the following markets: throughout Colorado in mid January, Boise, Idaho, February 5th, Olympia, Vancouver & Tacoma, Washington, February 14th, and Seattle, Washington on March 1st.
Beginning brew capacity is 10 x 60 barrel Fermenters and 3 x 60 barrel Brites. An additional 4 x 120 barrel fermenters will be delivered in the spring. In short, Melvin will have enough fermentation capacity to brew more beer in 2016 than the entire state of Wyoming brewed in 2015.
About Melvin Brewing
Melvin Brewing was founded in 2009 by Jeremy Tofte and Kirk McHale to fulfill their need to drink the biggest, most exciting West-Coast Style IPAs in Jackson, WY. Originally experimenting on a ½ barrel then upgrading to a three-barrel brew system, they immediately developed the Melvin IPA and 2×4 Double IPA, which went on to win gold medals at the 2012 Great American Beer Festival, back-to-back Alpha King awards in 2012 and 2013, and a Gold Medal at the World Beer Cup. On the strength and good fortune of our glorious beer, Melvin Brewing was then awarded the 2015 Small Brew Pub and Small Brew Pub Brewer of the year, and we skipped right out of that arena like a bunch of proud giggly man babies.
Melvin brewing now has more than 40 incomprehensible beer recipes to its name, expanding its portfolio of hoppy beers and other styles such as ChChCh-Cherry Bomb (Fruit Beer), Killer Bees (Honey Ale), Uncle Ruckus (Imperial Stout), and Heyzeus! (Mexican Lager).