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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Original Gravity Brewing Company

One of the best things about Milan (pronounced "My-Lynn"), Michigan is the Original Gravity Brewing Company.  The brewery takes its name from the first measurement a brewer takes of his or her wort--the boiled malt, hops, and other stuff that has yet to be fermented.  Gravity is measured with a hydrometer that floats in the wort and the reading is based on how much the hydrometer sinks.  The first measurement is called the Original Gravity. After the wort has fermented, another reading is taken, the Final Gravity.  The difference between the two measures allows the brewer to estimate how much of the sugars have fermented and, thereby, estimate the alcohol level by volume.  In their excitement to pitch the wort (add yeast), many home brewers forget to measure the original gravity (OK, maybe just me...).

The taproom was large with the brewing equipment sharing the same space.  The interior feeling was very much like sharing a beer with the brewer in his own workshop.  There were seven beers on tap.  We tried a sampler of them all.  General impression: Really Good Beer!  The IPAs and the amber were heavy on the hops, which I like.  The standout beer, however, was the "440 Pepper Smoker."  Just as the name implies, the beer is made with jalapenos and smoke.  Not normally my thing, but these flavors were well balanced.  The beer maid mentioned that the brewer was thinking about upping the pepper in the beer.  I think this would be a mistake.

 They also served a selection of deli sandwiches on sourdough or multi-grain. We ordered a turkey Reuben and a smoked turkey and guacamole.  The brewer (I think) made them in the back room and served us himself.   Both sandwiches were excellent and too big to finish.   Looking around the place, my impression was that this was a local, family establishment where people went to relax and catch up with the local happenings.

Located only about 20 minutes from Ann Arbor, the Original Gravity Brewing Company is just another reason why Ann Arbor is a Michigan beer lover's mecca.



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