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Find out all about what's going on with us here at Hankscraft AJS. Read up on what's happening with us in the news as well as all of the new and exciting tap handle and related products we're producing for our partners

and clients. Check back often for new updates!

  • Writer's pictureNick West

By Nick West, West Coast Sales Manager

On my recent trip to Colorado, I had the fortunate chance to tour the iconic home of Fat Tire and Voodoo Ranger, New Belgium Brewing. Walking up to this legendary brewery nestled on the Cache Le Poudre River in Northern Colorado, you get a sense of how proud the members of New Belgium of the place they call home.

When you first arrive for your tour, you check in at the front desk area and grab a beer while waiting for your tour guide to whisk you away through the halls of the brewery. Once I had my 1554 Belgian Dark Ale in hand, our tour guide Kyle gathered us around and began the tour.

Inside New Belgium

We started in History Hall on the “hot side, the part of the brewery where the warm processes of the brewing cycle take place. After a quick history lesson from Kyle, we headed upstairs to a gigantic room where the first steps of brewing take place. In the center of this room were 4 gigantic stainless-steel tanks where the grist, or milled grain, mixes with water to make a “beer tea” that is rich in sugar for the yeast to eat later on. The “beer tea”, or wort, in these tanks have one job: to make New Belgium’s Iconic Voodoo Ranger series of IPAs.

Once we had spent some time wandering this room, it was time to head to the “cold side”, but our fantastic host made sure we didn’t leave empty handed so, Kyle had us all pour our own beer and naturally I poured myself a sample of Fat Tire.

Over on the “cold side”, we got to see where wort is turned into beer. In this area, there are several large fermentation tanks where the yeast is pitched, and the production of alcohol begins. Then down the hall from the fermentation tank was my favorite part: The area dubbed “The Foeder Forest”! This is where New Belgium’s sour ales come to life. A large warehouse full of massive oak wine barrels called foeders is where iconic beers like La Folie and Le Terroir are born. After Kyle poured us all a sample of La Folie, it was time to wrap up the life cycle of beer and head to the packaging facility. After a short walk through the beautiful New Belgium campus, we arrived at the canning line and were greeted with an ice cold can of the same beer we saw in the mash tuns: a Voodoo Ranger IPA that was canned that very morning. Once we got to see the canning line in action, our tour was almost over and it was time to head back to the taproom, but not after stopping to admire some old artwork that coincidentally I have copies of sitting at my desk.

I want to give a big thanks to New Belgium Brewing for their hospitality during my trip. If anyone is in Fort Collins and looking for a great way to spend an afternoon, schedule a tour of this legendary brewery and enjoy the magic and beauty of New Belgium Brewing.

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May in Wisconsin can mean a few things to different groups of people. To some it’s just one month closer to summer, to others it means the fishing opener is right around the corner, but to the beer lovers it means it’s Maibock season.

The maibock is a wonderful malty lager that is light golden to amber in color with a robust alcohol content. This lager is clean and refreshing for those warmer spring days but still can warm you up when it decides to snow again, which is exactly what this beer was made for.

Originating in the Bavarian Alps, this beer was the bridge between winter beers like other bocks and summer beers like the pilsner and helles. To this day, many of Wisconsin’s craft breweries draw from hundreds of years of brewing tradition which is why it isn’t much of a surprise that there are plenty of festivals to celebrate spring and this beer throughout the state.

So, the next time the weather is nice and you are looking for something to do, find a local brewery and enjoy a pint of maibock in the beer garden and toast to spring time.

Beer To Try

Wisconsin Maibock Festivals

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  • Writer's pictureHankscraftAJS

Whether you are a new brewery just getting started or you've been around for a while, we can help you build up your brand presence in your taproom and in the wider marketplace. Tap handles are a great first step, but don't stop there! From back-of-bar signage like tin tackers and LED-lit signs, to custom shelving, flight trays, cornhole boards, and everything in between, we can design and build exactly what you need. At Hankscraft AJS we'll utilize our considerable toolbox to create a piece that is uniquely "you" and is custom made to your specifications -- domestically, right here in Wisconsin!

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