Northern Arizona Craft Beer Association’s Collaboration with the Grand Canyon Brewing Company

Posted: Wednesday, October 7th 2015 at 10:05 AM

On Friday, September 11, 2015, several students from the Northern Arizona Craft Beer Association (NACBA) journeyed to the Grand Canyon Brewing Company in historic Williams, Arizona to begin brewing a batch of SMaSH beer (single malt and single hops).

“It’s a very intentional and simple recipe,” Chef Mark Molinaro explained.

With so many variables in brewing, isolating just two of them to manipulate allows more time to appreciate the process and understand how all the ingredients combine to make beer.

The students arrived bright and early at 8 a.m. to help clean the 15-barrel tank they would be using and then began the brew. It was a great way to apply what they’ve been learning in the beer club to a real world situation. The professional brewers guided them throughout each phase, showing them how to add the malted grains to a mill to be crushed and then combined with hot water in a mash tun for approximately 8 hours to make the wort.

Victoria Dziedzic, junior SHRM major, joined the beer club this semester as one of their newest members.

“I had heard about the club before and thought it would be interesting to learn about beer since I don’t know much about it right now,” she said.

Members don’t have to be over 21 years old, just have an interest in the craft of brewing and learning about the differences between beer styles.

NACBA President Blake Walters recently started volunteering at the brewery to understand more in-depth brewing techniques. He had made beer at home before and through the club’s previous collaboration with Mother Road Brewing Company (story HERE), but he wanted to learn more.

“Going from the home brew system to commercial brewing, it’s very different,” he said. “You have more control [during commercial brewing].”

After the extended mash, which Head Brewer Josh Ward explained would allow the sugars of the grain to break down as much as possible, the wort was boiled, yeast was added, and then the batch was left to ferment for several weeks before being kegged and carbonated.

The NACBA will be hosting a release party for their SMaSH beer at Hops on Birch starting around 5 p.m. on Friday, October 16. Look for Chef Mark’s recipe to be published in Brew Your Own Magazine soon.


Categories: students fall 2015 2015 northern arizona craft beer association nacba grand canyon brewing company mother road brewing company chef mark molinaro blake walter victoria dziedzic smash beer beer club mark molinaro