Everything in our beer comes from the earth. No additives and no chemicals.
Only barley, wheat, hops, yeast, water and alchemy.
All natural ingredients given life and vitality through painstaking intimacy with the natural process of fermentation.
Let's explore each of the main ingredients in a little more detail:
Barley: Barley is a cereal grain; it grows in fields all around the world. Special varieties of barley are bred specifically for brewing.
Malting is the process by which raw barley is made ready for brewing. The raw barley is steeped in water until it germinates. Enzymes naturally present in the barley start to break down proteins and starches into simpler more accessible compounds. Once this process is complete the barley is dried and kilned. Variations in kilning time and temperature create malts ranging from very light in color and flavor to dark, roasted, and intense. By using varying amounts of these different malts we can create a complex palette of natural colors, flavors and aromas in our beer.
Wheat: Many of our beers also contain a percentage of wheat, either raw, malted or both. Wheat helps smooth and lighten the barley flavors, and can help with head retention in the finished beer.
Water: Water makes up the majority of any beer, and its properties are very important to the finished product. All water must be pure and delicious. Clean smelling and tasting, and contain the proper mix of minerals.
Hops: The cone of the hop plant is added mainly during the boiling process, but they can also be added during aging and maturation. The hop cone, or flower as it is sometimes called, is very bitter and works to balance the sweetness of the malted barley. Hops also smell wonderful and can add refreshing aromas to the finished beer.
Yeast: The magical microorganism responsible for turning sweet wort (see below) into beer. Yeast use the sugars created during the mashing process (again, see below) to fuel their metabolisms. It is through the yeast's metabolic processes that beer is created. There are many different strains of brewing yeast, each with their own distinct metabolism, each creating very distinct tasting beers. We use a variety of French and Belgian strains carefully selected to bring out the maximum complexity in our beers.
Brewmaster: The Leelanau Brewing Company is proud to be working with hands-down the Best Craft Brewer in America, Ron Jeffries. Ron's extensive knowledge and artistic approach make all the difference. Operating his own brewing facility called Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales in Dexter Michigan, his place is as much an artist's studio as it is a brewery.