Discover more from Last Call with a Beer Guy
Why Do You Keep Saying Treatment?
Yeast brink + beer + stuff = new beer!
One of our guys in the brewery is moving to Colorado later this year. It’s going to be a big lose for us. He’s really grown so much since coming on board in July 2021. He was completely green to the industry and he has grown to be such a solid hand. He even runs the canning line, something I never wanted to learn to do.
Anyway, I was talking to him about his resume since he wants to try to stay in the industry. I offered to show him mine since he does a lot of stuff I’ve done in the past. I’ll get that to you soon Jay, I swear. When talking about his CV—I like that term, let’s use it more America—I told him “I would recommend not putting treatments on there.” After his initial confusion as to why I laid it out pretty simply. Treatments is a very Florida term and prospective employers in the Mile High State might not know what the hell that means.
In my almost 11 years in the beer industry almost all of it has been in the land of alligators and diminishing human rights. During that I knew about the term “treatments” pretty early. Essentially this is the practice of taking a yeast brink, corny keg or some other keg that has a large opening on top of it and filling it with some ingredients. This can be fruit, coconut, cocoa nibs, herbs. Really, anything. You then take a beer you already have and push it into that keg to get infused with those ingredients. Then a few days later—boom—you have a new beer.
This is used primarily by smaller breweries that want to create multiple beers off one base for any number of reasons. That could be testing ingredients or just filling out a thin tap list.
I don’t know where exactly I heard this term first. It was either someone from Cigar City Brewing or it was Kevin Abbott—former Funky Buddha head brewer and current Barrel of Monks partner. When in doubt I always like to blame Kevin so for this post’s sake we’ll go with it being Kevin’s fault. So for the longest time this method of infusing beers in small batches with other stuff was called treatments to me.
Fast forward to my first beer job outside of Florida and I use this term. You’d have thought I developed a brand new language that I assumed everyone knew. I’m surprised I wasn’t fired on the spot. Or given a strongly worded reprimand. But, they stuck with me. It kinda worked out. I think I even got them on board with saying it. They still hated that I called a 1/6 keg a slim as opposed to a sixtel. Yay, industry slang!
After coming back to the Peninsula of the Mouse, I eventually found my way to where I am now. Having a discussion with a co-worker he told the story of the words of horror and confusion he received from a very well regarded and anonymous beer person that blends sour beers in a college town in Colorado. Sorry, no hints. He told me how this person just burst out “Why do you keep saying treatments? What is going on here in Florida?” Okay, I may have added that seconded part. No, really. I don’t remember that part. Come on, there has been a pandemic and many beers had since this story. Let’s pretend. But they we’re utterly confused by the amount of Florida brewers using this term. Treatments.
But this person is pretty right. I only ever hear Florida people use this term. I also don’t even know if this practice itself is even common outside of this state. When I travel I don’t tend to ask. That would be stupid of me. “Hi, nice to meet you. Do you do treatments?” Get the fuck out of here. But gauging by taplists I see I don’t think many do this. Small, nano places just brew entire batches. Same thing goes for large spots. Some of them have pilot systems that are smaller to allow them to experiment but these are still larger than a single keg. They aren’t going to waste labor, ingredients and resources to make a single keg of something. I guess we’re just wild down here. I mean, we kinda know that right? It’s the land of homebrewers selling their beer to bars or online. We’re the freest state in the county! 😐
Like what you are reading so far? Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
I’d Have a Beer
After just spending a number of words talking about the insanity of Florida beer I should at least offer up some positivity (I honestly want to be a positive person) with a banger of a beer.
Green Bench’s Sunshine City IPA is one of two beers from the St. Pete sweethearts that regularly finds their way into my fridge. Postcard Pils is the other. It makes it really easy to enjoy both when I can grab a sixer at my local, small guy grocer.
Sunshine City is so fucking good. Like, really fucking good. Tons of tropical and citrus hop character with a touch of bitterness. Just killer.
Some things I enjoy doing while drinking a Sunshine City includes grilling on the back patio while watching my dog chew on a palm frond and quietly reciting the Letter of the Day song from Sesame Street in my head because it’s stuck in there and isn’t going anywhere. It’s also pretty good with sitting on the couch and trying to become a person that is caught up on Peaky Blinders. It really is a versatile beer. If you have the ability to procure some for yourself you should buy some. Or take one from a friend’s fridge. They’ll understand.
This is a Photo
West Palm Beach, FL
I’m just going to add a photo at the end of these as a bit of a palate cleanse. We need peace and beauty in this crazy world and photography is my way of trying to provide even a smidge of that. So enjoy!
Thanks for reading Last Call with a Beer Guy! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.