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An Interview with East Edge Brewing | 对话East Edge Brewing


Written by (作者): Ningbo Focus 宁波聚焦
Photos by (图片来源): East Edge Brewing


With a plethora of new beer bars and stores having opened in the past few years around the city, one would think that its enough to keep Ningbo’s beer lovers happy, but that’s not the case. With many craft options still limited to the bigger cities, two American expats, Robert Casey and Andrew Welsh, have taken matters into their own hands with homebrewing under the name East Edge Brewing. We caught up with the two during one of their brewing sessions to find out more about their experiences, East Edge, and the future of their operation.

在过去几年里,宁波各个区域涌现出了大批新的啤酒吧和啤酒店,如果你觉得啤酒爱好者可能会因此而得到满足,那可能就错了。由于许多精酿啤酒仍然局限于大城市,所以两位美籍外籍人士开始自酿啤酒并将其冠名为East Edge Brewing。在他们的一次酿酒大会上,我们与他们会面并进一步了解了他们的经历、East Edge以及他们未来的运作方式。

Ningbo Focus: What got you into home brewing? |《宁波聚焦》:你们为什么会开始自酿啤酒?

East Edge: We’ve both been beer fans since drinking our first brew, so we found it only natural to start learning to make our own. I started when I was 19 with a basic kit my dad gave me and before long crafted an oatmeal stout recipe that was something to be proud of. Andrew first started brewing when he was 25 after working in a Belgian bistro and getting really into quality beers.

East Edge:初次品尝过啤酒后,我们两个就成了啤酒迷,所以我们认为开始学自酿啤酒是件自然而然的事。在我19岁时,我父亲给了我一套用于酿酒的基本工具,于是我就开始亲自酿酒了。不久后,我研制出了一个令我引以为傲的燕麦烈性啤酒配方。Andrew在一个比利时小酒馆工作并真正喜欢上优质啤酒后,就于25岁开始酿酒了。

NF: What led you to want to continue the craft in China? |《宁波聚焦》:是什么原因促使你们想在中国继续酿酒?

EE: Two or three years ago when we first arrived in Ningbo, good craft beer wasn’t readily available in bars or stores, but we both just assumed that the logistics of brewing in China wouldn’t work out. As new beer bars started opening and more stores started carrying craft beer, it felt a little more likely that brewing in Ningbo would be feasible. On a whim, one evening in May we did a search on Taobao and found multiple homebrew shops. We bought our first set of equipment on May 31st and did our first brew in early June.

East Edge:两三年前,当我们初次来到宁波时,啤酒吧或啤酒店里都找不到现成的优质精酿啤酒,但是我们两个当时仅仅以为在中国酿酒是行不通的。随着新的啤酒吧的不断涌现以及越来越多的啤酒店开始供应精酿啤酒,在中国酿造啤酒似乎成了一个可行之举。于是仅凭一时兴起,我们在五月的时候在淘宝上进行了搜索并发现了数家自酿啤酒店。之后,我们又于5月31日购置了第一套酿酒器材并在6月初酿制出了第一款啤酒。

NF: How is the brewing going so far and what differences have you encountered with brewing in the US? |《宁波聚焦》:关于酿酒,你们现在做的怎么样?这里的酿酒与你们在美国接触过的有何不同?

EE: From our previous experiences, we had both used malt-extract for ~90% of a beer’s recipe. This simplifies the process quite a bit, because the flavor and color have already been extracted from the grains. We quickly realized very few shops sold the extract, so we had to switch to all-grain brewing. We’ve currently made over 600 bottles of beer and we’ve upgraded our brew setup quite a bit, replacing just about every piece of equipment at least once.

It’s been a very rewarding experience,though, and we’re both enjoying expanding our brewing knowledge and skill base. As extract-brewers we weren’t able to fully optimize the malt-profile of a beer, but now we have the ability to make small adjustments to our recipes to make the beer taste just like we want it to.

Another difference is how we heat the wort (the pre-fermentation liquid). This requires bringing about 35 liters of liquid to a boil fairly rapidly, so it takes quite a bit of heat. In the US, home brewers generally use large propane burners, which is dangerous if you’re inside since you’d be breathing in gas, plus there’s the risk of fire. In China, since the voltage is higher than the US, we can use submersible electrical coils which are significantly faster and more efficient. The main issue is, even though we’ve avoided the dangers of fire and explosions, we’ve wound up electrocuting ourselves more times than we’d like.

East Edge:根据我们以往的经验,在啤酒配方中,我们所使用的90%的原料是麦芽精。这在相当程度上简化了整个酿酒过程,因为啤酒的味道和颜色早已从谷物中提取出来了。然而,我们很快意识到只有极少数店铺会出售这种提取物,所以我们不得不转而将目光投向全谷物酿酒。截至目前,我们已经酿制出了600多瓶啤酒,我们的酿酒器材也进行了更新换代,每件器材至少更换过一次。

在这次经历中我们收获颇丰,我们两人都乐于去扩展与酿酒相关的知识并提高我们在这方面的技能基础。过去,我们主要依靠提取进行酿造,无法完全优化啤酒所含的麦芽的风味,但是现在,我们已经可以对我们的配方做一些小调整,从而酿制出我们想要的那种味道。

另一个差别是我们加热麦芽汁(未发酵过的液体)的方式。我们需要十分迅速地将麦芽汁加热至沸腾。在美国,自己生产家酿啤酒的人通常会使用大型丙烷加热器,这是非常危险的,如果你待在这个房间内可能会中毒,而且还存在起火隐患。而在中国,电压标准比美国的要高,所以我们可以使用能够沉入水中的电线圈,这种电线圈的电流更大,也更高效。主要问题在于,虽然我们已经尽量避免起火和爆炸隐患,但是我们因触电而受伤的次数远比我们所预想的要多。

NF: What beers have you made so far? | 《宁波聚焦》:迄今为止,你们酿制出了哪些啤酒?

EE: We’ve experimented with several different styles – a blonde ale, amber ale, brown ale, milk stout, pale ale and a couple IPAs. Our favorites have definitely been the IPAs, and we’re finding that may be our niche.

East Edge:我们已经尝试过多种风味的啤酒——金色麦芽酒、琥珀色麦芽酒、棕色麦芽酒、牛奶烈性啤酒、淡色麦芽酒以及印度淡色啤酒。我们最喜欢的绝对是印度淡色啤酒,而且我们发现它或许是我们酿制的最佳啤酒。

NF: What are your plans for the future now that you’ve been brewing for awhile? | 《宁波聚焦》:既然你们已经酿制了一段时间,那么你们未来的计划是什么呢?

 EE: We started out with the aim of just brewing for ourselves. It has been amazing to see so many brewpubs opening around Ningbo, but even so we still find that there are beer styles we want to drink that still aren’t readily available here. Lately we’ve started sharing our beers with several friends in the community and we have received very positive feedback. We love great beer and are definitely considering more ways of sharing it with other beer fans in the city.

East Edge:我们的初衷只是想为我们自己酿制啤酒。虽然看到如此多的出售自制啤酒的酒馆在宁波各地开业令我们感到相当吃惊,但是即使如此,我们始终发现我们仍然无法在这里找到我们想喝的那些啤酒。近来,我们开始与几个朋友分享我们酿造的啤酒并且得到了非常积极的反馈。我们钟爱优质啤酒,当然也会考虑通过更多方式去与这座城市里的啤酒迷们分享。

NF: Do you plan to do any brews that take inspiration from local ingredients? If so do you have any in mind? |《宁波聚焦》:你们是否打算就地取材去酿制一款啤酒?如果是,那么你们有什么想法吗?

EE: Up until now, we’ve been working mostly with American hops, but have just started experimenting with Chinese-grown hops.The flavor and aroma profiles are slightly different, but we think we can come up with some great new beers with a little “local flavor” in the near future.

East Edge:截至目前为止,我们多半使用美国产的啤酒花,但是我们最近已经开始尝试选用产自中国的啤酒花。虽然两者在风味和香味上存在细  微差别,但是我们认为,在不久的将来,我们可以酿制出一些带有一丝“地方风味”的优质的新式啤酒。


For more information or if you’d like to see what beers are available and place an order, you can contact East Edge at eastedgebrewing@gmail.com

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