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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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。