Leisure Time Lager, our summer wheat beer, will be available at the brewery starting tomorrow, May 2nd. It will be on draft and available in 4-packs outside the brewery soon.
This beer was named in honor of our grandfather, whose vision built the Leisure Time Ice brand decades ago and inspired us to build Jack’s Abby as a family business. Leisure Time Lager is brewed with wheat and a blend of spices including lemongrass, coriander, orange peel and chamomile. A subtle spiciness balances the citrusy and floral hops added to the whirl and hopback. Relax and enjoy! Leisure Time Lager uses locally grown wheat from MA.
OG 11.8 Plato / IBUs 15 / ABV 4.8%
Jack’s Abby is the sponsor brewery for this weekend’s Drink Craft Beer’s Springfest. We’ve brewed a special Double India Pale Lager for the fest. Read more about The ABCS on our Beer page or on the Drink Craft Beer blog. Here’s the video they shot when they came to help brew:
This weekend, April 5th & 6th, Drink Craft Beer Springfest focuses on New England-made beers that feature one of our favorite ingredients, hops! By attending, you’ll be able to sample 70+ beers from 25 of New England’s best craft brewers, each one of them bringing at least one hop-focused brew! Many of these are being made specifically for this event or will be released there.
Additionally, you can sample and purchase from several local food vendors including Drink Craft Beer friends such as Roxy’s Grilled Cheese, of Great Food Truck Race fame and known for their delicious gourmet concoctions perfect to pair with hoppy beers. Other food options will include delicious seasonal fare, local cheese and more.
Friday night will be a VIP session called Hoppy Hour. There will be a collection for special beers from 25 New England breweries, each one a special batch or variant made just for the Hoppy Hour VIP Session in addition to the full Saturday lineup of brews! Everyone will bring at least one special brew, dry-hopped cask or other super limited beer that will only be available on Friday night and was made specifically with this session in mind.
Today we received three new tanks as part of an expansion to increase capacity by 80%. Up to now, all of our tanks have been 40 BBLs (barrels) in volume. While one of the new tanks is also 40 BBLS, two of them are 80 BBLs. These larger tanks will allow us to make larger batches of our core beers such as Hoponius Union, and free up other tanks to keep making our specialty brews. If the installation goes as planned we hope to have one of the tanks ready to be used on Saturday with the rest up and running next week.
October 17, 2012 – Framingham, MA – Jack’s Abby Brewing, an American craft brewer specializing in lagers, was awarded a bronze medal at the Great American Beer Festival® for its Smoke & Dagger lager. Jack’s Abby also announced two seasonal brews for autumn as well as expanded brewing capacity to meet demand.
Award for Smoke & Dagger
This past Saturday, October 13, Jack’s Abby’s Smoke & Dagger won the bronze medal in the smoked beer category at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, CO.
“We had an amazing time at the Great American Beer Festival,” said Hendler. “We’re very excited for this recognition in only our first year of operation.”
Since 1982, The Great American Beer Festival is held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver and is put on by The Brewers Association, a not-for-profit educational and trade organization that is devoted to making quality brewing and beer information. The Great American Beer Festival is the largest competition for commercial beers in the world.
Seasonal Lagers Announced
For Autumn, Jack’s Abby is introducing two new seasonal lagers: Pumpkin Crop Lager and Kiwi Rising.
“The 2012 harvest on our family farm was fruitful. The Pumpkin Crop Lager uses 100 fresh pumpkins and 40 organic squash,” said Hendler. ”We prepared, cooked, and pureed all the gourds. A blend of autumn spices adds to the intense pumpkin flavors. We’re also using locally grown Triticale.” Pumpkin Crop Lager is 5.5% ABV.
Hendler described Kiwi Rising as “an intensely hoppy strong lager that we like to refer to as a Double India Pale Lager. All New Zealand hops (Kiwi hops) were used in progressively larger hop additions throughout the brewing process. Over four pounds of hops per BBL were used to create this specialty beer between four kettle hop additions, the use of our hop back, and three dry hop additions.” Kiwi Rising is 8.5% ABV.
To meet growing demand for its craft lagers, Jack’s Abby Brewing is expanding its production capacity. Jack’s Abby will add two 80 BBL tanks and one 40 BBL tank to bring its total capacity to over 5000 BBLs.
About Jack’s Abby Brewing
Founded in January 2011 by three brothers who grew up in a family business, Jack’s Abby Brewing is a craft brewery specializing truly distinctive lagers featuring locally grown hops, traditional German brewing standards, and American innovation. The name, Jack’s Abby Brewing, pays homage to co-founder Jack Hendler’s wife, Abby, while evoking the tradition of monastic groups in Europe who create handcrafted beers in their abbeys. The brothers are inspired by the tradition of craft brewing using quality local ingredients, mindful labor and great recipes to create delicious, authentic beer. Jack’s Abby is a proud member of the Massachusetts Brewers Guild and the Brewers Association. For more information, visit Jack’s Abby’s website at www.jacksabbybrewing.com or their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/jacksabbybrewing.
We are always looking for ways to keep what we do as local as possible. One of things we have been doing is sourcing grain from Four Star Farms in Northfield Massachusetts for all of our beers. Jabby Brau uses Soft Red Winter Wheat, Smoke & Dagger uses Barley and Hoponius uses Hulled Spelt. However, unlike most grain that is used in the brewing process these grains are unmalted.
Malting is a process by which grain is transformed so that it can be used to brew. First the grains are soaked and allowed to germinate or sprout. This converts the seed’s starch reserves into smaller carbohydrates and releases enzymes. These enzymes are later used during the brewing process to convert the remaining starches into fermentable sugar. Once the desired balance is reached, germination is halted by drying the malt in a kiln, preserving this state until you are ready to brew. How hot and long the grain is dried determines the flavor, color and character of the finished malt.
The enzymes released by malting are essential to the brewing process. However, malting releases more enzymes than are needed. The excess enzymes can be used with a small amount of unmalted grain to add certain properties to the beer. It is in this manner that we utilize most of the local grain that is used in our beers. Even though unmalted grain consists of a relatively small amount of the total grain we use it allows us to add unique flavors and properties to our beers that we could not otherwise obtain.
For our upcoming Wet Hop lager, which we brewed last week, we wanted to make a truly local beer. We had already been brewing it with hops grown on our family farm in Vermont, but we felt that we could do more. To accomplish this we teamed up with Valley Malts, a new Massachusetts based Malthouse who provided us with locally grown and malted barley. In addition we used unmalted Wheat, Spelt and Triticale. We are proud to say that every ingredient used in Mom and Pop’s Wet Hop Crop is sourced locally.
June 11, 2012 – Framingham, MA - Jack’s Abby Brewing, an American craft brewer specializing in lagers, today announced the purchase of additional tanks that will allow for increased production to meet the growing demand for its lagers.
“In our first year of production we’ve seen an unexpectedly high level of demand for our lagers as well as our seasonal beers,” said Jack Hendler, brewmaster at Jack’s Abby. “These tanks will allow us to expand bottling and grow our line-up of seasonals and specialty beers”
The new tanks include one 40 brite beer tank and two 40 barrel fermenters. This will allow Jack’s Abby to introduce new lagers and increase production.
According to Hendler, the first beer out of the new brite beer tank will be Red Tape Lager to be released one year from the original brew date.
“With the new tanks, we’ll be bottling our barrel aged Biere de Garde Rye Lager aged with brettanomyces, a Summer IPL with ginger, grapefruit peel and buckwheat, Octoberfest, Wet Hop Lager, Kiwi Rising DIPL, and Saxonator through the end of the year,” said Hendler. “We’ll also have various barrel-aged offerings including a sour version of our Leisure Time Lager.”
More photos of the new tank can be viewed in this album on facebook.
About Jack’s Abby Brewing
Founded in January 2011 by three brothers who grew up in a family business, Jack’s Abby Brewing is a craft brewery specializing truly distinctive lagers featuring locally grown hops, traditional German brewing standards, and American innovation.
The name, Jack’s Abby Brewing, pays homage to co-founder Jack Hendler’s wife, Abby, while evoking the tradition of monastic groups in Europe who create handcrafted beers in their abbeys. The brothers are inspired by the tradition of craft brewing using quality local ingredients, mindful labor and great recipes to create delicious, authentic beer.
After some experimentation we have settled with a plan of releasing a new specialty beer each month. While it is not set in stone, the goal is to alternate between lagers that showcase their hop profile and ones that focus on their malts. We have already released our Kiwi Rising Double India Pale Lager and Saxonator Dunkles Doppelbock under this format.
This week we are happy to release our next hoppy beer. We had planned to call this beer a Double India Amber Lager. However, after brewing the beer, rather than being a bright amber color, it came out much darker, bordering on brown. So instead of calling it an amber we changed it to dunkel, which is the German moniker for a dark beer of any style.
Our new creation turned into a Double India Dunkel Lager. It did not take long until we were calling it by its initials, which led us to create our most inspired name to date, ‘Hey! Diddle, Diddle’. This beer features copious amounts of Cascade, Palisades, Warrior and Cluster hops. To maximize its hop character we made multiple hop additions to the kettle, whole leaf hops in our hopback and several dry hop additions while it was conditioning.
To balance the hefty hop additions we made use of Munich and caramel malts. A touch of sweetness combined with an extra long lagering time smooth out this strong 8% abv beer. One sip will have you jumping over the moon.
Last week we talked about how having both the Red Tape and Pilsner as year-round beers tied up our brewing cycle before we decided to brew Jabby Brau. That was just one of the lessons we learned about planning our production. We were also forced to abandon our plan for seasonals as it proved to be unwieldy for a new brewery. We had planned to have one seasonal for each season with a few specialities here and there as we needed them.
Our Copper Legend Octoberfest, which came out at the start of September, was the first seasonal that we brewed under this plan. The problem was we could not tell if our initial batch would last through October. Because we lagered this beer for six weeks, we had to decide whether or not to brew a second batch before the first one was released, if we wanted it for October.
In the end we decided to brew a second batch. By then we learned bars and restaurants had already bought all the Octoberfest beer that they intended to. That’s why you can still get growlers of fresh Octoberfest from our tasting room in December. Thankfully, there are only four kegs of it left now. We were able to learn a valuable lesson while narrowly avoiding a potential disaster.
In response we abandoned the original plan and have moved to a new structure that offers more flexibility in both production and variety. We are now brewing a new specialty beer every month. The intention is to make each batch large enough to last two months. However, to start, we are trying something new and erring on the side of caution with regards to volume.
Our Kiwi Rising, for example, is almost gone after only three weeks. As we gain more experience with the new model we will slowly increase production to meet our two month goal. This means that once things settle we will have three year-round beers and two specialties available at any one time with something new every month.
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