Ghost Note: Insight

By September 4, 2018 Blog

Ghost Note Brewing: Insight

Lil' Expanded Context


For those who may have missed it, the 21st of August, was the first true release post (on social media) with anything regarding my newest adventure, Ghost Note Brewing. While things are still in the very young stages of life for our brewery, thought some expansion on what comes next would be fun.

Ghost Note, to anyone who isn’t a musician, or lacks any musical background (like myself), is potentially seen as a brewery with a haunted past – maybe even one who posts spooky daily sticky notes on the fridge while you’re sleeping. As much as the idea of brewing in a haunted building would be oh so incredible, this isn’t the case.

Described by Wikipedia as “a musical note with a rhythmic value, but no discernible pitch when played.”, each ghost note is a little different, given the instrument being played, but all leading to one idea – a muted or ‘dead’ note that is discernible to the band/musicians playing together, but not to the listeners themselves. Think of it almost as pronouncing a silent letter, like in the word subtle.

How does this exactly parallel with brewing, or just beer generally? My take on intersecting the two dynamics, is not so much a focus on music (actually, music can be pretty much left out of it entirely), but really how the drinker interprets the beer itself.

Every brewery who has established its self-foundation, has a ‘house’ character that describes their beer, in both a taste & aroma sense, claiming uniqueness from other breweries. Closely akin to the term terroir in wine (*ducks*), this house character can almost be described in the same terms as the ghost note in music – individual nuances brought together knowingly by the brewer/brewery, creating this specific house character, but something that is possibly unbeknownst by the drinker themselves. Everything from the ingredients, to the philosophic framework laid down by the brewery & brewer, will be incorporated one way or another into every sip you take, and you may not even recognize it at first. The past, present, & future all shape this ‘ghost note’, and it’s the first step in what makes each and every brewery so unique.

Hopefully, that makes sense. Of course, it’s a mighty task, and much easier said than done.

Let’s move forward from the abstract, into the current state of the brewery at this given time:

Where: The gorgeous Texas Hill Country, west of Austin. Known for it’s rolling high-desert like hills, swimming holes, and winery scene, the area has recently become a hot bed for brewery activity. While we have (hopefully) established a spot, there are still some i’s to dot, and t’s to cross. Look for an announce here in the next couple weeks.

When: Ah, always loved this question – it’s the one everyone wants to know. Before anyone even asked the name, they asked me when it would be open. One of my favorite responses, a nod to video game developers of the late 90s/early 00s, is ‘When It’s Done’. For those of you in construction of any sort, and especially those of you in the brewing scene, nothing ever goes to plan. Hell, that’s just any given brew day, so stating a specific date is just giving false hope. When it’s done… Everyone will know when we know.

What(‘s brewing): Mentioned at the end of one of my earlier blog posts, Ghost Note will tightly focus on sessionable & drinkable beers. Obviously, this dynamic encompasses much more than session IPAs and, reaching back even further, British cask styles. My love for mix-culture beers has grown enormously over the past several years, and they will absolutely be incorporated heavily into the line-up. Don’t worry, my love for lagers, German specifically, is so deeply rooted into my blood, that there’s no way to keep them from showing up. While the specifics are still hush-hush, expect low ABV #crispybois & #acidrefluxbois getting all sorts of attention, with an insane lookout on brewing based on seasonal availability, using local ingredients from farmers, maltsters, and more.

Who: Our branding was done by the wonderful CODO Design out of Indiana. As it was all of our first times really dealing with something of such magnitude, it took a few variations of designs to really nail the design we liked. Have to thank the CODO folks for putting up with us! The portfolio is pretty dense, and you’ll start seeing other designs than the two above, in the future, such as merch and coasters.

In regards to manufacturing equipment, not much to say here quite yet… Except! Proud to announce that JVNW, out of good ol’ Canby, Oregon, will be producing our brewhouse. Ever since my internship at 10 Barrel back in the day, JVNW has always had a soft spot in my heart. Their passion and dedication for building brewhouses is in line with my passion for brewing; very happy to be working with them now, and in the future. Will be discussing, and breaking down, the brewhouse design soon. Let’s just say, European brewing standards really left a scratch in me.

As concepts and ideas come more to fruition, look for more posts regarding the brewery. My hope is to do a low-key documentation of the whole process, everything from the construction to the opening day, all while expressing our thoughts, and more importantly, our challenges.