What You Can Expect From A Beer Tour
When you take a wine tour, you can expect that you will drive through vineyards, see the grapes hanging lushly on vines, and then tour the fermentation and juicing rooms in the winery where the grapes are crushed and slowly turned into wine. You also expect to taste some wines and possibly purchase a few bottles to take home with you. With a beer tour, it is not all that luxurious, but to a beer lover, it is still heaven. Here is what you can expect when you take a tour of a beer distillery.
The Granary Tour
This is the room where thousands of pounds of hops and grain are brought in large trucks and deposited on pallets to sit until the bags need to be added to the mash pot. Other ingredients, such as certain fruits like apples or raspberries, may be juiced and fermented along with the hops and the grain for unique beer varieties and flavors. The tour moves from this room to the fermentation and distillation rooms.
The Fermentation Room
Beer is not beer until the ingredients are properly fermented. This takes weeks to accomplish, even in vats designed to cook and heat and speed up the fermentation process. Sugars are added to aid the fermentation process and make the beer slightly less bitter. (The hops are incredibly bitter when fermented, and the sugar helps make the beer more palatable. You might not want to drink the beer at all if it were not for the sugars added.) If you are lucky, the beer meisters in the brewery might allow you to taste just a wee bit of the fermented stuff as it is siphoned off the solid ingredients in the vat.
The Distillation Room
Distillation might take place in the same room or space as fermentation. It may also be a separate room altogether. If it is a separate room, then the fermented alcohol is drained and filtered through pipes from the fermentation vats into the distillation vats. Additional ingredients may be added, such as brewer's yeast, and then the whole thing is "cooked" again to activate the yeast. Depending on the day that you tour the brewery, you may get to see some of these steps in action as they are occurring. The person giving the tour can tell you when these steps will occur next in case you want to return for a second tour.
Reach out to a company that offers wine and beer tours to learn more.