Ghostfish Brewing Pilot System

Brewery Progress Update, December 2014

Yo-ho, Ghostfish fans!  We hope all of you had a great holiday season and are getting excited for 2015.  This has been the busiest month yet here at Ghostfish—which would be expected this close to OPENING!

The biggest single piece of news is that we’ve received our TTB and Washington State licenses to brew and sell beer, and as a result WE ARE BREWING!  As of this writing, we’ve got 930 gallons of two game-changing gluten-free beers fermenting happily, and are slated to brew our next batches on January 5th when we receive the malts for our Watchstander Stout.

Buckwheat and Millet Mash Ghostfish Brewing
This is what a millet & buckwheat mash looks like!

Our first two brews went surprisingly well as far as “first brews” go.  We’ve heard a lot of horror stories from other breweries, and knowing that the extra-fine grist of our millet malts could prove an extra challenge, we expected the worst.  Thus we selected a modest Belgian-style tafelbier for our first brew, built from a light and simple grain bill.

Jason and Craig Nicholls Ghostfish Brewing
Jason checking the mash consistency with our brewery consultant, Craig Nicholls

Thankfully, our fears proved more or less unfounded, and the brew was a success!  We followed that up with our Vanishing Point Pale Ale, and that brew went even more smoothly.  There’s something about dumping a 17-pound bucket of hops into a very large kettle that is uniquely satisfying, and from the samples we’ve taken of the fermenting beer, we think this first batch is better than any of our R&D versions!  Very soon you will be able to taste these beers for yourselves at our taproom, where we’ll also be happy to regale you with some of the crazy things that ALMOST de-railed our first brew day.

Ghostfish Brewing Randy Hop Bags Whirlpool
Randy about to fish some hop bags out of the kettle after the whirlpool

Speaking of the taproom, that is now the main focus here—in another couple weeks our first beers will be ready to serve, so it’s all hands on deck to get the taproom ready for opening.  The painting is done, the bar is (mostly) done, the lighting fixtures are installed, draft lines are ready for hook-up…now it’s down to flooring, tables, chairs, finishing up the decor, and passing our final inspections!

Brian Ghostfish Brewing Millet Shovel
Brian taking his turn at grain-out…shovel that millet!

At this point, we are literally counting the days to our soft opening.  We’ll announce the date as soon as final inspections have been passed, but it shouldn’t be much longer now.  We won’t be firing up the Kickstarter-funded pilot system until next week sometime, so initially our beer selection will be limited, but we’ll throw a big grand opening bash once those pilot brews are ready for sale.

Ghostfish Brewing Pilot System
Our shiny new pilot system, courtesy of our Kickstarter backers!

In the meantime, we’ll have our noses to the grindstone, but hopefully we’ll find time to trickle some updates out on Facebook and Twitter.  2015 is gonna be a big year…the Year of the Ghostfish!