Recently, Tim and brewery operations manager John Richen did some photo-beer sleuthing using some old (new to us) photos that beer legend/writer/muse Fred Eckhardt (who passed away just last month) took back in 1985, very soon after the historic Brewpub Law was passed in Oregon. They were for use in one of his "Listen to Your Beer" newsletters.
By comparing what's happening in the photos (as well as who's in them) to the archived company brewsheet, John and Tim were able to piece together the exact day and the exact beer being made. Pretty cool.
**** First, here's the 1985 brewsheet. (Note that the top-right corner is missing. That's because a bit was cut off and added into the Millenium Brew* 15 years later.)
Here's what John had to say, after comparing this brewsheet to the photos, a few of which are included below:
*** "I realize that Fred wrote 12/5 on the [back of the] pictures, but there was no brew on 12/5 at the Hillsdale. And Fred, being Fred after all, may have mixed up on the dates.
I had originally thought this was the 1st Terminator from 11/19, but the handwriting on that sheet is clearly Ron Wolf's, as you had alluded to.
The handwriting on [the brewsheet] is Conrad [Santos]'s. Conrad's first brew at Hillsdale was McMenamins first Christmas Beer (Old St. Nick - Batch #14) on December 2. That beer records no specialty grains (the two bags in the kettle in the picture attached were steeping two different malts). Nor do the next two batches made on 12/3 and 12/4.
Which brings us to Liquidator, which was our first Porter-style beer. On the brewsheet at 9:35 you can see 20# of Crystal Malt and 14# of US Roasted (Black) Barley recorded. These malts would be placed into separate steeping bags. This is before the malt extract is added. Notice how much room is left in the kettle to accommodate the needed amount of malt extract. All the color in that kettle is from those two bags of malt you can see."
Nice work, detectives.
Here are Conrad and Mike McMenamin, posing for Fred with the in-process Liquidator.
It was interesting to note the open fermentation tanks (below), which we no longer use, opting for the closed-tank method....
as well as the use of malt extract (below), which we no longer use, opting for the all-grain brewing method. My, how times have changed.
*Millennium Brew was brewed on the Day of the Dead in 1999 at Edgefield by teams of McMenamins Oregon brewers, and also brewed simultaneously at a couple of our Washington breweries. Basically a corner of every McMenamins brewsheet up until that day was cut off and made part of the brew. The beer was called New Horizon (a.k.a. B2K) and was released on 12/31/1999.