What is the Imagination Station?

What is the Imagination Station?

We’ve had an ongoing problem here at Bale Breaker. Our fans know us well for Topcutter and our other classic beers. What most don’t know is that last year we cranked out 70 rad new beers, averaging almost two a week! If you still think that Bale Breaker only does IPAs, think again. We may have mastered the west coast IPA, but we’re more than fluent in other beer styles (Dormancy, hint-hint) and are eager to practice them and share them with our fans. What’s the catch? Most of the time, you can only taste these beers in our taproom, locally around Yakima, or at special Bale Breaker events and tap takeovers near you. But if you keep an eye out, you’ll start to notice them more and more. And the more you try them, the more likely they’ll end up in a can.

If you’ve tasted Hop Country Session IPA or Leota Mae IPA, well, the recipe was developed in the Imagination Station and tested with our fans locally. New brews are created there, and it’s the place where we get to play, stay sharp as brewers, and it’s where the magic happens. The next great Bale Breaker beer will surely come from the Imagination Station. Tell your friends!

Come celebrate the unveiling of the Imagination Station and our SIXTH ANNIVERSARY on April 13! Face painting, balloon animals, and A MIMOSA-STYLE GLITTER BEER are just some of the tricks we have up our sleeves for the event! RSVP to our Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/261811231257392/

Here’s a rundown on the Imagination Station from Jackie Beard, our quality manager: 

What is the Imagination Station?

It's where the new shit comes from.  It's our 5-barrel test kitchen where we try out experimental hops and different yeast strains and wacky herbs and ancient brewing techniques.  It's where we fine tune the small things, like how our brewing salts impact hop flavor and bitterness.  It's where we refined our hazy IPA game, brewed an award-winning Imperial Stout (Wood and Wire), and got into kettle souring.  It's also a place where we host other brewers to collaborate and create together.  

Why do we have the Imagination Station?

Because we like to play!  Topcutter pays the bills, but we like to keep experimenting and innovating.  Some of the superstars of the Imagination Station have made their way into our Production Brewery, including Leota Mae IPA (From Kiln Series), Hop Country Session IPA (from Mosaic Monarchy), and Double Bubba, our Ales for ALS IIPA.  Our brewers need a creative outlet, and we need to continue innovating and refining our flagships to keep our recipes in tip-top shape as we change, our fans change, and the beers out there in the world change.  

What is your favorite part of the Imagination Station?

Doughing in.  It's always a frantic 10 to 15 minutes of chaos, pushing grain to the back of the mash tun with the paddle and adding in oats and adjusting the water flow.  On the big system, that part of the brewing process takes about 30 minutes and is generally calm and mellow, good for a steam facial over a cup of coffee in the winter.  In the Imagination Station, from the moment you start in there, it's GAME ON!  

What are you most excited about regarding the Imagination Station?

I'm loving getting to experiment with different herbs in the Imagination Station, using the techniques we've refined with hops and pairing them with hops to bring out different flavors.  I'm also excited about brewing collaboration beers that benefit causes in our community - like the UGM Medical Clinic, our local fire department, and Pink Boots Society - that complement the work we're doing on our production system with Ales for ALS and Sessiones del Migrante. 

Cheers!

Posted April 05, 2019

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