Author Topic: Trucking wort?  (Read 2381 times)

Offline cfleisher

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Trucking wort?
« on: January 18, 2012, 07:14:57 PM »
Hey everyone,
I got a message from a buddy of mine down in Tennessee, who said Granite City Brewery makes their wort in Iowa, and then trucks it to other locations to be "finished off"? Frankly, this seems ridiculous to me. But are any of you aware of a good reason to do this?

Here's what he said:
"This isn't for a story, but it came up in the process of reporting on a new brewery expanding to this area. Granite City says they begin the brewing process in Iowa then truck the wort to their locations across the Midwest and finish the beers
there. They'll be using this practice for a new location in Williamson County, TN, just south of Nashville."
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Offline hokerer

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Re: Trucking wort?
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2012, 07:38:44 PM »
I've heard of other brewpub chains doing exactly so that so I guess it's not that far fetched
Joe

Offline bigchicken

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Re: Trucking wort?
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2012, 08:31:51 PM »
I've heard of this before. They truck the wort out of state and add yeast where it will be sold to avoid paying taxes on the alcohol transport between states. It's not beer until there is yeast added.  Very tricky! At least, that's the story I've heard about Granite City.
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Offline speed

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Re: Trucking wort?
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2012, 09:11:23 PM »
yup, we got one here in nebraska. thats what they do, and the guy in the  granite city in lincoln calls himself a 'brewer'. isn't that just funny as hell.

Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Trucking wort?
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2012, 10:07:13 PM »
I've heard of this before. They truck the wort out of state and add yeast where it will be sold to avoid paying taxes on the alcohol transport between states. It's not beer until there is yeast added.  Very tricky! At least, that's the story I've heard about Granite City.
You as a brewer pay excise tax in the state where it is sold/consumed. I am not aware of any transportation tax.
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Offline thetooth

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Re: Trucking wort?
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2012, 12:10:43 AM »
Could it have to do with avoiding using a distributor?  I'm thinking that if they transport beer, maybe they are forced to use a distributor, whereas wort they can truck on their own and "make beer" on site.

Offline tygo

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Re: Trucking wort?
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2012, 04:35:31 AM »
It would probably save some cost by not having a fully operational brewery at each individual pub. 
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Trucking wort?
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2012, 07:11:51 AM »
It would probably save some cost by not having a fully operational brewery at each individual pub. 

That's what I was thinking too. Plus, if you're a chain it would help keep consistency from location to location since you're using the same water and equipment from batch to batch.
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Offline Kit B

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Re: Trucking wort?
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2012, 07:31:55 AM »
My neighbor works at Granite City in Maple Grove, MN.
He's the manager/head brewer there.
In a conversation I had with him, he said something like, "I just pitch yeast...They truck the wort in".
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Trucking wort?
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2012, 08:54:13 AM »
There's a section on the TTB form that says something about "Wort Received/Wort Shipped". I never understood what that was for. Weird gig for sure.
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Trucking wort?
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2012, 10:00:47 AM »
I've heard the same thing about Granite City.  Only thing I heard differently is that the wort comes out of their home base location in Sioux Falls, SD. not Iowa.  I don't have anything to back either version up though.  Not arguing, it just seemed more logical that it be shipped from where the company started.  Either way, they ship wort and pitch yeast onsite.

Here in Iowa with our entrenched family monopolies, also know as beer distributors, its probably the only way to make any money shipping your own "beer" in.

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Offline anje

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Re: Trucking wort?
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2012, 11:10:20 AM »
I wonder if you'd risk oxidation by shipping the wort? Obviously there are ways around this problem, of course.  (Alternatively, you could dehydrate it, instruct the user to rehydrate with room-temp bottled water and pitch yeast, and compete with Mr. Beer.)
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Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Trucking wort?
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2012, 11:14:29 AM »
I wonder if you'd risk oxidation by shipping the wort?
You need oxygen in wort before pitching the yeast.

This way they are on microbrew gig.
They make their house beer.
Only one brewhouse.

I think it can work quite nicely.
I agree it is a strange concept.
Trucking will cost you some money.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Trucking wort?
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2012, 11:18:41 AM »
Yeah, oxygen would definitely not be a problem. I'd be more concerned about contamination, unless they boil and hop it at the other facility.
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Offline hokerer

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Re: Trucking wort?
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2012, 11:20:28 AM »
I'd be more concerned about contamination, unless they boil and hop it at the other facility.

I would think they would boil and hop centrally as the whole point of this (at least as near as we can tell) is so that each individual brewpub doesn't have to have mashtun, brew kettles, etc.  They just need fermenters.
Joe