Friday, July 13, 2012

Cerverjaria Heilege - Brewery Tour

13 July 2012

A fellow teacher and I were fortunate to be invited to tour the local microbrewery. You might recognize the name because we had visited the Heilige Brew Pub earlier in the year.

Upon arrival we were let into the warehouse, where we were pleasantly surprised to see a beautiful open space with an interesting combination of modern and retro decor. The doorway at the back leads to the brewery proper.
 This space is where they work during the day, and is also available to rent for events and parties. 
This amazing antique cookstove, similar to an Aga cooker, is used to heat the room in winter. All of the little compartments have their own cooking or storage purposes, fascinating and complicated, and so very different from our modern ovens and cooking ranges.
I would love to know the history of this gorgeous clock. It reminds me of an old time train station or bank. 

They have tried various bottling options. The champagne bottles from a few years past, shown in the above and below photos, are a very cool and classy way to bottle beer. The refillable jar was also an option in the past, I like that one especially. 
Just like at the pub, the walls bear humorous quotes and sayings about beer.
They have also obtained some wonderful historic photos of Santa Cruz do Sul. 
 In the below photo, at center in the background at the top of the hill is our school, which was then the residence of the school owner's grandfather.
 This is the Casa des Artes building downtown - now sitting on the corner of the main street and surrounded by other buildings of similar height. It looks much more sumptuous sitting alone in its splendor. You can see some pictures of the interior of the building in my previous blog entry.
Nossa Senhora de la Cerveja. 
 I love this sign!
Now we enter the actual brewing area, in which every surface was sparkling clean, including the floors.
Empty glasses... Looks like someone was here before us!
The production board, showing what stage each batch is currently in.
 Looking down into one of the vats, you can see the mixing apparatus.
 What's the combination to make these things work? This looks like something out of a Myst game.
 Which knob do I turn? The yellow one, of course!
This thing is a filtration device, to be used between the cooking vats and the storage vats.
 Below is the cover that goes over the accordion-like thing in the above picture.
The malts, imported from Germany.

 This is diatomaceous earth. I can't, for the life of me, remember what it's used for in the brewing process.
 This is the hopper for grinding the grain.
Here is the mash that is left of the grain after brewing.  It is put in plastic barrels and taken away by local farmers to feed their livestock. Happy cows live in Brazil!
The barrels full of wet mash are tremendously heavy, so they are lifted with a pulley onto the waiting truck.
The hops are also imported and come compressed into pellets. They are not dry like feed pellets, but moist and flavorful, the scent is very strong. The hops are kept refrigerated until use.  
A bit of yeast released from one of the storage tanks. Close up, it looks like frothed molasses.
Finally the distribution - these are different types of kegs and cooling systems for party rentals.

This machine washes the keg using a high powered jet that locks on to the keg. The young man on the right is the brewmaster - a very impressive achievement at just twenty-something.
 The company's delivery van. Love the artwork.
 Brewing uses a LOT of water. This thing was two or three meters high.
 Ahhhhhh... finally! Liquid refreshment.
 Isn't it beautiful? My friends know I'm not much of a beer drinker, but even I liked this ale - very rare!
Our tour complete, we take the time for one last photo with our tour guide, who also happens to be the owner.
Thank you to the owners and employees of Cervejaria Heilige!

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