The Church Brew Works brewed a totally new beer style that is out of this world to help celebrate International Asteroid Day on June 30th, 2016
This was an idea fomented by Church Brew Works founder Sean Casey and fermented to fruition with the help of Brewers Dan Yarnall and Justin Viale. Team Church Brew Works honed in to brew a throwback style of beer called Asteroid Ale. Asteroid Ale is a hoppy amber hued American Ale brewed with homage to an ancient German Brewing technique.
The style was brewed as a modern interpretative style of an old German Brewing style called a Stein Beer (Stone Beer). In the ancient days, early Germanic Brewers would heat large rocks & stones over fires; migrate them to cauldrons of water and place them in the water to generate a boil in this beer making process of yore. Instead of using stones, The Church Brew Works opted to use Meteorites for the first time in brewing history.
We used three different meteorites heated to 800 degrees overnight in our wood fired pizza oven. The meteorites soaked up heat from the hot coals, a custom made tong was used to transport the hot meteorites to the brew kettle and then the meteorites were quenched in the brew kettle, this quenching process created an instantaneous flash caramelization that and helped caramelize the sugars from the wort, aka brewer’s tea during the beer making process.
The Church Brew Works planned this brew to coincide with our 20th anniversary year. The event additionally coincides with 500-year anniversary of a larger 900 pound display meteorite that fell to earth in Nantan, China in 1516.
The project has been over three years in the making with time and energy spent searching for the meteorites, locating a highly skilled blacksmith, designing a cool logo and a finding a video photographer to document the evolution of the brew.
We collaborated with local Blacksmith and artist own John Walter of Iron Eden http://www.ironeden.com/Iron_Eden/Home.html who custom fabricated the lifting tongs needed to place the meteorites in the hot oven and place them into the kettle. Additionally, John Built the medieval designed steel base used to house the 900 pound display meteorite.
The Church Brew Works worked closely with Meteorite expert and legendary fossil collector Alan Langheinrich http://www.nyrockman.com/ to help source a display meteorite that would be really big and interesting.
Alan networked his unique contacts in the world of meteorite collectors for 18 months until he found a very large 900 pound meteorite that suited our needs. Alan is famous as well for buying the car that was hit by the Peeksvill Meteorite
Alan additionally provided two of the Saharan African meteorites used in the brewing process.
The third meteorite was provided by a college buddy Dave Steinmann who provided a Gibeon Meteorite from Namibia, Africa. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibeon_(meteorite)
Dave is professional wetland consultant but has an exploration streak in him and specializes in spelunking and discovering unknown species of insects that dwell in unique microclimates in Caves in Colorado.
The cool video of the film shoot was six months in the making and the efforts of videophotgrapher Ted Weigand, a childhood friend of CBW owner Sean Casey. Ted is a native Pittsburgher with 30 Years of production experience behind the camera working as a director and cinematographer on Commercials, documentaries, short films, music videos and corporate videos. Ted has traveled the country recording amazing people and stories as a visual storyteller looking for the human element of people’s lives.
The Logo for Asteroid Ale and the Church Brew Works was the brainchild of Lisa Lerose of One Wisdom / Triberry Communications & owner Sean Casey. http://www.onewisdom.org/ The logo shows a Fiery Hop style meteorite crashing to earth.
The website was put together by Church Brew Works own Jason Marrone who has been with us for 20 years as an executive chef and current COO.
The first tapping of Asteroid Ale occurred at 5:45 PM June 30th, 2016 in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania as a light hearted celebration of International Asteroid Day.
The Church Brew Works was founded in 1994 and opened for Business August 1st, 1996.
The Church Brew Works made History when they purchased a historic 1902 vintage erstwhile church in Pittsburgh and renovated it into a Brewpub (A combination restaurant and brewery)
The Church Brew Works was voted the 2012 Great American Beer Festival “Large Brewpub of the Year” for its multiple medal sweep at the GABF. The Church Brew works was the first craft brewery to use Quinoa in the brewing process with our Llama Lager brewed in 1997.
The Church Brew Works created a culinary first inventing “Rattlesnake & Cactus Pierogies” and Wood Fired Pierogie Pizza.
The Brewpub can be visited digitally at www.churchbrew.com or in person in the historic Lawrenceville district of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Cheers & Prosit - Your Friends at The Church Brew Works