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Paul Bichler's 430 Belgian Pale Ale

It’s my pleasure to introduce you to Faculty Brewing’s new recipe, the 430 Belgian Pale Ale.

The opportunity to scale up a recipe with a local brewery is something that many homebrewers aspire to do, and I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have been able to collaborate with Faculty Brewing on this beer. Vancouver has a ton of talent when it comes to homebrewing, and it’s awesome to have local breweries like Faculty and Callister that regularly collaborate with the community.

My journey into homebrewing began after drinking some beers with Jeff Demaniuk, a long-time friend of mine who is currently the head brewer at Fernie Brewing Company. Jeff inspired me to take up the hobby and I quickly plunged into the rabbit hole, purchasing numerous books, a starter set, and joining Vanbrewers. As an organic chemist by training, homebrewing felt like having a lab at home, and I really enjoyed the endless experimentation that the hobby has to offer. Through the Vanbrewers meetings, I sampled all kinds of beer styles from incredibly talented homebrewers and tapped into the infinite wisdom of the senior members. I would encourage anyone interested in homebrewing to attend a Vanbrewers meeting (the first one is free!).

As I became more involved in the homebrewing community, I had the pleasure of meeting Mauricio who, at the time, was just about to open Faculty Brewing. I began to bring bottles of my own homebrew by Faculty for them to try, and eventually we landed on the Belgian Pale Ale as the recipe we would collaborate on. The original recipe is quite a bit different than the one you’re tasting today. One of the benefits of homebrewing is being able to use a variety of specialty malts. We simplified the malt bill by cutting out the specialty malts because smaller breweries can’t really stock these malts, as it complicates their inventory and will likely spoil if not used quickly. I also dry hopped the original batch with Amarillo in an attempt to bring out more citrus flavours, which I thought would pair nicely with the addition of coriander and bitter orange peel. For the collaboration we chose Cashmere, as it should accomplish the same flavor profile. As for yeast, we used Wyeast’s Ardenne’s, which was generously donated to Faculty by R&B Brewing.

With thanks to Inge, Brad and Mauricio, I feel that we have tweaked the original recipe to create a nice balance between the malt, spices and dry hopping making for an easy drinking Belgian beer, just in time for summer. Enjoy!

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