The air in the Long Ireland Brewery was thick with humidity from the steam rising from the mash tank. Brewmaster and co-owner Dan Burke continuously stirred a 724-gallon stainless steel tank of simmering water, yeast, Pacific Northwest hops and lemon peel on a warm pre-summer morning this week.
He was brewing Long Ireland’s popular seasonal craft Summer Ale. They only began experimented with it last year, making just one batch that yielded 40 kegs. The mash needs to be cooked for one day and sits in fermentation tanks for 14 to 18 days before it is ready for the kegs.
“This year, almost starting before the summer season it has been more popular than any other. We also produce seasonal beers such as Pumpkin Ale in the fall and Celtic Ale for St. Patrick’s Day, which is always a big seller,” Burke said while brewing. Next week he noted they would start bottling the Celtic Ale for six packs. Last year the brewery produced 6,000 kegs and hopes to break 7,000 this year.
Burke described the Summer Ale as light, crisp, golden and refreshing.
He started brewing it back in mid-April and now is into the fourth batch, which will produce 400 kegs total. It is also available on tap in the tasting room for take-home growlers.
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO (top)
Long Ireland Brewery brewmaster and co-owner Dan Burke offers you a pint of Summer Ale.
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO (middle)
Long Ireland’s Brewery brewmaster and co-owner Dan Burke stirs up the mash for another batch of their Summer Ale at the brewery on Pulaski Street in Polish Town Thursday morning.
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO (bottom)
The fourth batch of Summer Ale that brewmaster Dan Burke has made this Spring. Four hundred kegs are now available to purchase and it is on tap in the tasting room and to take out in growlers.