Know Your Brewer: Jeff Musselman at The Millworks Brewery

by: Jimi The Intern
March 24, 2017
comment bubble No Comments

Since The Millworks opened in 2015, they have continued to bring creativity and art to anyone who visits their home in Midtown Harrisburg.

From the 31 regional resident artists studios to the innovative food menu, art is all around at The Millworks.

Seven months ago, The Millworks added another form of art with a full-scale brewery to produce craft beer just feet away from the dining area.

Jeff Musselman, head brewer at The Millworks, said that he takes a two-pronged approach to brewing that combines science and art to bring a new beer to the avid craft drinker who comes to The Millworks.

“For me, the combination of art and science behind beer is what drove me to brew,” said Musselman. “You can have all the science down and still create some pretty soulless beer, so I like that I get to add my version of art in a glass.”

Background

Musselman’s background mirrors the path that a lot of brewers take before going it on their own.

He got his start by homebrewing while at Lycoming College and continued the hobby while in his job at Merck Pharmaceuticals.

“I really found the love for brewing during that time while working in research,” said Musselman. “I liked my job, but I had that mid-twenties thought of what do I really want to do going forward.”

Musselman said he was at the right place in his life to make a change and go for his passion.

Once he quit his job, he enrolled in the Master Brewers program at UC Davis to start his official brewing education. The six-month program propelled him into his career in brewing throughout Pennsylvania.

Combined with formal education, Musselman’s experience also includes gigs at Weyerbacher Brewing Company, Tröegs Independent Brewing, plus a stint with Jack’s Hard Cider.

“The great thing about working for two different breweries is that you quickly come to realize that there is no ‘right way’ to brew a beer,” said Musselman. “As long as the beer comes out good on the other end, there are multiple approaches.”

While with Weyerbacher and at Tröegs he saw how two different styles of brewing can still result in a good beer.

“When I started with Weyerbacher, it was a lot smaller with a lot of manual labor and working with what you had,” said Musselman. “On the flip side at Tröegs, I experienced how to harness and use technology to make consistently good beer.”

He said that having those experiences shaped the way he embraced his opportunity to branch out on his own for the first time.

“I don’t think I would have had the ability to tackle a project like this without those past experiences,” said Musselman. “The experience I gained from both breweries has proven extremely valuable to creating the brewery.”

On his own

“This is my baby,” said Musselman while looking at the brewhouse he designed and built at The Millworks.

Plans were in place for a brewery at The Millworks almost from the start. Musselman said that Millworks owner, Josh Kesler, got in contact with him through a mutual friend a month after the building opened.

“Through much of 2015, Josh and I put together a plan on how we wanted to do this, and by January 2016, I was on full-time here at the brewery,” said Musselman.

For the next eight months, the Millworks transformed the back room into a state-of-the-art brewing system that now houses a full brewhouse, four fermenters, along with serving vessels to bring customers the freshest beer possible.

“One of the biggest things for me was that we were building this brewery into a space that was already established,” Musselman said. “I was glad I was here on day one to help build and design the space, but after a long construction, I was itching to start brewing.”

The first batch of beer through the brand new system was an Oktoberfest followed by five other brews that still populate the beer menu.

Growing the brewery

His wealth of experience from formal education to brewing at Weyerbacher and Tröegs helped Musselman define a brewing philosophy that he employs when coming up with a new beer.

“My brewing philosophy is a lot like my drinking philosophy,” said Musselman. “You have to get the craft beer standards down before you can get too creative.”

As of now, Musselman wants to keep a core set of beers on tap that reflects his style and consistency but doesn’t shy away from more off-the-wall concepts.

“Right now, we haven’t gotten too creative with our beers, but I am chomping at the bit to get more creative beers flowing,” said Musselman.

One of his newest beers is a Brett Pale Ale that is packed with flavors of stone fruit, citrus and a little bit of funkiness from the brett.

“Down the road, I want to implement a sour program and continue to grow our barrel aging program,” said Musselman.

The Millworks is open Monday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-12 a.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

5 New Brews to Help You Welcome Spring

by: Tierney Pomone
March 24, 2017
comment bubble No Comments

It’s here, it’s here, spring is finally here! Spring is my favorite season – the sun comes out, the air smells new, and everything comes back to life. It’s a beautiful time of year, and I can’t wait to drive around with my windows down. Welcome the season change by adjusting what you drink.

Follow the seasons and welcome these 5 new spring seasonal brews.

Left Hand Saison au Miel

This year, Left Hand announced a new seasonal Saison series using local Colorado ingredients. The spring offering is Saison au Miel. As its name implies (miel = honey in French), this brew is made with Colorado wildflower honey and boasts a crisp flavor with mild tartness. Sounds perfect for a sunny spring day if you ask me. It’s packaged in 16 oz pounder cans, so it’s ready to go wherever you’re headed.

Dogfish Head Alternate Takes #4

While Aprihop was once my springtime go-to before it was replaced by Romantic Chemistry (my current spring go-to), Dogfish Head has a new flavor for this year. Check out Alternative Takes #4, a barrel-aged apricot farmhouse ale. The Alternate Takes series is kind of like a scratch series in that they’re limited release development-level brews that make the cut for a short release, but may not become a seasonal or year-round offering. #4 is aged on French-Oak wine barrels where it is fermented with Brettanomyces for 7 months before being blended with apricots and re-fermented with a Belgian Saison yeast. It promises to deliver flavors of apricot, oak, Brett funk, and earthy undertones.

Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Golden IPA

Sierra Nevada will be bringing back their Beer Camp series this year with brews from around the world, but first, let’s check out the Golden IPA. A new spring seasonal, the Golden part comes from wheat malt and the IPA punches with an experimental hop variety alongside Simcoe, Chinook, Crystal, El Dorado, and Summit hops. Sierra Nevada describes the flavor as “dry, yet assertive,” and I’m thoroughly intrigued.

Sam Adams Fresh as Helles

Now that Cultivator is gone, where will you go for your spring helles bock? Right to Sam Adams. This brand new spring seasonal has a soft citrus flavor from the orange blossom petals added as well as Mandarina hops for a hint of tangerine. While Sam Adam’s doesn’t make all of my favorite beers, they’ve really been stepping up to the plate with their latest releases, and I’m looking forward to giving this one a go.

Abita To-Gose

While not available yet, keep an eye out this spring for Abita’s new spring beer To-Gose. Brewed with key limes, this brew takes a fresh twist on the classic salty-yet-tart Gose. Look for this beer about a month from now on draft and in bottles and pair it up with a sunny day on the patio.

Categories: Craft Beer

Weekend Roundup 3/23

by: Sara Bozich
March 23, 2017
comment bubble No Comments

Thanks to everyone who came out for our Pop-Up Happy Hour at Strawberry Square last night! We had a great time with great vendors. Keep missing these? Get on my mailing list — we host every month!

I haven’t quite yet finalized my weekend plans (a Harrisburg Beer Week volunteer meeting kicks things off), but you know my usual market-gym plans stand. There may be fewer events happening this weekend than with the bustle of the last, but there are a lot of really great options, no matter what you’re in the mood for.

Look for: Midnight Angel bottle release from ZerØday – a late night party for this barrel-aged beauty. Also — if it’s not yet sold out already — The Art of Wine Pairing at The Vineyard at Hershey looks to be a great Sunday afternoon event.

What are you doing this weekend?

(more…)

5 Podcasts You Should Be Listening To

by: Kelly Leighton
March 22, 2017
comment bubble 13 Comments

Hey, it’s 2017, and I am way late to the podcast game.

But I am making up for lost time because I am so into podcasts lately. Whether I am running, walking the dog, or just hanging out at home, I have a podcast on. I have a hard time watching television because I have to devote so much attention to it, but I love podcasts because I can multitask!

Let me know if you have any recommendations, as I am plowing through them way too quickly. Miles (my dog) is certainly appreciating the longer walks. Here are my latest favorites.

Running Podcasts

The Ali on the Run Show

I really enjoy Ali’s blog, so I was excited when I learned she had started a podcast. In each episode, she interviews an athlete, and the friendly conversation makes it easy to feel as if you are a part of it. My favorite episodes thus far are Emily Halnon (because I like her blog as well; I read a lot of blogs.), John Honerkamp and Chris Heuisler. But I’ve really enjoyed them all, and I look forward to each Thursday when a new episode lands on my phone.

RunnersConnect Podcast

OK, I also enjoy Tina Muir’s blog, and thus, I really like her podcast. Even though she is an elite athlete, she is somehow still relatable, and I appreciate her honesty about her struggles. The podcast is also very informative, and they have a daily, short update where coaches answer readers’ questions.

Non-Running Podcasts

The Black Tapes

I should preface and say that I grew up completely obsessed with Unsolved Mysteries, and my love of the unknown and creepy has not wavered. This podcast is a fictional account of a journalist, Alex, and her quest to figure out the mysterious paranormal investigator Dr. Strand and his unsolved “black tapes.” I binge-listened to it, and slightly regret it as I sit impatiently waiting for season 3, but I’d have to say this is my favorite podcast.

In the Dark

In 1989, Jacob Wetterling, an 11-year-old in Minnesota, was kidnapped. The case took nearly 27 years to solve, and investigative reporter Madeleine Baran set out to find how this case was so unsolvable. It was weird to listen to the podcast knowing how it would end for Jacob, but it somehow held my attention. My only complaint is that Baran could be a little too self-congratulatory. They just announced they are preparing for season 2, so I am curious to see if they can keep up with the momentum.

Missing Richard Simmons

I never in a million years thought I would like this podcast, but a friend suggested I check it out, so I downloaded it and was immediately hooked. Basically, the well-known and extroverted exercise celebrity has not been seen since 2014, and Dan Taberski, who knew Simmons via his exercise class, seeks to find out why. It has been fascinating thus far, but I do feel moderately guilty because it is just so invasive. Maybe Simmons just wants to hang out at home. But, on the other hand, I, along with millions of others, are curious as to why.

What podcasts do you love? Share in the comments!

Categories: Bloggers, Running

Tags:

Join Our Mailing List

Follow