From January through March, Francesca Guzzetti of Northern Italy’s Birrificio Italiano and Henry Myers of Colorado’s Left Hand Brewing will step into the other’s shoes, experiencing each brewery’s operations and culture.
Alright, I’d like to start this off by saying I’m not a blogger nor am I a writer. I’m just an alright brewer who’s good at drinking beer and loves to talk about it. Now that we have that straight, I’m Henry Myers at the brewery everyone calls me “Hank”. I have worked at Left Hand Brewing for 7 years. I started at Left Hand on the packaging line, was a brewer for a couple of years, and now I’m the Cellar manager. I love drinking good beer, eating great food and most of all I love enjoying both of those with great people.
Being a part of this brewer’s exchange is absolutely an honor and I still can’t believe it’s true even after being in Italy for more than a week. Thanks Birrificio Italiano and Left Hand!
One of the things that I was most worried about was not being able to speak Italian with everyone at the brewery. As soon as I got here I realized that most of the people at the brewery could speak some English (some great) and some Spanish. It was so nice that everyone was helping me out by speaking English! Thanks Birrificio Italiano! One of the nicest things about brewing is that it is a universal language, so even if we couldn’t speak the same language we all understand what the other is doing or trying to stay.
One thing that Fra talked about in her blog was that size difference in the two breweries. Fra told me that their brewery was super small. That is not the case, yeah they don’t make a shit load of beer, but it’s not a small operation at their brewery. It’s a full blown Microbrewery! All the people at the brewery are super passionate about what they are doing and really care about the beers they’re making. They brew 5 days a week one brew a day about 23 HL (~20 BBL’s) batches, lots of Dry Hopping, no filtration, Bottle/Keg their beers in many different sizes, do a lot of fun and different barrel age beers. One of the nice things about their brewery is that they only run one shift, so everyone knows what’s going on because they’re all there working together. No 2nd shift or 3rd shift hand offs everyone knows what the other person is doing. They meet in the morning at the begin of their shift to figure out what needs to get done, then it’s off to the races. One other thing that is nice is that I get to say goodnight to all the beer in tank. Fra and I do a walk around the cellar at the end of the day and check tank pressure, if everything is clean, if everything is off and if everything is put away. Then it lights out Ciao, Buona notte!
Now let’s talk food. Wow!!! Everything is unbelievable! The pasta is unreal, but the best of them all is Pizzoccheri (pasta made with Buckwheat) cooked in a Parmesan Reggiano, garlic, brown butter sauce with potato’s. My mouth is watering writing this. Pizza is the greatest food item to ever be made and Italy does it damn well! Needless to say I have had a couple pizzas so far. The prosciutto here is absolutely wonderful!!!
Henry Myers Aka “Hank”