Welcome back to this week's edition of Western Mass Brews! It is the last Saturday of 'Beer Week' and to celebrate we are at a really cool place where it's not just a brewery... it's also a distillery.
Let's head inside to find out more about Element Brewing Company where science and brewing beer go hand in hand.
With beer names like Aidum, Ctronium and Pasma, you can tell that Dan Kramer and Ben Anhalt are all about the science of beer.
"We boiled it down to it's the fusion of art and science so that is what we wanted to build the whole company on," they explain to Western Mass News.
The two have brewed professionally for many years and have known each other since the new millennium so naturally:
"You get two brewers in the room and they start to talk about opening our own brewery," they explain.
The Element Brewing Company taproom moved last summer after outgrowing their space at the old Miller's Falls Post Office. The taproom shows signs of science including right on their tap list:
"Any kind of science terminology anything that we can find in the natural sciences and physics and chemistry and pull off of those to develop new names," the owners say.
And the pair throw out the style book when it comes to their brews.
"We generally try to make beer that hasn't been made before. We don't generally brew beer to style. The products we make are kind of fusions of two or more styles or their own thing all together."
In a beer world where IPA seems to be the buzzword is plasma what Dan and Ben call a 'Saki IPA.' Brewed with brown rice, malted millet, buckwheat and hops the beer is naturally gluten free.
"Most of the sales go to people who aren't gluten intolerant who just like beer," the pair notes.
There are beers for all palettes like the Red Giant in a style all its own, the Summer Pilsner Fusion or better known as SPF is about to be released for the summer.
"There are people that come in and are like I need the Dark Oak others just come in for the Plasma. We try have a breadth of flavors and styles, color flavor profiles that if you don't like beers there are something for everyone," they add.
There are also special releases that pack quite a punch this year they are releasing a dark malty oaked beer.
"Each year for our anniversary we come out with a double version of a beer that we currently make. They are pretty strong and very limited release batch."
And over in these beaker like bottles is the culmination of a dream to start a distillery. One that Ben and Dan says started before they even wanted to open a brewery.
"I think the seed was planted long before we even opened and when we moved we had enough room to do it and it's like hey let's get that going again," the pair tells Western Mass News.
Since March they have been producing new products and even have a tequila coming out in the next few weeks.
"We started with moonshine which we call Black Lightning. It's aged on roasted barley, gives it a darker color. Our second product was whiskey. Recently came out with gin and vodka."
The gin and vodka start with local potatoes, and the food served up in the pop up kitchen by Diamend Farms is also local.
Their taproom has plenty of places to sit and sip, or you can head to the game room for some pool and to check out a rotating arrangement of local art.
And today they have a band playing plus Element's outdoor beer garden and cocktail area opened up this week. They open up at noon today and stay open until 9.
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