By Matt Wake [email protected]
The circle is about to become complete. Ten years before Madison-based Rocket Republic Brewing Company opened for business, owner and head brewer Eric Crigger fashioned his first beer, an India Pale Ale, using a Mr. Beer homebrewing kit, which Crigger’s wife Tatum had given him as a Father’s Day present. Now, Mr. Beer will make Rocket Republic’s AstroNut Brown Ale the debut entry in their Craft Brewery Recipe series, with a mid-October launch targeted.
“It’s really neat for our brewery to be a part of something like this on the same system that essentially created the brewery,” Eric says.
Homebrewing kit producer Mr. Beer will make Rocket Republic’s AstroNut Brown Ale the debut entry in their Craft Brewery Recipe series, with a mid-October launch targeted. (Courtesy image)
“The ease of the kits is that you can just brew it in the kitchen. It’s literally in a pot on the stove. The beer is not difficult to make and it was good enough for me to say, ‘Hey let’s keep going with this.’ It was a sort of a proof of concept.”
Eric has been collaborating with Mr. Beer brewmaster Diane Bartlett on the Mr. Beer version of AstroNut Brown Ale. Bartlett is working off of Rocket Republic’s original recipe using Mr. Beer’s own malts and ingredients to emulate the recipe. When ready, the Mr. Beer version of AstroNut will be made released via the company’s newsletter for a price of $25 – $30, depending on the finalized ingredient list.
“This means that you will need to have your own brewing set up at home, and the recipe will include all the ingredients you need to brew the AstroNut Brown Ale,” Mr. Beer marketing assistant Sarah Scott says. “With that being said, the actual recipe itself is proprietary to Rocket Republic, and we are using malts and additional ingredients from Mr. Beer to get as close as we can to their original recipe.”
Mr. Beer is the world’s largest supplier of brew-at-home kits. The Tucson, Ariz.-based company’s versions utilize a two-gallon fermenter and bottle-conditioning, and start at around $50. The company had noticed a few months ago that in the very first interview Crigger did in regards to Rocket Republic, the story mentioned he’d started off with a Mr. Beer kit. Shortly before they reached out to him by email, Crigger noticed Mr. Beer had begun following Rocket Republic’s account on the social media platform Twitter.
“We wanted to partner with a craft brewery that started with our own product, so Rocket Republic was the perfect fit,” Scott says. “Working with Eric has been a breeze since he knows the benefits of using a Mr. Beer kit and recipe, as well as what is needed to make a Mr. Beer homebrew turn out well.”
You can sign up for the Mr. Beer newsletter at mrbeer.com.
Crigger says he’s also been in discussions to possibly release a new Rocket Republic beer, a porter, in December via Mr. Beer before its commercial equivalent is available.
So whatever happened to Crigger’s Mr. Beer kit?
“I wound up selling to a friend so he could get into (making beer), too,” he says.
News article originally posted at: http://www.al.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2014/09/madisons_rocket_republic_to_co.html#incart_related_stories