I opened my fridge to grab the above bottles for the photo and realized something: I really like apples.
Like, if you had asked me the answer would have been “Sure, why not?” or “Who doesn’t?” – an answer of indifference at the ubiquity of the fruit’s presence. But I realized that I have, as I write right now, two kinds of apples and three kinds of apple juices. On the counter top opposite a candle with a subtle apple scent. In my cupboard both Apple Jacks and Apple Cinnamon Cheerios (which are not, as I previously thought, the same thing) next to the box of apple cinnamon oatmeal flavoring and variety of dried cider mixes. Apple teas, though, I’ve declared terrible.
So it makes sense, I guess, to make an apple flavored ale.
We went the other day to the farmer’s market in search of fresh apple juice (preservatives in the commercial kind will kill the yeast) and came back with 2x 1 liter glass bottled soft cider from Harker’s Organics. We’re opting for small, small batches with lots of experiments and meticulous note taking so we can decide and make more in the direction we like the best. Next stop: The Vineyard, a local brew shop. First impression: super helpful and knowledgeable guys there. I had a shopping list based on this guide and they agreed, so we went with the Nottingham Ale yeast because in theory it should be hard to mess up. One packet is $4 and makes like, ~45 liters of brew, so we’ll have more than enough to keep playing; they’ll probably expire before we use them all. Silly yeast for having a shelf life. There’s some other pectins and things to control clarity and sweetness but I won’t get into the nitty gritty.
Unfortunately that’s all I can tell you at the moment, there’ll most likely be follow up posts in a few weeks / months.
In the meantime, we can play with the branding. There probably won’t be any real production scale any time soon, but can you blame design students for getting excited? We arrived at the name Snapstag entirely serendipitously and rolled with it. The above photo was the third try or something, so it’s hardly done. It’s not really original, but since we’re not competing on store shelves it’s less a concern to be memorable and edgy. We just wanted to do whatever we liked, and that’s what it is. It’ll most likely evolve over time and start to take on it’s own personality. I imagine there will be other names / brands for each flavor we come across and branch into it’s own right with ties to each other. We liked the industrial revolution Wharftown handmade branding that’s popular with the hipsters these days. I tried doing a truly hand lettered version and it’s terrible. I have so much respect for people like Gerren Lamson and Simon Walker.
In the end, it’s entirely for fun and we’ll have something to talk about and do with each other after we graduate.