Brewery Spotlight: Novel Strand Brewing Co.
“Brew the best beer we can. No gimmicks, no trends, no tricks, no fads. Just beer.” touts Novel Strand’s website. The just-off-Broadway boutique brewery in the Baker neighborhood made a quick splash in the brewing community. Although small in size, this brewery cranks out consistently solid beers with a big personality. Perhaps it is because the beers take after the outspoken and gregarious brewer, Tamir Danon, who cares deeply about his craft.
To that end, Novel Strand is unusual in that they immediately focused on small can releases from their start in 2016. During a time when everyone was focused on opening the neighborhood brewery with only draught beer available (perhaps with crowlers available for purchase), the Novel Strand team still saw an opportunity in packaging. When not doing mobile canning runs, they were able to do a few with a small in-house Dixie canner.
As they moved further along in their canning journey, they reached out to Fermly to do on-site checks of their dissolved oxygen levels. “Simply put: without the analytical tools and services Fermly offers, we wouldn't have been able to successfully package beer in cans,” says Danon. “Canning beer requires the liquid to be as perfect as possible, and we relied on Fermly to help us develop processes to optimize carbonation and minimize oxygen exposure.”
Maintaining consistency in the lack of dissolved oxygen has a huge impact on the flavor and shelf-life stability of a beer. Although it can be cost-prohibitive, Fermly has made the investment in equipment so small breweries don’t have to. Per Danon, “The tools I would have needed to do this all come at a fairly high price point for most of us small breweries, so having them available through Fermly is a huge bonus. Once we identified steps in the process to fix, we rely on Fermly to come and check our new processes to ensure our beer was carbonated to the correct degree for canning, and that our beer tests were extremely low for oxygen. Without Fermly we wouldn't have had any REAL data about what worked and what didn't.”
Oxygen is everywhere for good reason and despite that, Novel Strand Brewing does not have a problem with it. Perhaps their cans should say “no gimmicks, no trends, no tricks, no fads, no oxygen. Just beer”