Why Buzău? – One Beer Later

Why Buzău?

As soon as the decision was made to return to Romania to start a craft brewery (it was not yet known that it would be called One Beer Later), Buzău was the most obvious choice.

Romania's only malt house is in Buzău, it is 4 km away from a swallow (the bird of the company Lesaffre, the producer of our yeast Lager). A craft beer must use local ingredients when they are quality. That's right, it's a great malt!

Water was a less obvious choice. Initially, we had planned to pick her up on the road to Siriu (I believe it was in the village of Ciuta where many people come to fill cans at the public fountain). When we settled in the walls of the Legume și Fructe factory, we noticed that the drilling water of this food factory is excellent for brewing beer, especially for Ales. So there was no longer any reason to do so much transportation. We were lucky because the Buzau boreholes are of very variable quality depending on their location and depth. According to the recipes, we adjust the water with minerals that are added at the time of brewing (most often gypsum). The mineral profile of the water is important, it is decided according to the type of malts used, so the color of the beer, the desired bitterness (which depends on hops and minerals, in particular). Yes, everything is connected. Beer is a balance between all its ingredients. And, water is an important ingredient in quantity (95%) and quality.
Regarding hops, we are a little disappointed to have to import them (they represent a small amount, at least 5 kg for 400 kg of malt in a standard brew). First, the hop varieties we are looking for are not grown in Romania. We probably could have used Romanian hops from the Sighisoara area for our Rock 'N' Beer, our Czech Lager. But it turns out to be difficult to obtain because Romanian production would not already be enough to power all of Romania's industrial breweries. However, we mainly brew beers inspired by American artisanal styles (American IPA, American Amber Ale, American Pale Ale, American Stout ...) So we can't do without the import of hops.
We often cater to a cooperative of American hops that are family-grown growers but know how to team up to be stronger, a principle we love very much! By the way, our malt supplier in Buzau is called Soufflet Malt Romania. It is also a family business (recently, the Soufflets decided to sell their company to a French cooperative).
The last ingredient to brew and ferment beer is yeast. For this magical ingredient, there is no choice, there is no yeast producer in Romania. Our yeasts come from Austria and France, they represent 1 kg per brew. One of our yeast producers is also a (big) family business, Lesaffre.
I could have talked about other ingredients to "improve" the beer, but we don't use them! When possible, we prefer to avoid any additives (or filtration). Thus, the bottom of our bottles may have a small yeast deposit like some Belgian beers.
All the ingredients of our beers are listed on the label: borehole water, malts, hops, yeast. Nothing more, nothing less! This does not interfere with the proper storage of a bottle. It will definitely be the subject of a new article in this blog.
François-Xavier, One Beer Later

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