The man pictured in this photo is Robert Dillman. “The Professor”, as he is known by some, enjoys fine old whiskey, bottomless ramen bowls, and the occasional mosh pit. He’s also our assistant brewer, and the man at the helm of our ultra-small-batch Prototype Series.
Because of its limited size, the series gives us the opportunity to test new techniques that may not be feasible at a production scale. We’re able to dive into unfamiliar territory with new ingredients, as well as learn how ingredients we’re already familiar with interact with each other in different quantities. We’re able to resurrect recipes from our own past and pay homage to classic recipes from elsewhere. All in all, the series gives us an outlet for rapid experimentation and the chance to get immediate, direct feedback from everyone who gets to try these limited runs.
When Rob talks about the Prototype Series and what he’s most excited about, it all comes down to real, high-quality specialty ingredients. Adjuncts like toasted coconut, single-origin coffee, and potent vanilla beans from exotic locales (a few of The Professor’s standbys) can often be far too expensive for routine use – on a small scale, however, we’re free to go hard.
It isn’t always about cost, however – the Prototype Series is often a test site for emergent new hop varietals and yeast strains, or simply new ideas. Many of the successes we’ve had with beers made at production scale began as experiments on this small system: mixed-fermentation saisons laid the groundwork for the Mise en Rose Collection; a particularly excellent coffee milk stout became Deep Breakfast; lupulin powder IPAs, maple stouts, and fruited hop-forward beers all found their way into the bigger mix.
The newest concoction in the series, Prototype: BluBois Smoov-E, is a 9% ABV double IPA conditioned on blueberries, boysenberries, and Tahitian vanilla beans and subsequently dry-hopped with Mosaic lupulin powder. Catch it on draft today.