Hoosier Beer Geek worked with Metromix to create their 2010 Local Brewing Guide. It was published in the November 18th issue and we are republishing the interviews we conducted. Enjoy!
Wilbur Brewing Company, est. 2009
Like most people, Dan Hause plans on retiring someday. And when he retires, he wants to open a brewpub as his retirement “hobby”. He started homebrewing eight years ago and opened his commercial brewing operation last year.
Wilbur Brewing Company is operated out of an A-frame lake cabin that used to be part of a Girl Scout camp. It is located on a lake in the middle of the woods out in the country of Morgan County. Hause still works full time as an engineer in the mining industry, so his brewery doesn’t have regular hours. He does welcome visitors, but they need to call in advance and schedule a time.
His brewing equipment is pretty simple. Hause uses a large brewing pot that he puts over a wood fire outdoors during warmer months. In the winter months, it sits across all four burners of a residential stove. His beers are bottle conditioned, meaning the yeast is added to the bottles where they then ferment. Wilbur beers are sold in bottles at stores and restaurants in Morgan, Monroe, and Marion Counties. Two restaurants in Bloomington carry Wilbur on draft. But Hause expects his beers will receive wider distribution next year.
While his brewing facility is atypical, what sets him apart from other breweries is that the beers from Wilbur Brewing Company are certified organic. Hause explains: “The malts are not grown with pesticides. The hops are not grown with pesticides. I have to keep my place pesticide free. The biggest challenge was the cleansers [for the brewing equipment]. I found a peroxide cleanser that is approved. It does a really nice job.”
Wilbur Brewing Company is the only brewery in Indiana that is certified organic and is one of the few organic breweries in the Midwest. “The organic ingredients cost me between 10 and 20 percent more [than regular ingredients],” he adds, “but the cost of beer ingredients are a small part [of the total cost].”
Regular Beers (styles in parenthesis): Country Mellow (Amber Ale), Biker Brown (Brown Ale)
Seasonals: Summer Ale, Octoberfest, Midnight Stout