Urban Chestnut’s New Urban Research Brewery Opens In The Grove For Beer Tasting Surveys

Ever wonder how Urban Chestnut Brewery continually comes up with great new beers, like Urbanator, Winetrroggen and Wolpertinger? The expertise of Urban Chestnut Brewmaster and co-founder Florian Kuplent are definitely the critical element in that effort, which is constantly evolving.

Now, craft beer connoisseurs and those who just enjoy a tasty brew can get in on the process of choosing new Urban Chestnut beer varieties as well. Last week Urban Chestnut opened the doors to the Urban Research Brewery, known as The U.R.B. The new venue is located at 4501 Manchester Avenue, just across the street from the Urban Chestnut Brewery and Bierhall in the Grove at 4465 Manchester.

The U.R.B. officially opened on Dec. 14, and will offer customers the chance to purchase, taste and evaluate two-ounce samples of test-batch beers brewed in The U.R.B.’s small pilot brewery. For $1, customers will taste three to four beer samples, then use their smart device to interact with Urban Chestnut’s proprietary online digital survey system.

According to Urban Chestnut co-founder David Wolfe, this consumer feedback will then be used to directly influence what test beers move on to the large-scale production facilities at Urban Chestnut’s brewery. “Every week we already conduct taste panels at the Grove Brewery where we sample existing beers, new beers, and explore new flavors. However, that panel is limited to a few employees. With The U.R.B., we’ll now have access to essentially a limitless panel of tasters, who will all be uniquely sensitive to different aspects of beer,” explains Wolfe.

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“In addition to getting the opinions of the outside community who are brewing fans, we’ll also be able to get more of our own employees who are not directly working in the brewing process involved as well,” adds Brewmaster Kuplent. The U.R.B. will create these new beers using a specially designed, small two-barrel (equivalent to 62 gallons) brewing system designed by Hölzl Brautechnik in Austria. This pilot system will allow Kuplent and the brewing team to create new beers by experimenting with various combinations of hop varieties, malt types, fruit and spice additions, and fermentation techniques.

“The U.R.B.’s pilot brewery is set up similarly to our other three breweries, so it gives us the flexibility to replicate our current processes and recipes,” says Kuplent. “It also provides us with the capability to easily scale up a new recipe for production on our larger brewing systems when we land on a winner of a new beer.” When customers taste the samples of the beers brewed at the U.R.B., they’ll also gain access to a specially designed webpage and be given a password to enter their reactions and opinions on the sample beers.

For example, on the first round of beer tasting being conducted at The U.R.B., questions ask consumers to rate the level of intensity of various aromas such as oak wood and raspberry; as well as the level of the bitterness of the beer in three different beer samples. “Not only can we test completely different styles of beer, we can also vary the hop varieties or yeast strains within a certain beer style and get opinions on what works best,” says Kuplent. “With our first sampling we’re testing three different dry hop varieties in one beer style.”

Participating in the sampling isn’t mandatory for visitors to The U.R.B. In addition to the test sampling, which takes place at a specific bar area, customers can also enjoy New York-style pizza by the slice at the adjoining pizzeria side of The U.R.B. In addition, a variety of canned Urban Chestnut beers are available with your pizza. Customers participating in the sampling can also take their beers over to the pizzeria area as well, to enjoy the test beers with a slice of pizza.

The U.R.B.’s pizza-by-the-slice counter is open from noon to 8pm daily, and the beer-sampling bar will be open Wednesday through Saturday from 5 to 8pm. To encourage and develop a group of regular participants in the samplings process, Urban Chestnut is encouraging those who take the sampling surveys to sign up on the website. By joining the “U.R.B. Tasting Community,” participants will receive emails or texts with information about upcoming samplings, survey results, and will also be eligible for rewards for regularly participating in U.R.B. sampling surveys.

More information available at Urban Chestnut’s official website.

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