LOLA (Ladies of Lagers and Ales) was invited back to brew at Lucky Lab Beer Hall following the success of their Kolsch (Lucky Lab) and Hibiscus IPA (Coalition Brewing). The women have set the standard for large group collaborations at brewpubs. They start by using their facebook page to communicate and narrow down beer styles, then ask the brewer what is realistic, then have a recipe development session and then brew.
Ben Flerchinger, head brewer at Lucky Lab Beer Hall wanted to have the ladies back because of their passion, experience and desire to further their education of beer. An Oktoberfest was the obvious choice for a beer that matched the brew date. Besides the women and Ben working together on the recipe and brewing, the brewing community helped out with ingredients. The yeast came from Occidental Brewing and some of the hops from 5th Quadrant. The beer will still have a Northwest twist on it, but true to style ingredients because of the cooperative spirit of brewers in Oregon.
Ben is an excellent coach and allows the women to be hands on with every step of the brewing process. The second time around, Ben knew the areas that people could use a little more time in and each person had the opportunity to have a tri-clamp practice session. The process seemed quicker because most of the women were more comfortable.
Besides brewing, Ben served the LOLA crew a sample of Super Dog and Super Dogger Lager and discussed the differences in yeast use. He entertained every question posed to him. Inquires included opinions on hops and yeasts, advice on brewing on a commercial system and his personal story. Ben has a way of never making anyone feel silly or inexperienced. When a person asked a question about disconnecting a pipe, Ben said, “it is easier if you hold on to it and take it out now,” instead of saying something like, “you dumbass, don’t let it drop into the tank and hurry up.” He also loves a challenge. (See tank photo).