Turning Beer Into Water

By Brian Kropf

Turning beer into water was the goal for the first of Mutineer Magazine’s Collaboration Series, Mutinous Battle Chai. They set out to brew a beer that melded the tastes of two fine beverages, beer and Chai tea. With the help of New Holland Brewing Company, their beer became a reality and was released at Falling Rock Tap House during the Great American Beer Festival on September 17, 2010. Proceeds from this delicious beer will benefit A Child’s Right, learn more about their mission by viewing the video below.  Here is Mutineer’s take on the project, from Associate Editor, Brian Kropf.


First, the beer.

As featured in Mutineer Magazine Issue 13, Mutinous Battle Chai is a beer that we brewed in collaboration with New Holland Brewing Company. It doesn’t quite fit into any style guidelines and we’re perfectly okay with that. The idea at first was a chai tea inspired saison, which quickly evolved into pure awesomeness with the help of New Holland head brewer John Haggerty. The malt bill was 80% malted two-row barley and 20% malted rye and it was hopped with Summit and Styrian Goldings.

It would then be spiced with traditional chai tea spices and a few wildcards of our own. These included Saigon cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, crystallized ginger, pink peppercorns, and toasted fennel.

Twenty minutes prior to the end of the boil, we added Michigan beet sugar to increase the starting gravity of the wort and to prime fermentation. Fully fermentable and sourced from beets, Michigan beet sugar will not affect the taste and it was chosen because it was local to us in Holland, Michigan. The yeast we decided to use was a Belgian wit yeast which would provide a slight tartness along with moderate esters and mild, spicy phenols.

From here, it would ferment away, happily turning into beer as we waited anxiously. Two weeks later, we would add unfermented “Nutty Dutchman” Brown Ale wort to add some color and to add the necessary sugars for secondary fermentation. For secondary fermentation, we would use merlot yeast which is a red wine yeast strain that produces a very active fermentation, resulting in a dryer beer. From there, it would be put on oak spirals and sit until ready to be unleashed at the Great American Beer Festival.

Next, the players.

Mutineer Magazine. Mutineer Magazine is a nationally distributed fine beverage magazine that covers everything fine beverage; beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, even water. We are very close with our charity partner, A Child’s Right, and whenever possible we try and raise money for them simply because we believe in what we do. We had the opportunity to do this collaboration and we couldn’t say no, but we wanted to make sure to get A Child’s Right involved.


New Holland Brewing Company. You can’t make beer without a brewery and Fred Bueltmann from New Holland in Holland, Michigan was kind enough to invite us and Ashley V. Routson of Drink with the Wench to come stay with them for a few days and create a beer. Founded in 1996, New Holland has a production brewery with a bottling line that distributes to 13 states as well as a brewpub where they brew and serve beer and food on premise. Not limited to just beer, New Holland also has a distillery where they create artsin spirits such as their famous Hopquila along with whiskey, gin, rum, and vodka.

Falling Rock Tap House. How can we forget the hosts so gracious enough to have us? Falling Rock Tap House is THE place to be during GABF.  Even with all the events I was running to during GABF, I managed to end up at Falling Rock at least five times a day. Opened by Chris Black and his brother Alan in 1997, Falling Rock is revered to by many as the best beer bar in the United States, if not the world. Yes, it’s that good. If you ever stop in Denver, stop in for some great food and amazing beer.

Last, and most importantly, is our non-profit charity partner A Child’s RightA Child’s Right believes that all children should have access to clean and safe water and improved sanitation in their living environments. A Child’s Right provides water purification systems, along with water filtration units, water storage containers, and extensive hygiene education to orphanages, street shelters, schools, and children’s hospitals in locations with verified water issues. In the last three years, A Child’s Right has provided safe drinking water to over 250,000 children in cities around the world. In 2010, they will bring aid to 100,000 more.

When you purchase Mutineer Magazine and enjoy New Holland Brewing’s Mutinous Battle Chai, you support the cause of A Child’s Right .

We have turned beer into water.

 /> alt=It is the mission of Mutineer Magazine to introduce fine beverages to the millennial generation and take fine beverage culture from niche into the mainstream using a cultural rather than commercial approach across a range of mediums. Mutineer Magazine will change the way you read about fine beverages.