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The first thing to know about brewing is that basically, it's cooking. The brewer is a chef, the brewery is his kitchen and the brew kettle no more than a pot. Big River is brewing beer like it ought to be...fresh, handcrafted by a local brewer and with the best ingredients available.

1. Milling: The kernels are cracked, maintaining the coarseness of the husks while exposing the flour.

2. Mashing: The cracked malt is mixed with hot water which turns the starches into sugar.

3. Lautering: The liquid (sweet wort) is separated from the husks and flows into the kettle.

4. Boiling: The sweet wort is then boiled in the kettle with bitter hops.

5. Whirlpooling: At the end of the boil, the wort is whirlpooled to remove the hops.

6. Fermenting: After the wort is cooled and aerated, yeast is added which transforms the wort into beer.

7. Filtering: Any yeast remaining in suspension is removed.

8. Dispensing: The beer is transported from the serving vessels directly to your glass.

Ales vs. Lagers

Beers are generally divided into two categories, either Ales or Lagers. Traditionally, lagers have a crisp flavor with a clean finish while Ales offer a fruitier flavor that lingers. At Big River, we feature a variety of both Ales and Lagers, each having a character and richness all of its own. Big River brews beers that range in color from gold to auburn to brown and to black. The bottom line? Judge a beer based on taste, not color.