New Brewer in town

MattBurlingWe are excited to here that Matt Burling (Marquette Homebrewers Club member) will be coming to brew in Ishpeming at Jasper Ridge. We will miss Travis Charboneau as he was a great brewer and we wish him luck with his west coast adventures. Welcome to town Matt. We cant wait to try some of your offerings as well as work with you in the fight for better beer. Our Brewcasa is your Brewcasa.

Cheers, Cognition Crew


Food for Thought

Helles In A HandbasketFlavor. We experience flavor every day of our lives. When we wake up many of us put on a pot of coffee and start the day off with breakfast. Maybe you drink coffee because you remember your parents brewing it when you were a child and the aroma is comforting. Maybe you enjoy it because your roommate in college finally turned you onto espresso at a coffee house. Maybe you work a night job and rely on the caffeine to stay awake through your shift. What I’m getting at is we all have come to know food and drink differently and this may, in my opinion, have an effect on how we perceive their flavors.

We all know flavor as sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami. A lot of people aren’t familiar with or have a hard time describing umami. Umami is a Japanese loanword for “good taste” or “good flavor”. Often described as savory or meaty and can be found in cheese, tomatoes, grains, beans and soy sauce. All of these flavors add to the experience of “taste”. Many of the things we enjoy have other built-in “flavors” that we may be unaware of. If warm fuzzy feelings were a flavor, saffron buns would be loaded with them. My grandmother used to have them at her house all the time. I remember warming them and spreading some butter on them and to this day I think that is one of the best flavors I’ve ever experienced. I can’t recall a time where I’ve eaten one and not thought of my Grandma. Thus, I enjoy saffron buns more than I would have had my Grandmother not always treated me to them.

I think there is an appreciation that we develop for flavors over time as we learn more about how food/drinks are actually made. Is it possible that we can taste how hard someone has slaved over a pie or is it only the actual ingredients in the pie we taste? I’m a firm believer that if you taste something that you know someone put a lot of thought and effort into and took pride in doing it without cutting corners, there is a bonus flavor there waiting to be realized by the consumer. Do vegetables pulled right out of your own garden taste better than those bought from the grocery store? I think so. It probably has to do with knowing exactly where they came from and how hard you worked that garden to get them to grow. Knowing how our food/drink are produced can certainly add to the enjoyment of the consumption of those products.

Learning how to describe the flavors you are tasting can be a fun way to start enjoying more. Not just enjoying your food/beverage more but also enjoying the people you share them with more. Not everyone can sit down and start picking apart a pint of IPA and describing whether the flavors they are tasting are floral rather than earthy or piney rather than fruity. It takes practice learning how to identify these flavors so we can describe them. I can’t even imagine how many hours I’ve sat at my kitchen table with my friend Kevin sharing new beers and talking about the aroma, appearance, flavor, feel and overall impressions of beer. This has really helped me to really be able to enjoy beer to the fullest. I guess it has helped me to enjoy all food and drink more because once you start to train your pallet to understand flavor, you start to do it all the time. It becomes a habit and one that will just add more enjoyment to your life.


Brian Richards
Head Brewer
Cognition Brewing Company

Alert: Closed on Tuesdays

Since Tuesdays have been quite slow lately, we have decided that we won’t be open for business on that weekday during March (and probably April). Feel free to call if you need a growler fill or would like to schedule a private event on that day. We’ll try to accommodate.

Save yourselves for our Anniversary Weekend on March 11th and 12th. Best music ever!

Cognition Fruition

Two years after the seed was planted, the time has arrived. It has taken plenty of blood, sweat and tears, frequent allaying of fears and quite a few beers, but the Cognition Brewing Company’s brewing system is working near flawlessly and we have now brewed approximately 1,300 gallons of premium product.
Our Brew Crew is in complete control of the brew house, our operations manager has settled in and taken charge, the Tap Room is looking better than ever and our bar staff is anxious to begin pouring and serving. We can’t wait to start sharing the fruits of our labors!
It is my great (and very emotional) pleasure to finally announce that we will open the door of the Tap Room to the public at 2:00 EST on Saturday, the 14th of March!!!
There have been hiccups at every stage of this process and there will undoubtedly be a few more, but with your patience and understanding we hope to offer outstanding brews in a classic setting for years to come.
Though beer (eventually wine), food and music in a welcoming atmosphere will always be our focus, I personally have other goals. My maternal grandmother’s great uncle, Robert Nelson, is known as the Father of Ishpeming. He laid out our now historic downtown district in the 1870’s and built a magnificent hotel on the site of the Mather Inn parking lot.
Ishpeming remained a thriving community for a century, but has been in decline for the last few decades. If Cognition Brewing Company can help in any way to reverse the swinging of that pendulum again, we will truly have accomplished a great deal.
Our landlords at the Mather Inn have done and are doing an incredible job of restoring this amazing structure. They have been a huge help to us in constructing our first class brewing facility and in getting the Tap Room ready. What they have done and are doing is truly inspirational. We expect to be an asset for them and can’t wait until the main floor is also open!
Many other downtown business owners have also invested a great deal in improvements to their properties. From the Main St./Division St. areas to the Pioneer Square, there are many businesses well worth a visit. We have the Ski Hall of Fame, Suicide Hill and the Mining Museum at the Cliff’s Shaft (where my grandfather was superintendent) site near Lake Bancroft, which several of our residents are also working hard to restore to it’s former pristine state. Please plan to extend your visit to these other options!
We also have neighborhood groups working to get our town back into shape as a great place to own a house and raise a family. We have cyclists developing fantastic trail networks and organizing races. Our ski trails are second to none.
Ishpeming and Negaunee definitely need some dusting off, but in that dust are incredible tales which tell the story of two remarkable communities. We plan to make historical information available to our visitors and even expect to have walking and cycling tours to work off the calories you will be consuming. The Ishpeming and Negaunee Historical Societies are more than willing to share their vast resources, and we want to take full advantage.
It is my hope that the past and present residents of Ishpeming, Negaunee and the West End will feel that the Tap Room is their home away from home. I know our friends and neighbors will be open and welcoming to those who are visiting from near and far.
The Tap Room is known as the place where business got done in the past. It is ready again, with an atmosphere where new business and community ideas can take seed and grow.
Now let’s make some new history! Please join us! Share your tables and make new friends! Handshakes and hugs are mandatory! Generous tipping appreciated!
Thanks to you all for your patience and understanding!!
See you in two weeks, Jay Clancey

State and Federal Approval!

So here is some good news. Last week we got word that we had been approved for our Microbrewery license via the state of MI pending our federal approval. A few days later, wouldn’t you know it, we had our federal approval. We also officially have an operations manager that started Dec. 1st. Her name is Amanda Courchaine and we have a good feeling about her. I’m sure she will do a great job helping to make this place go. We also have a bar manager (Carl Demeny) lined up who was formerly the bar manager at Titletown Brewing Company in Green Bay, WI. Talking with the folks down there on a recent visit to Titletown’s new production facility Grand Opening, everyone that has worked with him had great things to say. I’m pretty excited about the team of people we are putting together thus far and I’m getting pretty excited to start brewing. Other things to note: We have finally received our mash tun and heat exchanger which are a couple of the last bigger pieces to the puzzle. We continue to make progress on the Taproom and are still waiting to have our boiler plumbed so we can run steam to our boil kettle and hot liquor tank. Our fermenters are in place but still need to be plumbed with glycol so we can have temperature controlled fermentations. Today we fired up our reverse osmosis water treatment system for the first time with Rick from J-Goods Plumbing and heating and John Griesbach from Diamond H2O. John said that normally when he gets these systems running for the first time it doesn’t always go as smoothly as it did for us. We had no problems with it and we were making high purity water in no time at all. Nice job Rick for your hard work in getting this rig set up for us without any problems. Getting ready to order grain, hops and yeast so we can get going as soon as possible. So lots is happening but there is still a good chunk of work to be done. I should also mention that we have also been working with Alex Parent and Walter Aho from re:think and they have been busting their butts on putting together a new website for us that looks great. It should be very informative and we plan to be posting plenty of content for you all so keep an eye out for that. We will also keep providing you updates on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, and you can add us on Snapchat too (cognitionbeer).

“When are you guys opening?”

Sorry for the lack of frequent updates on the website here. We have been focusing our content through our social media outlets as we are really close to rolling out a new website that will look much nicer and have better functionality than the current one you are looking at. Stay tuned for that! We are now looking like an end of the year opening date. We are keeping our fingers crossed for Christmas. Thanks for keeping up with us. We appreciate it.


Making Progress

Lots has been happening over the last couple of weeks. We’ve had our floors and walls sealed up, walk-in cooler installed, brites and fermenters delivered and our Boil kettle and hot liquor tank just arrived as well. We also received our reverse osmosis system so we can customize our water for each beer. We’ve had a lot if people volunteering around the brewhouse when we need to do some heavy lifting and we greatly appreciate it. Stay tuned.











Brewhouse Stairs

It’s been a productive week at Cognition Brewing. In two days we have had a dividing wall put up between the brewhouse/office and we also had our stairs poured going down into the brewhouse. Next week we will have some guys coming in to clean out the drain pipe we will be sending our effluent to. After that we will be tackling wall treatment, floor etching and epoxy layers, walk-in cooler for serving tanks, and then hopefully brewhouse delivery and install. Getting more and more excited everyday.



The Wall

I felt like we should have been listening to Pink Floyds’ “The Wall” yesterday as that’s what was happening here. Kak and his crew kicked ass on a wall that had to go up between the brewhouse and what will be an office/small lab space for us.



Ceiling Removal

After we put the floor in the brewhouse we got our test results back from our ceiling samples. The results were asbestos free. This was great news as asbestos abatement can be pretty costly.

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