SPARKS, Nev. (KOLO) -- Revision Brewing Company's signature smooth taste in many of its beers is helping it win international awards even though it's less than a year old.
Revision Brewing Company canning fresh beer
The brewery's "Disco Ninja" beer won gold at the 21st annual Great International Beer, Cider, Mead & Sake Competition in the New England India Pale Ale category.
"Pretty amazing...to win a gold for the New England hazy IPA category in Connecticut, which is New England Territory, said Revision Brewery CEO Jeremy Warren.
It's just one of a handful of awards. Revision Brewing Company is ranked the third best new brewer in the world out of the 6,400 new worldwide brewers registered in 2017, according to Rate Beer Awards.
"Pretty amazing to win two medals in Brussels, Belgium. We just won a couple awards for the beer wars. We've won with the U.S. Beer Open," Jeremy said.
Revision Brewing Company sits on the northeast corner of South Rock Boulevard and Hymer Avenue south of I-80 in Sparks.
Many of the beers have a smooth edge even though one of its strongest drinks called "Doctor Lupulin" is 11.3 percent alcohol.
"It's not bitter, doesn't taste like a high alcohol beer. I'm surprised. I'm pleasantly surprised. It's nice," said first-time customer Skip Osborn as he sipped on a Dr. Lupulin.
"We frown from astringency. We want smooth, very clean, rounded bitterness," said Jeremy. "It's just really dialing in the process. When we're adding the hops. The type of bitterness. We're creating and really controlling the fermentation times during fermentation to control the amount or perception of alcohol," he continued.
The secret to quality and consistency starts with the water. Jeremy took KOLO 8 News Now's Noah Bond to his water purification systems. "This unit here is our carbon filtration; then we have our water softener back here and then this is actually the reverse osmosis system here," he said as he pointed to each tank or filter.
"We also add certain salts to our water during the brewing process that is specific to each beer," Jeremy continued.
Jeremy says there is a proprietary mineral blend he's looking for as the base for each different kind of beer, because the finished product is made up of 90 percent water. This is the reason water is a constant and heavy focus at his company.
"Every two weeks on the dot we send three different water samples to a lab in San Diego, California, and then it takes about a week to get the results. Based on the fluctuations we'll make changes," Jeremy said.
Revision Brewing Company mixes its filtered water with 55,000 pounds of grain from a storage silo, which sits outside the building.
"The first thing is way over there. There's a mill. We crush our grain and then we auger it over in this long white tube and then it comes right down this pipe in here. We mix it with water. This is what you get," said lead brewer Mike Sotiriadis as he pointed into a steaming brown liquid in a large tank. "A little steamy. So it's called a mash," he continued.
This process is converting starch from the grain into sugars. Yeast will eat the sugar to create alcohol.
"So this sits in here for about 45 minutes. Then we separate it from the solid grain and then we transfer that into this middle vessel here. This is the boil kettle," Mike said.
The hops are added to the boil kettle to help add flavor. Next, the beer is added to the whirlpool tank. The hops settle at the bottom, where they and the rest of the solids are removed from the liquids.
"We cool it down to 70 degrees Fahrenheit and we transfer it into one of these large fermenters. Right now we have 9 of those tanks lined up over here, more on the way," said Mike as he pointed toward the large shinny silver tanks.
The temperatures in these tanks are highly regulated with the tubes coming in and going out.
"So by manipulating the temperature we can also enhance the fermentation process. There's no pockets. There's no pockets to get any yeast stratification either. We can also control the temperature to hide alcohol, create more fruit flavors or just simply make the beer cleaner," said Jeremy.
During this process, oxygen is closely monitored. About halfway through, workers do everything they can to keep it out of and away from the beer.
"No oxygen. We hate oxygen around here," Jeremy said. "So we also developed a proprietary process which we do during the movement of beer," he continued.
Oxygen ages beer. Revision Brewery's process will keep the beer tasting fresh for several months.
Finally, the beer is packed. Empty cans are placed on an assembly line. Carbon Dioxide is sprayed in the cans before they're filled, to keep as much oxygen away as possible. A cap is crimped on top. The cans are sorted and packed together and then they're ready for shipment.
Bottles have a similar process. Assembly line, beer, cap and pack.
Revision Brewery sells beer in ten states, California, Georgia, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Maine, North Carolina, Nevada, New York, Vermont. It's also sold in Australia.
You can buy this product at local Raley's, Winco, Whole Foods and Safeway stores.