By Jessie Forand/ECHO  ECHO's Steve Perkins, Local 22/44's Brittney Hibbs and Switchback's Bobby Grim have a taste. (Phot...

Firkin Features: Switchback Brewing Co.

By Jessie Forand/ECHO 

ECHO's Steve Perkins, Local 22/44's Brittney Hibbs and Switchback's Bobby Grim have a taste.
(Photo Jessie Forand/ECHO)
Tomorrow is the big day - Firkin Thursday will finally be here! We hope you can join us to meet local and regional brewers and taste their amazing beers, ciders, and meads, brewed in special casks just for the evening. 

This time around, we're meeting Switchback Brewing Co. Learn all about this Burlington-based brewery from plant engineer Gretchen Langfeldt:

Tell us a little about the Firkin Thursday brew(s): what will you serve? What does it taste like? Have we had it before or is it completely different?

Our Märzen is aged six full weeks using a traditional lagering process. For this cask offering we Krausened it using fresh wort and naturally conditioned it in the cask. Going through a slow, multi-step fermentation process allows this beer to highlight the best characteristics of a lager. It is all about the malt and the hops, with the yeast staying in the background flavor-wise, keeping the beer exceptionally clean, crisp, and refreshing. Like all Switchback beers, Märzen is not filtered. This is the first time Märzen will be available as a cask.  Enjoy!

Malt: Pils, Munich, Dk Caramunich
Hops: Magnum, Saaz
ABV: 5.2%
IBU’s 30

A little background about your brewery: when was it founded? Where? Why?

Switchback was founded in 2002 in Burlington. Located in part of the old McKenzie ham and hot dog factory building on Flynn Ave near Oakledge Park in the Southside of Burlington. 

What is your role in the local/regional beer scene? (What sets you apart?)

Switchback Brewing has always been a quality driven brewery looking to add to the beer culture.  The flagship beer, Switchback Ale is not brewed to any style and adds variety to any tap stand.  Trying to preserve the flavor of the beer as it tastes in the aging tanks, Switchback does not filter any of its beers, and uses the yeast to carbonate the beer naturally.  Never using any type of additives or processing aids, all Switchback beers are “natural as, as natural is.”

Why Firkin Thursday? What are you most looking forward to about this event? Is this your first time?

We are excited to serve our Märzen Fest Bier from a cask for the first time ever.  This is our first time participating in Firkin Thursday, though we have been a part of other ECHO After Dark events in the past (FeBREWary 2014 and 2015). 

What else should our readers know about you?

All Switchback Ale, and some of our Rotating Specials, are brewed on our beautiful 66 barrel copper Huppmann brewhouse.  In April of 2008 our brewmaster/owner, Bill Cherry, traveled to Beerfelden, Germany to purchase the vessels from Brauerei Schmucker where they had been in use since 1964.  With the help of a very qualified and efficient crew of German craftsmen, our new (to us) brewhouse was gently removed from its home of 44 years to make the trek across the Atlantic.  After an arduous installation process, we began brewing on our new system in September of 2009. 

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