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Welcome to the Wild Wild West四川趴趴走之-- 欢迎来到大美西

TheBrewGirl Out of Shanghai Series

Venture 75 kilometers (46 miles) outside of Chengdu, Sichuan and you’ll discover some stunning countryside. Since ancient times the Chinese have called this place “the Country of Heaven” for its natural abundance and beauty. It’s in this spot, in the foothills of the Qionglai mountains, that a husband & wife team of two “Wild Westerners” - American Scott Hunt from Utah, and Chinese Carol Li from Sichuan have set up shop: their Wild West Brewery.

出了成都市区,向西驱车1小时20分钟,便到了自古为“天府南来第一州”的邛崃 (qióng lái) 市。这里拥有中国最大白酒原酒基地,更是古代“Brew Girl", 四大才女之一卓文君的故乡。为爱人当垆卖酒并留下千古名句 “愿得一心人,白首不相离”的佳人已逝。而另一段或许平淡却时髦的爱情故事,却把我们带到了这里。

来自美国犹他州的Scott Hunt和来自中国四川的Carol Li夫妻档,在这个绿水环绕的小山城,建造起了一家精酿酒厂,名曰“美西”。两人笑称自己的家乡都位于美丽的西部,所以这个名字再贴切不过。

Wild West Brewery Fast Facts for Beer Nerds

你不可不知的美西

  • Located in 1100 square meters of industrial space in Qionglai City

  • WWB is 2300 liters with 4 brewing vessels for brewing multiple batches per day

  • Their current fermentation capacity is 35,000 liters (35 tons)

  • WWB is not just set up for national distribution: They also have an on-site taproom

  • 位于邛崃市临邛工业园,占地1100平方米

  • 美西拥有先进的4缸酿造设备及蒸汽驱动,酿造效率惊人

  • 目前的酿造产能是35吨

  • 不仅经销全国,美西更拥有与酒厂相连的自营酒吧,想喝最新鲜的美西啤酒,非这里莫属!

Why Craft Beer?

酿酒师的诞生

Co-founder Scott spent 28 years working in semiconductor technology before making the leap to craft beer - but it wasn’t a waste - his work in technology transfers to Asia introduced him to his partner in love and business, Carol. Scott’s background in technology development has also taught him the importance of experimental design, cleanliness and process control to make the same high quality product, every time.

作为联合创始人也是总酿酒师,Scott却是半导体工程师出身。这样华丽的转身在这对伴侣兼生意伙伴看来却是“情理之外,意料之中”。28年的创新工程经验教会了Scott实验设计,清洁,流程控制以及重复制造最高质量的产品,这些之于酿酒也宝贵至极。

But beer has almost always been a part of his DNA, says Scott. “I’ve always been interested in beer, ever since I was young.” He recalls his first taste of a non-industrial beer in 1984: “I had my first Sam Adams Boston Lager. I thought, ‘Oh wow, there’s a whole new world of flavors out there.’”

谈起记忆尤新的精酿初体验,Scott至今手舞足蹈:“第一次喝Sam Adams的波士顿拉格。我想,靠!如果上帝打翻了啤酒的调味缸,它们应该全都在这杯里边了吧。”也许每个酒痴体内都被植入了与众不同的精酿DNA,这一点在Scott看来毋庸置疑。

Before long Scott was tinkering with craft beer in his own home. Though he spent 21 years brewing for himself, it wasn’t until about five years ago that he decided to really hone his skills. “I started working on recipe development, process control, ‘engineering stuff’,” he explains. “And I also joined a lot of competitions.” Scott didn’t just join these competitions. Between 2011 and 2015, he won a whopping 28 awards - 19 from the state of Utah, where he and Carol were living, and 9 USA National Homebrew Competition awards. By then Scott was clear on what he wanted to do for his second career, so he completed an MBA at the University of Utah in 2013 to prepare for his calling as a craft beer entrepreneur.

十几年前一次意外的成都差旅,让Scott与Carol这对灵魂伴侣相识相爱。但一名合格酿酒师的诞生,却绝不是一场意外。Scott在家酿这条路上,走了整整21年。直到5年前,他才有意尝试成为一名专业酿酒师:“我开始自己研发啤酒配方,尝试有效控制酿造流程,工程师的劲儿又上来了。对,我还参加了好多比赛!” 事实上,从2011至15年,Scott总共获得28个酿造比赛的奖项,19个来自夫妻俩居住的犹他州,另有9项全美家酿大奖,功力不可小觑!你以为这样就结束了?因为梦想开设精酿酒厂,他还在2013年完成犹他大学的MBA课程,学习如何成为一名合格的精酿创始人。

Why Craft Beer in China?

倾其所有,建厂中国

It turns out there are at least 4 very compelling reasons to open a brewery in Sichuan, China.

Carol explains the first. “We felt the timing was perfect to enter the China market, as this is an emerging market and China’s demand for quality local craft beer is really taking off. These are exciting times to be in China.”

如果说Scott是酒厂的创造之手,Carol便是营运大脑:“我们认为时机对了,中国精酿市场正在蓬勃发展,越来越多的消费者主动追求高质量当地啤酒。这一点让我们看到了机遇。”

Secondly, this area in the foothills of the Qionglai mountains boasts incredible water quality. Wild West Brewery is far from the first enterprise to discover this secret - the area has been renowned for its premium baijiu. Water quality is so pristine in the Qionglai foothills that nothing more than a standard filtration system is necessary for the brewing process. Those who have brewed in other parts of China know that in order to achieve quality water, complicating processes like reverse osmosis are usually in order - Scott requires none of that for his Wild West brews. In fact, water samples he brought back to the US for testing revealed something extraordinary: the water in Qionglai shares a mineral profile shockingly similar to that of the water in the ancient brewing hub of Vienna, Austria.

四川并不是全国白酒消费排名靠前的省份,以至于我们很好奇全国最大白酒原酒基地为何位于邛崃。美西给了我们或许是最靠谱的解答:清洁的矿物水质。Scott曾将邛崃的天然水样板带回美国实验室做水质分析,结果发现这里的水源及矿物含量与史上拉格酿造名城, 奥地利的维也纳惊人相似。即使现代精酿酒厂都有过滤设备及调节酸碱度技术,但有经验的酿酒师仍可以深刻体会天然好水对啤酒的影响力。在美西酒厂,不用复杂的反渗透过滤技术,就能得到最适合酿造的水源,可谓得天独厚。

Thirdly, Qionglai’s government has welcomed their business with open arms. “After all the research we did, this place is the most friendly and welcoming city,” says Carol. “It was a good cultural fit for our project. The local government has had a very professional and welcoming attitude. So we feel very comfortable here. We’re very fortunate.”

当地政府的大力支持,也是夫妻俩定夺于此的最大动力。“我们花了整整1年半时间在全国考察,邛崃是最张开双臂欢迎我们的地方” Carol说:“我们的项目有很多文化因素在里边,而这里的政府非常能理解这一点,且给我们很多专业的帮助。把酒厂建在这里就像找到家一样。我们非常幸运。”

Finally and most importantly, Scott chose greater Chengdu for their brewery location to fulfill a promise to Carol’s mother: “I promised that we would return,” says Scott. “I’m 7 years late, but better late than never, right?”

Now that Scott and Carol have moved from Utah to Sichuan, swapping the American West for China’s, they’re settling happily into their new home.

当然像所有中国女婿一样,Scott对丈母娘不敢不从:“我保证过她,会把家搬回中国。虽然晚了7年,但总归实现了,不是吗?” 丈母娘或许还没有感受到,不但信守了当初的誓言,这位外国女婿和她引以为傲的女儿,也许正在中国西部重镇,引领着一场让许多人翘首以盼的关键运动,一次精酿与传统饮酒文化的革新换代。

Embedded in the local community

社群世界观

The design and layout of the brewhouse and taproom were important to Scott and Carol in their planning. “Our main inspiration was Stone Brewing in Escondito. We visited and decided, this is our dream,” Scott recalls. Carol agrees. “I really like the idea that the fans, the beer drinkers, can see how the beer was brewed. When we built this place, we had that in mind.”

踏入美西的一刻,会有时空交错感,纯正美式风格不仅体现在他们的啤酒里,更在这个空间发挥得淋漓精致。“加州Escondito的Stone酒厂是我们设计的灵感来源” Scott回忆道。 Carol也说:“我们想让客人清清楚楚看到他们杯中的啤酒是如何酿造的。所以在打造酒厂的时候,也确保一切都是开放而明亮的。”

Carol also went out to describe Wild West Brewery’s role in more than the craft beer community, but also the local economy and ecosystem. “[Our operations] have to be environmental-friendly. Take much less, bring more,” she says. Wild West Brewery, for example, has teamed up with a local steam plant to take advantage of their resources. They’ve installed a line running from the steam company to the brewery not only to save on costs, but also to save on the energy of maintaining their own generators. The steam plant uses byproducts from local farms to create steam, a much more eco-friendly process than farmers openly burning their waste in their own fields. In teaming up with the steam plant, Wild West Brewery becomes part of this local eco-chain, and, as Carol adds, “We are using a very clean, effective natural resource.”

有别于传统的社群打造,美西在培养消费者同时,更着眼于本地经济及生态系统“我们(的设备)必须环保,节能减排的同时大大增加产出。”蒸汽是最清洁的能源,酒厂与一家当地蒸汽动能供应商合作,围绕酒厂铺设蒸汽管道。不但降低能源成本,更多生态的考量。蒸汽公司使用农作物副产品制造能源,扩展当地农民收入来源,降低损耗浪费。这样一来,美西酒厂自然成了优质环境链的一份子,正如Carol所说:“我们只使用最清洁,最有效且自然的资源。”

We all want to know: what’s on tap?

美西的啤酒到底如何?

What can you drink at the Wild West Brewery? Scott & Carol gave TheBrewGirl a taste of what’s on tap:

我们跟着两位主人一起品饮了的酒厂的5款生啤,它们可都是“处女酿”,所以我们喝得格外小心翼翼。

Silky Blonde Ale

金发女郎

4.5% ABV, 27 IBU

This is a very easy drinking beer with low alcohol content and low bitterness. Its smooth and refreshing taste makes it an ideal “transition beer” for beginners, and its full-flavored malts make it an enjoyable session ale for more experienced drinkers.

简单,甜美,晶莹剔透...你懂的,就像个金发妞一样好喝。我们觉得这款金色艾尔兼具“路转粉”功能,清甜可口的麦芽调配,即使初次尝试也能完全读懂精酿的魅力。凭借这个配方,酿酒师Scott更是一举夺得全美家酿比赛金奖。

Pale Morning Ale

3.5% ABV, 30 IBU

This session pale ale is only 3.5% ABV, meaning you really can enjoy one in the morning if you so prefer. The interesting story behind this easy-drinking beer takes us back to Scott’s native Utah, where stringent alcohol laws prohibit the brewing of beers over 4% ABV. It’s actually more challenging to brew beers at a lower ABV, and so Utah’s brewers have had to overcome this challenge to make a tasty, full-bodied craft beer that is also legal. Scott calls this brew his tribute to those intrepid Utah brewers.

这款刚刚出罐的“清晨淡艾”还没有正式的艺名和酒标,但它丰厚的酒体,让我们很难与3.5%的清新酒精度联系起来。也许很多人不知道,酿造低酒精度却不损失丰富口感的啤酒绝非易事。至于为什么要花大力气去做这款低度酒花型艾尔,Scott说要“感谢”他家乡犹他州的法律--任何4%以上啤酒不得于Taproom售卖。不过反而因此造就了一批勇于挑战极限,激发灵感的犹他酿酒师们。

Misty Mountain Pale Ale

雾山

5.2 % ABV, 37 IBU

This American-style pale ale is made with citrusy Centennial hops (in the craft brewing industry known lovingly as “Cascade hops on steroids”) as well as a bit of Simcoe hops. This divine balance between hops and malts is the flavor profile that really started the craft beer revolution in America - and it remains one of Scott’s favorites.

使用两款经典美式酒花新千年及西楚酿造的美式淡艾,完美诠释了美国精酿的要义-“个性突出,兼具平衡”。 Scott也似乎特别偏爱它,一直给我们秀这个青山连绵的酒标。

China White

中国白啤

5.4% ABV, 14 IBU

This brew is based on the Belgian-style witbier, which means it’s very low bitterness and incorporates orange peel and coriander. However, in a tribute to the nation that birthed it, this witbier is extra-special: it incorporates Sichuan numbing peppercorns (huajiao) and Qionglai orange peels. Unlike other “lajiao beers”, these flavors are very well integrated. The huajiao mixes well with the coriander, as if the flavors are bouncing off of one another. Though the huajiao is obvious on the nose, the taste is well balanced, refreshing and light - the perfect complement for an authentic Chengdu hotpot dinner.

比利时小麦进了四川,不用花椒用什么?!美西不但将芫荽籽换成了本地花椒,还用产自邛崃的橘皮代替橙皮。以至于这款啤酒充满个性,而又意外地清新平衡。闻起来满是花椒的独特香气,入口后却化作小麦的绵柔与柠檬酸香,最后留在舌苔的是犹如心跳加速般的麻感。难怪被在场的几位当地客人戏称为“火锅啤酒”。

Stone Forest IPA

石林

6.5% ABV, 60 IBU

This American-style West Coast IPA is a big and bold craft beer flavor profile that American craft beer nerds love and is quickly gaining popularity here in China. Scott has spent years tweaking this recipe to achieve his ideal IPA. Brewed with 7 different kinds of hops, the result is a floral nose and a sip that reveals complex yet well-balanced flavors.

西海岸风格IPA这几年在中国大行其道,可见在品味精酿方面,中美的味蕾本没有太大的差距。然而Scott还是坚持酿造了一款适合“中国味蕾”的IPA,大大降低了苦度,增添了果香。究其原因是太太Carol其实是个轻量级的“啤酒选手”,而这款7种酒花调配的IPA却让她轻易爱上了这种“高阶”啤酒风格。

Cloud 9 IPA

九重天

6.7 % ABV, 45 IBU

This American-style East Coast IPA is currently all rage in the US and beyond. It’s softer and more juicy-fruity as compared to its West Coast cousin. The grain bill, specific yeast variety, along with a unique hopping scheme result in a deceivingly smooth, fruity, cloudy, juice bomb of a beer.

与石林正相反,九重天把东海岸风格融进IPA,据说顺应当今美国潮流,更加柔和而富含果香。虽然酿酒师并没有强调这是一款“浑浊IPA”,但其麦之甜美,酒花之浓郁,还有看似厚重的酒体,都让我们忍不住将它与这个最IN的风格做比较。总之喝多几杯,你的大脑一定会上九重天。

This all sounds delicious - where can I get my hands on some?

无论远近,总有美西在身边

There are also many more new and interesting beers in the planning/development stages. Scott plans to incorporate lots more indigenous and unique Chinese ingredients into his recipes. The end goal is to create wonderful beers that are truly Chinese! Luckily, we may not have to wait much longer to try Wild West Brewing in Shanghai and other cities around China.

“We’re starting off in Chengdu, trying to get local distribution there,” explains Scott. “We also have distribution lined up in Wuhan and Shanghai.” The challenge is their mode of distribution: For now, Wild West Brewery does not bottle, they produce kegs. “Our distribution is limited to cities and bars that know how to handle craft beer - unfiltered, unpasteurized craft beer… It requires knowledge on how to handle the beer. Cold chain requirements, draft system knowledge and maintenance, et cetera. So we’re going to be selective on where our beer lands. We’ll expand our distribution later when we get into bottles or cans.”

不久的将来,全国的酒粉们也许都能喝上美西啤酒,但酒厂似乎并不愿意先跑后走。尽管已经取得了瓶装执照,美西目前的销售仍以生啤为主。“我们主场在成都,同时经销武汉上海。” Scott解释说 :“对经销商的要求高,使得我们布局较缓。我们的合作伙伴必须懂得怎样好好对待精酿-- 未过滤,未巴杀的啤酒... 很多酒吧和从业人员还不能做到这一点。全程冷链,生啤系统,售后维护...这些都是挑战。我们必须为消费者把关,确定他们能在对的地方,对的时间喝到我们的啤酒。接下来,我们才去考虑装瓶,装罐,扩大市场。”

If you're lucky enough to live in Sichuan, you can visit their original location in Qionglai City, or find their new Chengdu taproom set to open in July.

If your city doesn’t make the list, you’ll also be able to find Wild West Brewery on the festival scene. TheBrewGirl met them at Shanghai’s recent Beernanza, and they’ll be at Hong Kong’s Beertopia festival in November.

幸运如你身在成都,那么去美西位于邛崃的酒厂喝上一杯,绝对不虚此行。而他们在成都市中心的小型品酒室,也将于7月对公众开放。

此外各大啤酒节,也能捕捉到酒厂的身影。TheBrewGirl就是在7月上海的百酿啤酒节上结识了两位主人,而今年11月的香港Beertopia啤酒节,将是他们下一个舞台。

Finally: What are your favorite food pairings?

最后,不提美食会失去四川粉丝

Scott suggests mala tofu with a Stone Forest IPA. Instead of numbing the mouth, the peppercorns enhance the intensity of the hops. “I had more taste sensation than ever before,” Scott explains. “It had so many distinct flavors from the hops that I normally don’t get.”

And Carol’s suggestion? “Rabbit heads, duck heads, pig feet,” she grins. “Everything Americans don’t eat, I love. And I love my food paired with a glass of cold beer.”

Scott强烈推荐麻婆豆腐搭配石林IPA,因为花椒能衬托酒花香气。“我以为我会麻,但却从未感受味蕾如此强烈。仿佛酒花被花椒炸裂了,产生无数种风味各异的小分子扑面而来。”

而Carol呢?“兔头,鸭头,猪脚,凡是美国人不碰的东西我都爱吃。而且呢,全都适合配上冰冰凉的啤酒!”

Watch our interviews and take a tour of the brewery with Scott!

现场视频点这里哦

你的酒厂有故事吗?找我们聊聊吧

Got interesting stories to tell about your brewery?

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