Harry Stuff Brewing Co. coming to Wawaka

December 17th, 2018

By Kayla Brennan | KPC Media - The News Sun

Which came first, beer or bread?

According to Ehren Stuff, owner of Harry Stuff Brewing Co. in Wawaka, beer is the answer to that question.

“It’s the foundation, perhaps, of civilization and agriculture. There is debate whether it’s bread or beer, but there is a lot of evidence to prove that it is beer. Without beer, we might not actually have civilization. Recently, they uncovered a place near Jerusalem that is about 14,000 years old and they show that that area was used for fermentation and not to make bread,” Stuff said.

Whether you believe it’s one or the other, one thing is for sure, this new brewery built into a barn at 4319 W. U.S. 6 will bring a new flair to Wawaka area and surrounding communities with traditional and craft beer, ranging from dark, hoppy beer to more fruity offerings.

The inside of the building is still under construction, the bathrooms and kitchen still need to be finished, but it is expected to open in about two months if everything goes smoothly.

Everything that will be offered — beer and food — will be made on site. They are growing raspberries and in the spring, they will plant their own hops. Ehren Stuff and his father, Ed Stuff, have been working together to get the business up and running.

“I handle the mechanical side of things and he handles the brewing. It’s a good partnership,” Ed Stuff said.

In the back warehouse, where the brewing happens, different kinds of malted barley, flaked wheat, flaked rye, malted wheat and hops are stored. Mixing those different types of ingredients at different levels creates different, distinct products.

Different types of beer also have different timelines for when the batch is finished.

“For a typical ale, about two weeks. If you want to make a pilsner, something that is lagered, you’re going to look at two months or so. But you can have something like a lambic, that can take three years,” Ehren Stuff said.

To simplify an extremely difficult and complex process, here is a short explanation of how the Stuff family makes its beer: The malted barley or malted wheat or whichever flavor he chooses to use, will travel to the mill room where it is slightly broken down. From there, the contents will travel through an auger, which looks like a hose, and water will be added to the mash tun. That machine converts the starches into sugars for fermentation. The fourth step is to move the contents to a boil kettle where it will sit approximately 60-90 minutes.

The last step is to put the mixture in the fermenter or in a barrel and, once cooled, add yeast and let the beer sit. Once the beer sits for its required amount of time, it is moved to serving tanks where the Stuffs can serve the beer to customers. The brewery will also offer cans that can be sealed on site for customers to take home and enjoy.

Along with the beer, a small menu of food will be available until he gets a feel for what exactly he wants to offer. He did say that in the beginning, pizza and empanadas, made by Ehren Stuff’s wife who is from Colombia, will be what is served.

“If people enjoy it enough, maybe we will have some more South American food in there,” Ehren Stuff said.

The duo has been brewing beer for approximately five years already and wanted to share their love with the wider community.

“We’ve supported him on this project. It’s a family project, but it’s his brewery. I’m behind the scenes,” Ed Stuff said.

Over the weekend, the Stuffs will continue to brew in preparation for the opening.

“We started to brew together and we became more and more passionate about it. It’s kind of like falling in love, for example. You don’t really know how it happens necessarily, but after a while, you realize you’re in love. It is the same with brewing,” Ehren Stuff said.