Hop Dust and Boil Over Spray Down

Mar 04, 2013 © Brian Stechschulte Category: Beer, Photography


Instead of sleeping in on Sunday morning I rolled out of bed as the sun just started to creep through the shades. After a quick shower I grabbed my camera equipment and road my bike to Social Kitchen & Brewery. When I pulled up at 7am, the resident brewmaster, Kim Sturdavant, was standing out front with Phil Meeker, a friend and brewer at Iron Springs Pub & Brewery in Fairfax, CA. I was there to document the creation of their collaboration beer, Rood Rye, which they described as a hoppy Belgian red rye beer.

I hung out from beginning to end. The brew day wrapped up around 1:30pm and my camera was filled with almost 500 pictures. After some heavy editing, I was left with about 16-20 solid images. This is pretty typical for most photographers. Before the digital age, if a photographer got one or two images per roll of film they were doing well.

The image captures when hops were added to the boil kettle and Kim needed to spray down the raging boil over. The sun was pouring through the adjacent window, which created the silhouette look and exposed every speck of hop dust clinging to the side of the pitcher. I love that texture. Just behind the pitcher you can see the spray going straight into the kettle with the doors flung open. It’s a simple, subtle and fleeting moment.

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