Art Council Presents Local Brew Artist
Local restaurant and pub owner DeWayne Schaaf gave a presentation on the art of fermentation at Catapult Creative House on April 29.
Schaaf owns and operates Celebrations Restaurant and Ebb and Flow Fermentations, where he crafts beers. He called his presentation “Fermentation as Art: How Science + Imagination + History = Beer.”
Schaaf’s presentation was the last of a series this semester from After Hours Conversations on Art and Culture. Schaaf talked about what components make beer different and how to influence them. The most common aspects include water, grains and hops, which are flowering parts of plants used in brewing. Hops provide bittering, flavoring agents that add to the stability of beer.
Schaaf said there are certain agents in the brewing process that can be altered to make craft beers. These are wild microbes and uncommon plant matter such as tree bark. Other aspects of the brewing process include alternate brewing methods and historical records.
Schaaf crafts all of his beers from scratch, collecting plant matter, developing yeasts and brewing specialty beers. He created a beer he calls “Bokkenrijder,” which was inspired by a mythical group of heathens known for riding goats and pillaging villages. Schaaf said stories often inspire his concepts, which help him create new beers. “Bokkenrijder” is a beer with a darker grain and high alcohol content, aged and poured from oak barrels with a hint of cherry flavor.
Schaaf said the two best moments for him in the process are creating the concept of the beer and then tasting the final creation.
“Art isn’t necessarily intended,” Schaaf said. “Sometimes you just fall into it.”
Joni Hand introduced Schaaf and talked about how events like artist talks are great for uniting groups who may not have otherwise interacted.
“It’s great to see members of the community getting together with students,” Hand said. “Without this event, Mr. Schaaf may have never interacted with students at all.”
Schaaf’s presentation on beer fermentation was the last art conversation of the spring semester, but the Art Council will facilitate more art conversations next semester.