A Day in the Life of a Cucumber Wrangler
Up before the crack of dawn, the Cucumber Wrangler’s day starts with a lengthy stroll thru the rows and rows of knee high plants loaded with a cornucopia of the Central Valley. As the sun peeks up over the Sierra Nevada range, the true bounty begins to shimmer as rays of golden sunlight sparkle off the plump fruit hanging off the luscious cucumber plants. Today will be harvest day and the journey these green treasures will embark on is just about to begin. A mere 75 days ago the small seeds sprouted and began the process which brought them into their final form. Twelve long hot hours later, the harvest is complete for the day, and the freshly picked fruit resting in the traditional central valley wooden crates begin to make their way to the cool storage shed where they will spend the night.
The following morning the journey begins again, this time in a large cool container riding in a truck headed down the highway toward the next destination, the brewery. The Cucumber Wrangler has hand selected two varieties for their different flavors, water content and size. After a quick rinse, the journey suddenly takes a violent twist. After sliding across a stainless steel table, slipping down a short vertical chute they drop into the savage grinding action of a screw auger and then are forced out thru an array of small holes which converts the cucumber into a beautiful bright green pulp. This pulp is the secret to the next step, making the cucumber water that is the base flavor of our Cucumber Kolsch.
Loaded into a tank of filtered water, with a generous helping of fresh mint sprigs, the cucumber pulp begins to lend over its luscious flavor into the water that envelopes it. Two days later at a chilly 40 degrees the process is complete. The brew day starts with a selection of the finest German premium Pilsner malts and Noble hops. The cucumber water is added at the final step prior to transferring into the waiting fermenters. Two weeks later, the beer is finished, the kegs and cans are filled and the Cucumber Wrangler gets ready for the final process step, the ultimate quality control point in the process.
A tap handle is pulled, a beer can is opened and moments later the sparkling golden hued beer is topped with a white creamy head. A few sips later and with an appreciation for all those hard days on the range; time seems to gently slow and the days worries all fade away. It’s a hard life, but it’s a good life. Cheers!!