The Rat Pad is ABC’s Microbrewery’s 10-gallon system built by our brewery manager Dan “Dannyboy” Peron. Every month we meet up with amateurs and pros from the community and craft a new brew for release on draft. Rat Pads are tapped on the third Wednesday of the month at 6:00PM and are served at the Microbrewery until 9:00PM. Anything left after nine can be purchased to take home in a growler.
The process for brewing a Rat Pad is the same as the process for brewing a batch of beer, just on a smaller scale. You’ll steep the grains to make a wort, boil it down and add hops, and then chill the hopped wort and add yeast. The beer then conditions on site for two to three weeks before it’s tapped.
We welcome eccentric and experimental recipes on the Rat Pad system. We’ve brewed dozens of different concoctions like Pepper Saison, Penumbra Blackberry White Ale, and Mint Cookie Stout. We’ve also brewed special recipes for the Shadow Art Fair, Halcyon Sundaze, St. Patrick’s Day, and RatFest.
Both Chips and Salsa and Mackinac Island Fudge Stout began as Rat Pads. Chips and Salsa went on to annual production status and is now served around the state for Cinco de Mayo. Mackinac Island is in statewide distribution in bottles and on draft.
The Nitty Gritty
If you want to join the Rat Pad there are a few things you should know upfront:
- Participants must have all-grain brewing experience and be able to brew a batch of beer without guidance.
- Participants are responsible for helping with set up and clean up.
- We’re happy to monitor fermentation, racking the beer into keg, and carbonation, but additional steps like dry hopping are the responsibility of participants.
- The Microbrewery supplies ingredients for the Rat Pad, but will reimburse up to $30 for additional ingredients approved by the Rat Pad coordinator.
- Participants must sign a liability waiver before brewing on the Rat Pad.
- All beer produced on the Rat Pad or any other system is the property of Arbor Brewing Microbrewery.
As home brewers at heart we wished something like the Rat Pad existed when we got started so we’re happy to support this creative endeavor. If you’re interested in getting involved, drop us a line
A Photo Documentary of The Rat Pad Process