An excerpt from the Vancouver Sun:
Steamworks brewmaster Conrad Gmoser acquired ESB pale malt for the project from Gambrinus Malting Corp. of Armstrong, a specialty malting operation that is the smallest of its kind in North America.
To that we added dark crystal malt, to ensure a coppery red hue in our finished beer and caramel toffee flavours, and amber malt, which has been toasted to enhance the “toasty and biscuity” flavours.
The inherent sweetness of the malt is further enhanced by carefully controlling the temperature of the mashing process, in which warm water is added to the crushed malt to create a variety of sugars from starch.
Some of the sugars were consumed by the yeast to create alcohol — a very important element in a newsroom beer — while others resist consumption and give the beer a residual sweetness.
Appropriate hops for the ESB style beer come almost entirely from Europe: Styrian Golding, for a subtle citrus aroma, and Challenger, which adds a touch of bitterness and a comforting earthiness.
To finish the brew with a taste of B.C. terroir, we obtained organic hops from Left Fields, the private hop farm run by Crannog Ales owners Brian and Rebecca MacIsaac.