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Sep 9, 2011

Belikin Beer brews anew brewmaster

Belikin is the king of beer in Belize. And to keep the local brand in its top form, the company sent one of its employees to Europe to become skilled in a treasured art. Nolan Michael is Belikin’s new brewmaster. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

For many the satisfaction of an ice cold local beer begins and ends inside this dark brown bottle or, alternatively, inside the shorter, green one.  Both are products of Belize’s flagship brewery, a company that has been in existence since 1969.  Though it has been forty-two years since it became the drink of choice for most Belizeans very little is known about what goes into the process of fermenting this libation.

Nolan Michael, Brew Master, Belize Brewing Co. Ltd.

Nolan Michael

“We’re sitting in a state of the art brewery installed probably about ten years ago and is still one of the most modern breweries in this part of the world.  As such it allows us very complete control of the entire process.  Any single little alteration of the process can result in a different flavor being developed in your beer.”

The many stainless steel boilers collected across this sprawling facility here in Ladyville are indeed a quantum leap in the business of beer making.  Thirty-six year old Nolan Michael is among the youngest brew masters to sit at the helm of the operation, the first Belizean to ever do so in the history of the company.

Nolan Michael

“For the entire previous years, those forty plus years for the most part we have had German brew masters.  They have been the pioneers, one of the leading pioneers in this industry, in the brewing industry.  What we are endeavoring to take place right now we want, Belikin is already associated completely with, [it’s] a completely Belizean product.  It’s one of those few products out there that people recognize as a completely Belizean product.  People feel proud whenever they consume a Belikin Beer, they know it was produced here.”

Despite production locally, the Beer of Belize, is made of ingredients such as hops and yeast which are imported from as far away as Bavaria, in southeastern Germany.  The primary component nevertheless is shipped in from Canada.

Nolan Michael

“That malt is received here at our system.  It’s stored in our storage silos, automatic storage silos.  From there it’s sent to, whenever we need to produce a particular style of beer according to a specific recipe, it’s sent to our mill, our variomill.  Again [it’s a] completely automated process where it’s milled and from there that milled malt is sent into our mash tun which is extraction fraction of fermentable extracts from that actual malt.  That process uses water, heated water to extract those fermentable extracts namely carbohydrates and proteins.”

From there the sugary liquid, known as wort, is combined with yeast and hops in the next stage of the process.

Nolan Michael

“The wort, what we call wort is actually transferred to a whirlpool where any un-dissolved solids are separated from the liquid.  That liquid is then chilled and passed via, again, through an automatic transfer system to our fermenters where along that route we inject, we aerate that wort and add yeast.  Subsequent to that the beer spends at least twenty days or so in our fermenters where yeast is basically converting that wort into beer.  That process is, to say the least, one of the most important parts of actually ending up with beer.”

As mentioned earlier much of what happens in and around the brewery is overseen through an advanced network of computers manned from the brew house control room.  It’s German engineering at its finest but it’s no substitute for personnel on the ground.

Nolan Michael

“We endeavor to deliver the freshest quality product and the best tasting product to all our customers consistently.  This is the biggest difference, we can be extremely consistent with this new brewery but for the most part it still involves quite a bit of monitoring that requires human input.  There is sensory evaluations that need to take place.  There is a different analytical test that needs to take place.  All of this combined together results in the final end product, in us delivering the best quality end product to our customers.”

…and the end results which come rolling down the production line at the bottling plant will be expanded in the upcoming months to add another unique twist to taste flavor of Belize.

Nolan Michael

“You’ll be seeing new flavors coming out from us that are, I would say, based on traditional, local Belizean flavors.  It’s a new and exciting time for us and we hope that the Belizean people will join us and enjoy all of our products that we will be launching.”

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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20 Responses for “Belikin Beer brews anew brewmaster”

  1. I Have Awaken says:

    I hope this guy know what he is doing, because Belikin needs a new farmula, the beer tastes like crap and I am proud of Belizean products, but this one ain’t crap, sorry. As for this guy, I see him all over the place, looks like a playboy to me, hope he proves me wrong and come up with a decent brew mix.

  2. Cool J says:

    Yup, this guy is a turd and belikin will taste like that as well.

  3. The Truth says:

    I agree with you “I have awaken” the beer really taste like $h!t…and I am so proud of being belizean and about our local beer but recently they have been slipping, so much that I now buy only imported beer like Heineken & Red Stripe. Hope this mofo knows what he is doing cuz I wanna go back to that time when I was so proud of holding my belekin.

  4. LOL says:

    Belizeans cant see a brother succeed. anyone who achieves something gets attacked but they persist and its those who waste time to write negativity who stay frustrated with their own lives-Nolan is a cool guy and if gets a lot of chicks, kudos to him-more than awaken who should go back to sleep by himself.

  5. Earl Grey says:

    WE NEED ANOTHER BEER………WE’RE TIRED OF THIS BELIKIN……WE NEED A CHOICE!!!

  6. Get it right says:

    Personally i don’t drink Belikin bc it tastes like crap. Give me a Corona, Dos xx or Miller anyday over a Belikin. So i hope this guy knows what he is doing and bring something good. Heard its some kind of stout, which would be a waste bc we already love Guinness. Try to improve your beer and stop wasting time with new falvours.

  7. Elias says:

    Great Spirits have always encountered violent opposition from MEDIOCRE MINDS!!!!!
    If you dis di man weh di succeed… talk behind his back.. well that says a lot bout u, thats just where u are,…. two steps behind him… None of the criticizing BOYS can do better so they should shut up!!! Cant Even spell Formula…(Farmula)…

  8. dezzmae says:

    @ LOL – i am wondering what Nolan’s wife/girlfriend is thinkin’ after you put your comment out there. “gets a lot of chicks” you spilling the brothers’ milk. damn, whatever, the beer tastes bad indeed. let’s see what he can do apart from gyrlz.

  9. Someone says:

    I bet if he was some white brew master, you would feel so confident that the drink will improve but knowing that its a young black brother in the main position, you hating. Typical Belizean, crab in a bucket mentality.

    Go on Nolan. Prove them that we can be leaders. I don’t even know you but feel good to see our own people in leadership positions. Worry not about the haters, even Jesus had haters.

  10. c says:

    good luck to him changing the crappy beer recipe they use… we need affordable choices, why goverments keep protecting these rich people, open the market and let us have the beer we want

  11. OHMYE says:

    Oh my my give the guy a break .

  12. Fromafar says:

    nice, maybe now they will take out the ingredient that gives me “shitnins”

    Nolan will do a good job, brother is upstanding… have to agree with Get It Right, lets get the existing bears up to par, then lets get Mayan on that ass… we had Maya Gold chocolate on the international market, now lets get the beer up there too…

  13. JoBro says:

    Why drink sorosee when you can drink Belikin and get purge.

  14. Gazaking23 says:

    Lol!! Belizeans don’t even knw bout beer they knw about rum travelers,Caribbean gold and white and the most famous( Red Top)rum. So if u want beer go to chet spend wah lee money n enjoy ur self with sol,miller lite etc..Belize beer will never be a good beer if they get their act together

  15. Belizean says:

    Sad. Most of you would not know a good beer if it slaps you in the face. There are different types of beers, and by the sound of it, you all like watered down beer from across the border.

  16. I Have Awaken says:

    @LOL. I was stating my own factual observation. I seen the guy around here and there, and he looks like a play boy, as in not serious, i did not mean play boy with ladies. Also, I said i hope he proves me wrong and he actually come up with a good brew for Belikin and proves he is serious about turning Belikin around, because Belikin is a mediocre beer. For someone who travel all over Belize, just about every part of Belize I go, regular and lighthouse beer has a different taste, the beer does not have consistency, and as of recent, it has a salty taste to it; why? The company is a monopoly and just doesn’t give a crap, that’s why. No one the hate, but Belizeans no like criticism and that’s why we settle for mediocrity. Bowen get rich off all unu poor bastards weh drink up his crappy beer and unu still defensive bout it. Also, ask yourself why we don’t have any other Belizean-brewed beer?

  17. I Have Awaken says:

    @Gazaking23, you are right, how can we know about beer when the Government allowed Bowen to monopolize the industry? Look at the quality of rum we turn out in Belize, because we allowed competition, One Barrel has won best rum in the Caribbean 3 years in a row, if I am not mistaken. The best on the market however is Old Master Extra Mature, but I know they get ganged up upon by the other rum makers, you can hardly find this rum in restaurants and bars and clubs throughout Belize and it is better than One Barrel.

    I no wah hear bout no new brew master da belikin, i want to see what other kinds of beers my Belizean people are capable of, i want see competition, i wah see other Belizeans get a part of this pie, and if GOB continue to allow Bowen monopoly, then they can throw da piss wata beer da kennel, cause dat beer, to me, represents the oppression of Belizean entrepreneurs.

    @SOMEONE, he black? you mussi get bad weed again, the guy is a Belizean, since when we start discern skin color da Belize? Talk bout small mind.

  18. Someone says:

    How can Bowen & Bowen name a person who went for a 3 month crash course in Brewing a Brew-Master? What the hell is happening to them. He is a self-proclaiming God of some sort goin around media proclaiming his new post. What can you expect from someone like him? And how can a person run two companies at the same time, is he superman Nolan? What they should do is start treating their employees as employees and not as robots..

  19. Someone says:

    Nolan Michael is a self-proclaiming God….

  20. Heng Direct says:

    We are new brewery in Cambodia. We are looking for recruiting new Master brewer/ Brewer.
    if you are interested, please kindly contact Mr.Cheat, uk.socheat@gmail.com
    Waiting for your resume and CV detail.
    Thanks.
    Heng

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