Great Lakes Brewing Company's head engineer, John Blystone, said one of the most complicated processes of making craft beer is managing the lauter tun.
The machine, one of many that helps transform grain into liquid, traditionally requires a tedious 17-step process, Blystone said. It's one of the mission-critical processes that helps the Cleveland-based brewery make its beers, which include porters, pilsners and IPAs.
But with the help of Shelby, that's all changed.
Shelby represents two different forces that are squeezing the craft brewing industry. On one hand, many microbreweries hope to preserve and promote the personality of their individual blends. But on the other, mounting competition has strained the resources of tiny, artisanal set-ups, forcing them to prioritize efficiency.