If you’ve been on this journey with us since 2013 you will be more than familiar with our commitment to zesting lemons and oranges fresh for every batch of Hunky Dory Pale Ale. You’ve seen the cascading locks of yellow and orange peel on our social media feeds, and you may even remember that the origins of The Shandy came from what to do with all the leftover lemons. You’ve heard me wax poetic about the smell of fresh citrus zest in the morning and how that made my 5 am brewing shifts more bearable.
You may also recall that we have evolved our zesting technology over the years. We are pretty particular about our zesting. We want to capture the aromatic oils in the peel without getting too much of the bitter flavour of the pith. So we’ve tried pretty much every fruit peeling contraption that exists. And when we get stuck we go back to doing it with a pocket knife. Over the years we have had a variety of electric and brewer-powered solutions. My personal favourite was the Zip Zester, a manual contraption much like an apple peeler but designed for lemons. I feel it significantly contributed to the sculpting of my biceps. But it all started with…the Rotato Express.
Purchased in June of 2013 at a Canadian Tire, I think the Rotato Express had a short commercial existence. Presumably invented for peeling potatoes, its pleasing colourful plastic parts and peppy electric motor whine made it a real source of joy for the first few batches of Hunky Dory. Unfortunately it was not a long term solution. I believe it only lasted for 5 batches before the plastic parts began to crack. They probably weren’t designed for lemon juice service.
We thank the inventor of the Rotato Express for their service to our biggest selling beer in Nova Scotia. It wouldn’t be the same without fresh lemon and orange zest and we remain committed to testing all zesting technology.