Saturday, February 8, 2014

Homebrew Ramblings

So here's the thing. Just in case you weren't aware, I like good beer. I mean, I really like it. A lot.
I travel for it. My wife travels for it. (Actually, supposedly she is traveling for work, but I get beer when she returns, so...) I seek out others who enjoy it. Places that serve it. Books about it. I like to talk about it almost as much as like to drink it. Okay, that's a little far, but you get my point.

All that interest though, had never led me to consider home brewing my own. My aforementioned wife however,  felt compelled to make sure she was a full time beer-widow, and purchased me the full on set up for our 6th anniversary. Not just beer in a box, she went and got a full component kit. And spent lots of her aforementioned hard earned beer money. What pressure! What was I to do? I mean, now I am compelled, nay required by a monetary debt to brew beer! Oh the humanity.

I haven't brewed a lot: 6 solo/lead batches where I was assisted by various people (including my father on Father's Day weekend), assisted on 2 with a local team (Bearded Duck, Matt Orcutt & Ron Drake), collaborated with a guy from our state beer group the morning of a tasting, and am now collaborating with a buddy in town on a regular schedule (Right Side Brewing, Ryan Paskiewicz, 2 batches in).  They also haven't all been winners, some have been kinda bad honestly. But they've been drinkable, and there is a rewarding feeling drinking something you've spent multiple hours brewing, multiple weeks watching, and multiple weeks waiting to try after bottling/kegging. Sometimes it's a let down. Sometimes is surprising and awesome. Sometimes you wonder where that flavor even came from. And sometimes you just don't care, and happily drink your 4-5 gallons way quicker than you should.

It's time consuming. It's not a ton cheaper, but I guess that depends on your average expenditure. It can be tedious. It is FAR more enjoyable with a partner. Also with 'some' beer shared during. Emphasis on some, because, well, quality control. It's messy. Sanitizing, set-up, break down, clean up is more than half the job. You are required to have facial hair of epic proportions. While that's not 100% true look around, it's kind of an unwritten rule. Or maybe it's directly proportional to quality. Hmm. Maybe I need to study that more.

What's the point you ask? Ummm, I forgot...I was enjoying a homebrew. Just teasing. I mean, I am having a homebrew, I just didn't forget.

It's not the glamorous life these titans of the craftbeer industry lead. Many walk around smelling like malt and grains and hops. So make sure to appreciate the beer you choose to drink. Life is too short to make poor beer choices. Whatever your choices are. Get on social media, find the brewery, thank them. Tell them how much you enjoy the fruits of their labor. Visit a brewery and see the processes.

And if you decide to brew...take pride, take care, and enjoy.


1 comment:

mbutler said...

Hey!!! I was your brew assistant on one of those batches! I'm crushed, sad, mortified, distraught, unhappy, morose, and a bit miffed that you could forget your dear old dad.

"Sniff...sniff..." (wipes tear away from his eye as he sips his himself)