Monthly Archive: August 2012

Summer Synopsis 2012

What have I been up to lately? I know I said in my beer page bio that I was done with blogging. I also know that all three of my readers knew as well as I did how long that phase had the potential to last. But until humanity has cleaned up its act and I see random people helping other people on the street; people waving at each other on the highway – not riding each other’s asses; people in flooded, hurricane-hit towns helping with the cleanup and not looting… Once all that starts happening, I may run out of things to talk about. As long as human beings are a hive of scum and villainy, I will blast about it on the web. Not sure what motivated me to use a Star Trek quote there, but it is fitting, and there you have it. And there’s your opening paragraph.

Anyway, yes, I have been making beer. I brew two to three batches of beer per month. Let me explain this to those of you who don’t already know. If you do know all about homebrewing, then feel free to skip ahead a few paragraphs. I had a buddy of mine swing by the other night to hang out and catch up, have a few beers, the usual. And I happened to be turning out a batch of beer. So he says, “When will it be ready?” and I replied, “Oh, about four weeks or so.” So he says, “Really. I thought we’d be drinking it tonight.” This is just plain ignorance. Not stupidity. Most people are just completely in the dark when it comes to making beer, having never been told. So here’s my very brief rundown of what happens:

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The Craft Beer Movement

I remember the first full bottle of beer I ever enjoyed. I was fifteen. My buddy and I had a twenty-one-year-old friend, and six dollars. This guy ran up to the beer store with our six dollars with instructions to buy as much Michelob Dry as he could get. Well I don’t know what happened – beer was a lot cheaper back then – but somehow he only came back with two bottles. Well my friend and I enjoyed those two bottles of beer out on the driveway behind my house. We drank it like it was liquid gold. And it did taste good. So what happened?

I can no longer drink BMC. The Big American Three. But that’s what Some-Large-Percentage of the American population buys, in massive amounts, every weekend. I hand one of them my glass of Newcastle, or Full Sail IPA, or Arrogant Bastard and they make a terrible face and some comment about how gross it tastes. I handed a bottle of Newcastle to my cousin’s boyfriend the other day. He thanked me and offered a sip to my cousin, Lara. She took a pull of the rich brown beer and screwed up her face like she’d sucked on a rotten corn dog. She said, “Oh my God, that’s nasty.”

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New Brew Thursday

As of this evening, we will be adding an IPA to our brew bill. Ever since I mistakenly thought I had drunk my first IPA and… wait – you don’t know that story? Oh. Well let me tell you about it. Don’t worry I’ll be brief. I brewed what I thought was an IPA a long time ago. It was my second brew. However, being a kit beer, and adding three pounds of dry malt to the grain bill, I balanced out the hops. I had no idea what I was doing at that point. I just knew I needed to add about three pounds of fermentables to the batch. So I unknowingly created a remarkably well balanced and delicious brew.

So fast forward a few weeks, I went to a BrewPub with some girlfriends (and my insanely hot red-haired wife), and ordered their house IPA. When the lady brought it out, it smelled like flowers, and tasted like weeds. Oh. So this is what an IPA tastes like. Not what I brewed. So I quickly did two things. 1: I changed the label of my beer to an English Brown. And B: I fell in love with the IPA style. I have since set out on a mission to taste as many IPA-style beers as I can find. I have in the last few months tried ten or eleven now. And fortunately for me, the new gas station by my house sells seven different IPA labels. SEVEN.

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