This isn’t the first time that I have attempted blogging, in fact I’ve made an attempt or two a couple times before. Those misfires in the past have not deterred me from giving it one more go round. I feel like this time is going to be different. This time I’ve decided to focus on just one topic, but it’s a topic that I feel like a majority of people can get behind. I want to talk about the malty beverage that helps you unwind after a long week at the office. Of course I am talking about beer, but not just any old run of the mill macro brew. This is not a blog discussing the watered down, sad excuse for beer known best by their multi-million dollar ad campaigns. This blog is about craft beer and the micro, Nano, and home brewers across the globe that produce a hoppy malty goodness enjoyed around the globe.
Since we have nothing but time on our hands, we might as well start this trip at the beginning. Not at the historical beginning, but rather we will focus on my beginnings with the liquid gold housed in a brown domicile. After all this is my blog.
I can’t tell you the specific date in which I took my first sip of a craft beer, but I can tell you what was in the bottle, Sam Adam’s Boston Lager. Just like most mid twentyish adults in the early 2000’s I was drinking from silver cans born in the Rockies, white cans proclaiming to be great tasting while remaining less filling at the same time, and white and red can that was so narcissistic that they claimed to be the king of all beer. I drank these because they were affordable and pretty easy to acquire. I also didn’t really know that there were far better solutions to quench my thirst.
One Friday afternoon while driving home from work I stopped at the local grocery store to get a six pack and for some reason I decided to skip the normal weekend purchase and grabbed a six pack of Sam Adams Boston Lager. Later that evening I took the first sip of the northeastern lager and my world was changed from that moment on. It was at that point I knew I preferred craft beer over run of the mill macro brews any day of the week. I began bringing craft beer to gatherings and I began to hear my friends chide me with names like beer snob, and Mr. Fancy Beer. It didn’t matter to me though, I had fallen for craft beer and that was never going to change.
These days my passion for craft beer has grown so much that I will rarely let friends put their piss flavored macro brew into the same fridge housing my precious for fear of contamination. As if the rancid beer might seep through the seal of the bottle cap and choke out my micro brewed inhabitants. The point I’m really trying to make here is that I absolutely love everything about craft beer. When I say everything, I really mean it, including visiting the breweries that make it, the tasting rooms that serve it, the beverage stores that sell, the home brew stores that sell the equipment to make it, and I especially love the process of brewing it myself.
This leads me into the main point of this first beer blog. In January, I decided that I wanted to try my hand at home brewing. I am lucky enough to have a friend that has been brewing for several years and I was able to get his guidance in buying my first kit. I went to Amazon and purchased a kit for $89. It came with a carboy, bottling bucket, bottle brush, siphon, and sanitizer. I thought I had everything I needed to become the next Jim Koch or Hugh Sisson, but little did I know that I was missing several key pieces of equipment. The starter kit did not include a fermenting bucket, kettle, or a propane burner for that matter. The recipe kit I bought ended up being a one gallon kit, or as my brewing Yoda called it a junior detective beer making kit. The short version of this story is that I eventually got everything I needed, and then some, to begin my home brewing career. I think in the end the price tag was somewhere in the $600 to $700 range, but I absolutely believe it was one of the best purchases I have ever made.
Home brewing has been some of the most fun I have had in a long time. Even though I have only brewed six batches, which work out to 26 gallons if you’re keeping score at home, I know that this is something that I am going to do for many years to come. To this point I have only brewed extract recipes, but I think that is how everyone should start as it provides a good foundation before you take the leap into all grain brewing.
I would encourage anyone that is even remotely considering taking up home brewing to just do it. I would also caution them to make sure that they do a little research before purchasing the equipment. Make sure any kit that you are buying has the necessities. Don’t settle for the kit at Walmart. If I was starting over I would go straight to the home brew stores online or in person to make my initial purchase. There are a lot of great books out there by people like Charlie Papazian, John Palmer, Denny Conn, Drew Beechum, and Dr. Charlie Bamforth just to name a few. Home brewing is amazing, craft beer is amazing, and everything associated with the industry is amazing. I have fallen in love with the hobby and I know you will too.
I want to thank you for taking the time to visit my page. I’d like to encourage you to check out the affiliates page featuring home brew stores More Beer and Williams Brewing. Anything you need to start brewing beer can be found in both of these stores. You should also check out the American Home Brewers Association. By becoming a member, you can get some pretty awesome discounts at local breweries and home brew supply stores. You will also find BYO magazine. This is a bi-monthly publication full of some amazing articles to help you navigate the amazing world of home brewing. Lastly, I would ask you to subscribe to the blog and I will keep you up all the happenings in the world of The Brewer of Seville. Until next time, Cheers!