I began brewing in 2000 with the receipt of a Mr. Beer kit. I had no idea what I was doing, but I knew people who showed up at various family events with really good tasting home brewed beer and I wanted to be able to do the same thing.
So, I followed the directions diligently and when the time came to pour a pint I was subjected to the most discussing product that I could have imagined. Actually, I didn't imagine how bad it could be.
Now the challenge was on! I tossed the Mr. Beer kit and killed some plants in the garden with the results of the first brew. Then I hit the Internet for some serious research. Remember, this was 2000. The Internet wasn't then what it is now. However, I found the address of a home brew store that happened to be in my community so I headed right over. After an hour talking to them I headed home with "The Complete Joy of Homebrewing" by Charlie Papazian and a basic extract starter kit.
I read Charlies book cover to cover twice, and then picked up and read Dave Miller's "Homebrewing Guide" as well as Charlie's "Homebrewer's Companion". Armed with my new found knowledge I set a brew date and went to work. I choose Charlie's "Tit's up in the mud Pale Ale" for my first brew.
5 week later I cracked open the first bottle and was amazed at what I'd created. I was hooked.
A busy life working and raising kids meant that I didn't get time to do more than two or three batches a year. I experimented a bit but stuck to extract ales. It was good.
10 years passed. The time had come. I decided to venture into the world of all grain. I didn't plan as meticulously as I did the first time and I went a little cheap. I decided to do my first batch using plastic bottling buckets for everything (except the boil kettle of course). Temperature management was horrendous. Proper mashing eluded me. I was racked with uncertainty. Several weeks later I opened a bottle. It wasn't that bad. I clearly had some work to do, but that's OK. Better equipment, more reading, and some practice and I'm sure I'll be all set.
Then this year rolled around. I finally got tired of the constant bottle sensitization routine and I stumbled across a really good deal on a kegerator. So, I picked up the necessary equipment and I'm now kegging my brews. I really enjoy bringing my guest down to my bar in my basement and pulling the tap on one of my own creations.
Life is good.
Ben Franklin was right. Beer is proof that God wants us to be happy. :-)
A large variety of amber and brown ales.
A smaller variety of IPAs, both English and American styles.
Imperial Session IPA