Remember that first batch of home brew? I was 23, newly married and decided I couldn’t be one of those guys that drinks nothing but cheap beer anymore. We had a kegorator full of Henry Weinhard’s and rolling rock. Yes… Rolling Rock, it was a “Pale Ale” and for some reason we thought it was classier than Keystone. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying these are awful beer nor am I saying they are great beer. But, they paved the way for brewers such as myself to reach for the stars.
We decided to buy a Home Brew kit and make some delicious nectar. I’ve never been one to start a hobby small… I knew right away if I were going to do this, I had to do it right. I got on Craigslist and found a soda keg. I didn’t have time for that bottling crap. I brewed 2 1/2 gallons on the stove and managed to no boil over. I mixed it with 2 1/2 gallons of cold water in a carboy and pitched some yeast. It was that simple!
I followed all the rules. I took gravities, transferred into secondary and cleaned, cleaned and cleaned! A good brewer is a greater dish washer. YouTube University taught me everything I needed to know. I filled that keg up and started to pressure carbonate at 30 psi. That was the longest 2 days of the brew! The anticipation was killing me. I thought for sure it was gonna taste like muddy water. Until that day finally came… It was a blonde ail with a light body, low malt flavor and a nice hop aroma. It didn’t taste like crap!
Like any responsible 21 year old, it was time for a party. I had a kegorator full of beer that I made with my own two hands and I had to share it. Everyone was blown away and couldn’t believe it was made at home. They loved it! I had friends telling me they don’t even like beer but they loved this. I talked beer all night. Everyone wanted to know how I did it. “Do you really make this in your bath tub?” Is a real question! That is when I realized the world needs to be educated in beer and I want to be a part of it.
After that 5 gallon batch, the game was on. I stared upgrading everything. New pots, wort chillers and everything. It took me about a year of extract brewing to jump full bore into all grain. I made everything from blonde ales to scotch ales with all the IPA’s I could think of in between. Home consumptions, weddings, parties, you name it and I made it. Yes the style of beer was important to me. Of course I wanted to enjoy what I was drinking. But the part that drives me the most when it comes to making beer is seeing other people not only drink it but enjoy it. When you see a group of people Cheers with your beer, it’s a feeling you’ll never forget.