Jeremy Short of Pintwell is the host for the October beer blogging session and here’s the topic to write about, “I Made This!”
As I scanned through the list of the past 91 sessions I found only one about homebrewing. Only one? Well, we are here to rectify that with Session #92. I know that many beer bloggers don’t homebrew, so don’t worry I am going to keep this simple and straightforward.
The idea of this session is how making something changes your relationship with it. For example, when I first started homebrewing I wasn’t a big fan of lagers. After learning to brew I realized how complex and particular lagers were and I came to love them because of that.
It may seem mercenary and/or lazy to say it, but I have come to realize that I find it better to be a “friend” of home brewing than to do it. Once you cultivate friends who home brew, it seems rather redundant to do it yourself when you can show up and get a pint glass or a growler to go when it is ready.
I am not advocating befriending home brewers just to keep your refrigerator stocked with free beer. What I think is more important is being the drinker who isn’t secretly reverse engineering a beer while drinking it. The person who you can watch the game with instead of discussing the versatility of one yeast over the other.
Let’s face it, today’s home brew clubs offer a lot of good advice on what equipment works best, which techniques improve beer and recipe notes. You also have a wealth of information and programs on the interwebs to draw from. What neither offer is that consumer feedback that many will need to learn to decode if they decide to go pro and want to sell a beer to the masses. And even if they don’t want to brew at the next level, and brewing in the basement is just a hobby, someone has to drink the beer that is made so the brewer can fill up the carboy with the next beer.
Sure you can enter brewing competitions. You can bring your beer to the home brew club for review. You can foist the tolerable batches on family and friends but the person that can taste the beer and give constructive criticism that is different from the advice offered by fellow home brewers is important to improving the beer that a home brewer creates. Especially if they already possess a knowledge of craft beer and have the vocabulary to explain the aromas and flavors they encounter when drinking the beer.
That is who I am. I have dipped my toe into home brewing with success (if you are a fan of vinegar) and I know more than a smidgen of information about the brewing process. Enough to talk about it before the discussion gets too deep. I have also watched home brewing in action a few times as well. But I have just not been bitten by the brewing bug. I probably could gain an aptitude and make decent beer but I think my place is with the empty glass held out in anticipation of the next home brewed beer.