Well, it’s been itching for a good while and I finally had to scratch it. Now, it’s all bubbly and emitting interesting odors.
Before you get all grossed out, I’m not talking about some oozing skin irritation, but my first batch of home brew in about 16 years.
I used to brew the occasional beer years ago – BK (before kids). Lately, though, I’ve had the hankering to start it back up. I think the hankering comes from a combination of sources:
my love for craft beers, our agency’s pursuit of business in that industry, and our current brew pub client in San Antonio, to name a few. Not brewing in 16 years makes me, in reality, a newbie. Again.
Digging around in our storage shed, I actually found most of my old brewing set-up. Some of it was in bad shape. The good folks at Austin Home Brew helped me get my brew kit back on-line and helped me with the ingredients for this come-back attempt. Veterans, newbies, they don’t care. They just want to make sure everything comes out right. Great help.
And talk about come-backs, or is it just coming on strong. The craft beer industry is just exploding. Our local grocery store’s cold case gives a majority of space to craft and imports – cramming all the bland and fizzy MillerCoorsBuds into the remaining quarter of the cooler. It’s like a treasure hunt every time I make a grocery run. I’m always on the hunt for the latest thing I read about in Beer Advocate. The same goes for the nearby mega-liquor store. Tons of selection and a number of singles so I can build a sampler.
Our little branding/design/advertising agency, The MAD House (http://www.the-mad-house.com/brand) is actively pursuing business in the craft brewing industry. We love to help build brands that bring enjoyment to life (or our lives, I should say), and I think beer fits nicely into that category. We’re all beer freaks and everyone gets all excited when someone brings a new brew into the shop for sampling. Our buddies Kris and Brian, from Steamworks Brewing in Durango, will occasionally stop by when in Texas with something fun for our keg cooler. Oh yes, one of our employees donated her keg cooler to the office break room. She inherited the cooler from her great-grandmother – who kept the thing in her living room. How cool is that!
Recently, we began working for a new brewpub in San Antonio. Logos for the beers, ads, posters and such. Fun stuff. Freetail Brewing plans to have a number of their own beers on tap plus a selection of Texas craft beers on guest taps. Brewing started a couple of weeks ago and, so far, has produced some awesome beers. Currently, they are serving La Rubia blonde ale, Freetail Ale, Torpor Porter, Rye Wit, and an English-style bitter. Others are in mid-brew, including La Muerta. Check them out at Freetalbrewing.com.
Back to the bubbling odiferous concoction now churning away in my garage. It smells just like a brewery. Hey, I guess it is! I have no clue how it will come out. My original specific gravity number was dead-on. It took a little longer than I thought it should for the yeast to kick in and start it’s work, but it’s really going to town now. I guess I’ll know in a couple of weeks. And then, it will be time to start thinking about the next round. The fact that someone can do this at home and be a part of this interesting and tight brotherhood of brewing is so cool. Hand making, hand crafting. For now, itch only partially scratched.
I’ll update again when I move it to secondary.