How We Started Brewing
Pearce and I were friends before we started brewing together. We actually met through a mutual friend (this is your shout-out Jason Trotta) in the triathlon community. That’s right, Pearce and I are triathletes. Don’t be so surprised. We have been known to crush that shiz.
I am pretty sure that both Pearce and I could have been considered beer connoisseurs (read: snobs, geeks, a-holes) before we knew each other. If nothing else, you could say that we appreciated the finer craftings of barley, water and hops. I am not sure where Pearce’s interest in craft-beer came from (I will ask him and update his profile) but I can tell you that Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Pete’s Wicked Ale were the first beers to touch these lips and I never looked back. (I also went to a hippie college ((App State)) where you were actually made fun of for drinking macro-brewed American lagers.) This love of beer and getting outside, while not the glue that holds this friendship together, made it easy for Pearce and me to have something to rally around. I know that “me” doesn’t seem correct in that sentence, but, according to grammar, it is so no trolling…
There have been a lot of Saturday mornings where Pearce and I go out and ride bikes or run and then will have a “brewery lunch.” That is that thing where we burn a bunch of calories and then negate the effort by heading over to Coast Brewing or Revelry Brewing and grabbing some BBQ and a couple of beers. I think it is a common practice among those in the know.
One day while we were hanging out, Pearce said, “I think we should brew some beer.” I, being one to never back down from a challenge, said, “Okay.” So off we went to the LHBS (local home brew shop) to purchase the goods with which our own craft was born.
We met up at his house one day and proceeded to brew up our first batch, an English Nut Brown Ale. We chose an easy to brew kit with the knowledge that we wanted to get at least one easy brew under our belt before diving into IPAs and Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stouts and Spontaneously Fermented American Wild Ales.
It was funny, because even though neither of us had done this before, there was something familiar about it. We felt like we were naturals. When the brew day was done, we were hooked. Even though we would have to wait several weeks before tasting the first fruits of our first labor, we knew that we were destined to brew beer. I know, I know. We were just a couple of newbz who had not even produced a drinkable product. But still. Sometimes you just know.
Over the next year or so, we produced several batches of beer, we built a fermentation chamber to help us control temperature during fermentation, we started kegging and we upgraded our equipment a couple of times. We still had not taken the leap into all-grain brewing, but the story of that transition is for another day.
In the next background post I will tell you about the name we chose to call our homebrew endeavors and about our first homebrew “competition.” Please make sure to subscribe to this blog to get notified whenever new posts are made. I look forward to you coming along on this journey with us…