Pints for Prostates

Thursday, October 20, 2011


So what prompted me to take an interest in brewing? What, after years of microbrews, occasional hopfests and brewery tours, made me want to try? What made me think that the hours of labor involved might be enjoyable and hobby worth pursuing?

I listened to Van Hemlock's How to Murder Time podcast "Homebrew" during the drive to work. The podcast covers many different topics. On this occasion, they described buying a wine making kit from Testco (in the UK). Something about their description of the experience was enough to trigger an interest in home brewing beer. I've listened to the podcast again and transcribed some key phrases.
"My dad was very much into, and still is, into homebrew."
"I think everyone's [dads] was in the '70s."
"Always something behind the sofa." 
"My enduring childhood memories of my father involve mostly just large curious shaped bottles with weird bubbly airlock things in the top."
In talking to my father about my interest in home brewing, he said that he had made some wine using a large crock that his father used to make wine with. My grandfather made several different wines. My great uncle used to have a basement full of wines and visitors would stumble out of the basement after he offered samples of each wine. My father also mentioned that the field across from the house I grew up in was all hops when he was young. Central New York has a hops growing history that is only now starting to begin again (e.g., Foothill Hops).
"Now I am a man and I've realized I am not a man, not until I've made my own wine. It's a rite of passage." 
"Another big important part of the homebrew experience is the activity itself. It's doing the home brewing, it's feeling like I'm making something." 
"People are doing it [now] for the hobby of it, a sort of good life, retro thing." 
"I enjoyed it and I feel like I've learned something."
I think I was also excited by the prospect of making gallons of beer--gallons of beer!--and the idea that maybe I could save money (eventually).

I do know that I have already learned a lot about beer, beer styles, and the process of making beer. Making the first batch was indeed a rewarding experience.

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