#9 – Brew Beer

Beer.  It’s a simple thing that has been kicking around since…well, I don’t know exactly when off the top of my head, but it’s been awhile.  The ancient Egyptians had a form of it they fed to the slaves building the pyramids, so clearly it’s pretty old…as evident by the word “ancient”.

My relationship with this particular beverage is fairly new in the grand scheme of things.  I didn’t drink in high school and wasn’t even really a fan of most beers in college.  Now, don’t get me wrong, once in awhile I’d go out and have a few, but generally I was happier drinking something else.

Then, in my junior year, I went to Europe.

I remember exactly where I was when my whole worldview on beer was shattered.   We had spent the day taking a bike tour of Brugge, Belgium.  A city that, by the way, has a very undeserved rep… it’s a fantastic place.  Anyway, that night we decided to go on a pub-crawl to hit a few of the places that were pointed out to us.

One thing led to another and we ended up in an establishment that has been around since the early 1500s.  The wood was stained dark, the taps lined a long curved bar and everyone there was a local.

Now, Belgium is a country with 300+ breweries and each brewery makes a few different kinds of beer and, to be honest, I was a built overwhelmed as to choice.  So, in a fit of daring that wasn’t at all like me at the time, I left it in the hands of our gracious barmaid.

The first sip changed everything.  Gone was the overly-processed, piss-colored, flavorless swill that was best consumed out of large red solo cups while throwing ping-pong balls at other inebriates.  Instead there came a steady stream of hop and malt flavored nectars, each different than the last.  As the night wore down we ended up back at our hostel, the (and I’m not even kidding you) Snuffle Sleep Inn.  Of course, it had a bar as well, so…you know.  Drinks served by a white Belgian kid with dreadlocks.  Never did learn his name, simply called him Dreads for the entire time we were there.

Anyway…

I’m lucky enough to have friends who like good beer.  When we go out, it isn’t about who can pound back the most, it’s about trying new beers, revisiting old favorites and then eating pretzels, but that’s another blog for another time.

How much do we like good beers?  We figured it would be a good idea to maybe start brewing some of our own…and thus the idea for this item on The List was born.

How conveniently named

Of course, to make your own beer you need a few things.  Hops, malt, time, bottles, time, water, time, etc…

The pork and BBQ sauce add that special *zing*

Look at me trying to be all artsy

Anyway, you throw most of that into a pot and let it do it’s thing for awhile…

Boil, boil, toil and trouble

Stand over it for a bit….

Meet Ryan and Derrick, our head brewmasters.

Add some more stuff…

It's beer...and I helped! (not really beer yet)

Wait awhile…

I shit you not, we were talking about men's hair care products.

Order Chinese food and dump the stuff into a pail (chinese food is key in making good beer)…

Witty Caption

Of course I’m skipping steps and details and all that junk, but this isn’t a blog about how to brew beer.  If you’d like to get involved, go talk to people who do brew, homebrew stores, etc…they’ll be more than glad to help you out.

At this point in the process everything needs to pretty much sit and hang out for awhile.  How long?  Weeks.  Then after some time passes you’ll have what is almost beer…but not really.  However, it does mean that it is time to bottle.

Dead soldiers waiting to be reborn.

One step closer...

The finishing touches.

And, once again, it needs to hang out for awhile.  One or two weeks depending on what you’re dealing with.

Fast forward that amount of time and, well…it turned out to be totally undrinkable crap.  I know, I know…we probably did something wrong.  Truth be told, this wasn’t our first batch of beer either, it was the third.  There was an English Pale Ale, a Sierra Nevada clone and this was to be a Nut Brown Ale.  Alas, it was never meant to be.  Theories abound as to what went wrong, but it’s in the past.  The lads have put down a Wit Beer so we’ll see if that comes out any better.

Darn.  Have to brew and drink more beer, whatever shall we do?

#9- Brew our own beer?  DONE

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