Here we are at another Fermentation Friday! I am the very fortunate host of this month’s virtual get together so I will start the conversation off. The question I’ve posted to the group is:
Remember why we brew?
This is a pretty open subject, but the idea here is, what got you started? What gets you out of bed for brewing and drinking? Once you’ve brewed enough batches, it becomes apparent that if you’re in it for the beer, it’s a lot easier to just go buy a six-pack. So why do we keep doing this process?
For me, it’s as much of a self-image thing as anything else. An experience in college caused me to create an image of what ‘making it’ really meant: One summer in college, we made a road trip out to Rochester to visit a group of alumni. After a long day at Ten Ugly Men, we headed to Spike’s house for a beer. Spike was another alumni that was full of life and a ton of fun. The guys insisted that we had to stop in and visit Spike for a beer (or more). When we visited, we were down in his basement, it was pretty cramped, just enough room for the pool table, but he had a fridge with two taps on it. Now pool and beer on tap is pretty impressive, but when he explained how he made the beer himself, I was floored. ‘This guy has the world by the balls’ I thought, and from that point on I decided that I was going to figure out how to make it happen. So now I think about my house, my life and the expression of my own personal freedom that being able to brew my own beer is; something Spike has always represented to me.
In some small way, every time I wake up at 7:30 am in the snow and cold, I think about Spike and that basement. I think about how I like it when I get to give my own brew tours, the pride I get when someone tells me they enjoy my beer.
I love to share my beer, for two reasons; one, I get to brew more, and two is that I like to have people be made happy by something I made. Brewing is more than beer and drinking. It’s a lifestyle and chance to be a little different, while still part of a unique group. In some ways, it’s the ultimate example of following your desires and createing something you like from almost nothing.
One observation that I’ve said and have heard from others is that brewing is an escape from the daily grind. But the beauty of brewing is that it’s not just the act that’s an escape, but talking about brewing and beer is as well. I am always glad to talk at length with want-to-be and “newbie” brewers. I like to talk anyway, but bring up beer and it’s all over. Brewing is an opportunity for me to escape another conversation about the weather or politics.
So, visions of being Spike in the basement with my bro’s hanging out playing pool and drinking my great brews have shaped my introduction into brewing and still drives me today. I love to share beer and conversation; brewing fuels that as well. The act of brewing is an escape, but so is thinking and talking about it. In all, this is a fulfilling hobby, both personally and socially.
So tonight, I am going to tip back a pale ale and offer a toast to my lost friend Spike. In every beer, there is a little Spike to make me smile. Thanks as always to Adam for being the man behind the idea.
First Round of FF Submissions (I will also do a full post with all submissions this weekend so please share your link):
- Brew Dudes reflect on why Dudes Brew: Brew Dudes
- Brewing Suds knows that patience is a great virtue especially in brewing: Brewing Suds
- Chris from Bob’s Place came into brewing for drinking, but it’s grown from there: B.O.B’s Place
- Just another Booze Blog stated brewing after a trip to Europe: Just Another Booze Blog
- Matt the GISBREWMASTER loves beer (how is it possible that reading a blog post makes me want a beer?): A World of Brews
- Awesome, a brew-lady tells her inspiration, I personally love to see women in brewing, it’s always great to diversify the pallets and keep from just making “man candy”: BrewCookPairJoy