craft beers

The Arts and Crafts of Beer…

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011 | Life | No Comments

…in which I talk about the art of craft beer.

This past weekend I went to the 2011 Denton Homebrew Showdown in which 14 beers were entered to see who made the best craft beer in Denton. Not only was it an opportunity to sample a wide range of beers, but more specifically it was nice to try out a lot of the creative ideas spawned right here in Denton. I had been invited to participate but seeing as how I still view my brewing as kind of “cheating,” I didn’t feel justified in entering the contest. Additionally, I would have had to provide 5+ gallons of beer and since I only brew 2 gallons at a time, I would have resulted in an oddly mixed batch of beer. I had a good time and enjoyed the selection, but I left with mixed feelings about my own processes.

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It’s Always Five O’Clock Somewhere…

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011 | Food | 4 Comments

…in which I talk about home brewing, even if I am cutting a lot of corners.

When I first got interested in home brewing, I saw Mr. Beer as a gateway into a more involved, more traditional home brewing. I though, I’ll use Mr. Beer as a way to learn the concepts of beer, what makes the simple ingredients come together into a malted, alcoholic beverage. And besides, the starter kit isn’t that expensive. So when Heather bought it for me as a gift, I made the first beer and saw this kind of “Kool Aid of beer making” as a jump off point for true home brewing. I mean the kit is kitschy and you use all pre-processed ingredients, but the concept is sound.

Now that I’ve been doing it for a few years, I’ve found that while it still may be kind of a shortcut to true brewing, you still have a lot of room to play, and you still end up with real beer. I’ve discovered that you can use their refill kits as a starting point and play around with the additives to get a dramatically different result. There can still be a lot of art in this color-by-numbers home brewing kit. So, damn the naysayers, I’m gonna keep on doing it my way.

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