Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The backstory....part 1?

I had my first "good beer" when I was a sophomore in college.  I was going to school in Cleveland Ohio at the time and my roommate and I were out celebrating something that was probably not very important (since I can't remember it).  A Friday night for us usually consisted of splitting a case of Busch Light Draft or something similarly watery.  Iron City Light anyone?  Instead, on this night we had a Great Lakes Dortmunder on tap at a local establishment (it had just won its third Gold Medal at the World Beer Championships).  We both took a sip and looked at each other and simultaneously said "where has this beer been all our life".  We soon learned that you could get just as drunk on a 6 pack of decent beer as you could a 12 pack of Busch and you wouldn't have to pee as often!  Sure we were getting laughed at when we showed up to parties with ONLY a six pack, but we managed to convert a few others to our way of thinking along the way.  We found a cool little beer store near our dorm that had all kinds of great imported (and a little craft) beer and we were off and running.  Old Peculier became a particular favorite of mine...

Fast forward a few years.  Somehow I got into a discussion about beer with my boss at my co-op job (now back home in Cincinnati) and he said I should come to one of his homebrew club meetings.  Another co-op and I accepted and we attended our first meeting of the Bloatarian Brewing League at the Brew Works brewpub in Covington Kentucky.  There were many tasty homebrewed libations to sample, but it was all downhill after the Brewmaster Tim Rastetter put a half barrel of Velvet Hammer in the middle of the room and said "Have at it boys"...Man I miss that place....I started homebrewing the next day.

Many batches later (some good, some bad) and after a brief hiatus from brewing to renovate a house, I got serious about starting something beyond the basement.  I started researching everything I could about the industry from equipment to licensing.  I figured there had to be a reason why there were no small craft breweries around (at that time), and I found plenty of reasons.  It's a whole different world brewing commercially.  I have become partial to the mantra that "you have to be able to make good beer in order to go pro, but just because you can brew good beer doesn't mean you should go pro".  I quickly learned that this was not an endeavor to enter lightly so I took a few years to learn everything I could.......

to be continued....




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