Monday, March 09, 2009

Hurtling Towards Homebrewing

As I mentioned before, Jaimi planned to get me a homebrew kit for my birthday. What a brilliant gift. I’ll soon have so much beer around the apartment, that I’ll be forced to pour it over my breakfast cereal, and bathe in it from time to time just to make sure the golden nectar doesn’t go to waste

Maybe you thought my fiancée would have second thoughts about this gift. How could it REALLY be a good idea to establish a nano-brewery in our kitchen? I don’t know. But that question is moot, because the beer-making equipment is already on its way. No turning back now. I’ll attempt my first homebrew this upcoming weekend – or at least that’ the plan.

Partly in preparation for my budding homebrew hobby, my good buddy Greg and I went the Philly Craft Beer Festival at the Philadelphia Navy Yards this past Saturday. We knew there would be a lot of breweries we’d never heard of, and we hoped to find some hidden gems.

There were some old familiars there, such as Blue Point, Stone Brewing, and Magic Hat. But out of the 50 breweries at the festival, I’d say at least half of them were previously unknown to us. Suffice it to say, I didn’t bring a notepad.

I remember Cricket Hill Brewery because I thought it was bad name for a beermaker – someone might mistakenly assume that they make pale ale infused with crushed cricket corpses. And there was Gritty’s Brewery, whose banner read, “Show us Your Gritty’s!” And Straub Beer, whose product was kinda bad, but they gave out free bottle openers – pretty much the only free swag we got all evening.

So, I’m not here to offer a full review of the festival. There were indeed a number of obscure craft breweries in attendance. And some of them offered some very good – if not terribly memorable – beers of various flavors and styles. There were even a few homebrewers there, who decided to show off their skills alongside the professional brewers.

I thought this was pretty cool. They weren’t there for the money – they couldn’t have been, because they weren’t selling anything. They were simply there to share their love of beer with thousands of other beer lovers.

It got me to thinking, what kind of unique and amazing beers will I soon be brewing? How will I make the world a better place through better beer? I haven’t learned all of the basics yet – I need the homebrew kit’s instructional DVD in order to get my learn on. But after I’ve made a few basic brews, I plan to graduate to the next level.

Here are a few uniquely flavorful ideas for The Mill’s Craft Nano-brewery. I don’t know if you can even add some of this stuff to beer without killing the yeast and/or creating a potentially poisonous mixture. But that’s what the experimentation process is all about.

Wasabi Mike and Ike Ale:
Classic pale ale infused with Japanese wasabi and shredded Mike and Ike candies.

Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Stout:
Truly, a breakfast in a glass.

Twizzler Lager:
This one’s pretty self-explanatory.

Smoky Bacon Brown Ale:
I don't know. Bacon-flavored beer? It could be amazing, or it could be undrinkable. I think this definitely warrants further research.

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