Now then, what about my adventure to becoming the Brewmaster?
Well, first off I’m not a Brewmaster (not the title at least as it’s an actual title, name is just rather iconic. Blaster Brewmaster. Has a cool ring to it). I am, though, a homebrewer. That story began about a year after my wife and I met.
During one of our weekly gatherings with my friends, one of my friends had been gifted his very own homebrewing kit. This kit was your basic standard kit with the plastic fermenting bucket, bottling bucket, bottle capper, siphon, hydrometer, and stirring ladel. Seeing this kit got me interested in the idea. I had never thought about making it myself, but it seemed like such a natural progression. It was, at the time, an interesting hobby to me, and to many of my friends. So I talked with one of my friends about splitting the cost on a kit, and that following January made the plunge and got everything we needed to get started.
We started with a German Altbier, which turned out to be an interesting choice. I was not aware of a beer style with a bit of a metallic taste to it. It was mostly successful but not anything I’d say was fantastic. Still, it was our first beer.
As time went by we tried and tried again, usually messing up something along the way here and there. A few of my other friends had gotten into the hobby, but as time passed there was only one left. Me.
I still to this day can’t say I understand why I persevered. Maybe it was a romantic idealism of the craft. Maybe it was all the great people I started meeting and hanging out with. Maybe it was the continual exploration of the art of making beer that furthered my desire to know all I could, but I still persevered.
My kit grew. I started with the same basics as my friend. Then I got some larger pots. Then a turkery fryer. Then a cooler I converted into a mash tun for all grain. I signed up for a kit of the month club for more than half a year to get me brewing regularly. I eventually bought a kegerator so I didn’t have to keep wasting so much time bottling. I just kept doing more and more an more.
My beers started coming out more consistent and more drinkable. I’d still screw up now and then, but at least I was learning more. I will say though that for the most part, is was a thirst for knowledge that kept me exploring new things when it came to brewing. The homebrew stores I had in my area were either not helpful or knowledgable, or were a bit crankier and perhaps more arrogant in how they perceived their clientele.
That was until I found Atlantic Brew Supply near NC State. You will hear me talk these people up now and again, and that’s because I’m a dedicated customer of theres. I’ve become friends with some of the people running the shop and the companion brewery, Raleigh Brewing Company, that they’re built into. They are friendly, knowledgable, very approachable, and very community focused. So yea, I talk them up alot. Much love.
Anyways, after my first couple of times there I quickly learned about their “big brew day” (warning, bit of a plug here), where they invite homebrewers to bring their equipment in and brew in the brewery, giving us access to alot of stuff to help in our brew. Additionally they build recipes for the month that get sold at half off. Naturally, how could I turn down a deal like that? I started becoming a regular to these events and with them, learned more from experienced brewers and see how others brewed.
Fast forward to the following fall and I find out that they’re hosting a start up brewclub, called Raleigh Home Brewers Association that meets up on the weekends, something that strangely is rare for clubs and helps me, considering I work evenings. I join up and, as it turns out, become one of the “founding members”, although I have turned my focus perhaps more to content creation and planning projects in that regard as my temporary stint trying to organize events proved far less than fruitful.
Still, I feel like I’m getting exposed to alot of great and knowledgable people with alot of incredible experiences. I found out my coworker on another team is apart of the same club and even a certified beer judge. With that I’ve gotten to pick a plenty of brains on different things and learn wonderful information about the ways to improve and change my beers.
So, that is my story. I hope it was fun and entertaining for you. If you have any questions feel free to ask them!