If you hadn’t noticed Sarah and I can really get into this whole DIY thing. It seems that I’m always on the lookout for a way to do something myself, and at the top of my DIY to-do list has been: brew beer. I’ve been putting this off for awhile, partly because I didn’t have the time, and partly because I was intimidated. For whatever reason, brewing beer always seemed hard. There are crazy tubes and containers, airlocks and sanitizing solution. It all seemed kind of overwhelming. Where do you begin to tackle something like that?
So while brewing has been on my mind for awhile, it has always been pushed to the back. But in November, Brooklyn Brew Shop released their Beer Making Book, and I happened to read the introduction on Amazon and something clicked:
“Brewing wasn’t always something done in industrial-size tanks with top-grade scientific equipment. It was a craft. Monks brewed beer. Women brewed beer. It was part of running a kitchen in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.”
Beer doesn’t have to be all that complicated. Sure, if you want a consistent brew and the ability to create great beer, you’re going to need some know-how, but you don’t have to start with that knowledge.
This was away for me to reframe what brewing was: less science experiment, and more cooking, and craft. Ah…much better.
It seems that much of our vision of beer (in America) has come from the industrialization of beer as commodity product. For the most parts, our mothers weren’t brewers. That giant factory down the road was the brewer. (At least it was for me growing up in St. Louis). There wasn’t a lot of thought given to how that factory made beer, it just did. Now with the increasing rise of small breweries and home brewers, beer isn’t just from breweries, but from fields. There is a renewed interest in the ingredients going into beer (ingredients not possible on the industrial scale).
Ok, enough of that, you’re probably wondering how our brewing went, right? Well, pretty good. We made beer! It wasn’t amazing beer, and it won’t win any awards, but it was perfectly drinkable beer, and I think it was a good first attempt. I learned a lot along the way, and I’m sure I’ll be getting better.