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brewing up trouble

June 10th, 2010

Along with music and bicycles and the various other hobbies I have, I occasionally enjoy brewing a batch of beer. I’ve been a fan of beer since I first went to a homebrew club event in Houston with a friend of mine in the early 90s. I wasn’t much of a fan of the stuff before then, as all I knew was the Budweiser/Coors/Miller world, which is like thinking all steak is a McDonald’s hamburger.
Years later, the friend that took me to the homebrew event was working for a brewery in Hood River, Oregon. She and her husband sent me a book about homebrewing and a gift certificate for a starter kit at Home Sweet Homebrew here in Philadelphia. On Christmas Day 2004 I bottled my first batch of beer, and it was good. Since then I have made a half dozen more batches, and I’ve gotten involved with a small homebrew club based at a local church where my good friend Kirk is the priest. Kirk attends a lot of beer events and gatherings around town, and this last week the church helped run the opening of Philly Beer Week, an annual celebration of all things beer. When you’re the guy at the big event wearing the priest’s collar, you get some attention. So when Philly dot com needed to find someone (quickly apparently) who could show how beer is brewed, they called Kirk, and Kirk called me.
So yesterday we spent two or three hours brewing up a batch of a good dark Mexican lager as Litty Samuel from Philly dot com shot video and asked questions. The result is up today and it looks good. We don’t look as much like idiots as we were worried about.

If the embedded video below doesn’t work, you can see the movie here.

Note the t-shirt I’m wearing and the bottles of beer from a previous batch…

Wise Guys

January 25th, 2008

I’m part of a beer club that meets once a month down the street in the basement of an Episcopal church. Typically we organize the meetings around tasting and discussing (and tasting) beer within a theme. For instance, Pilsners, or California micro-brews, or local ales, etc. We decided to brew our own back in December and show those who have never homebrewed the entire process. At a meeting in December we brewed a batch of IPA and one of a really dark Mexican-style lager (supposedly like a Negro Modelo) that I found in a beer cook-book.
WHen one brews, one always needs a name for said brew, and typically it’s nice to have a name for the brewery as well. Wilson and I have “Affe Haus” for what we make at home, which translates into (surprise!) Monkey House. We chose Church Basement Brewery for the church-brewed beer. And for the lager itself, celebrating both the holiday around which we brewed it and the three of us who did the brunt of the work (Chris, Kirk, and me) we went with Tres Hombres Sobrios, which means Three Wise Men, and which for anyone who really knows us, is funny.
For this occasion, I made labels. Thanks to Sacha for taking the picture.

Tres Hombres on the bottles
Tres Hombres Sobrios