If you would have told me three years ago that I would like beer, I would have said you were crazy. I had tasted my dad’s Miller Light growing up and went to a Christian college where drinking was a no-no. So I never had much of an opportunity to drink much, and I was okay with that. It just wasn’t a big deal.
Then I graduated from school and went down to Atlanta. I got an internship at Paste Magazine. Before I started working at Paste, I pretty much thought there was your typical American beers and some expensive imports. I was sure they all tasted the same, and as far as I knew, that taste was “rubber band”.
At Paste, I found out that several people there were beer snobs. No typical American lagers for them, they drank these dark, high-gravity brews like St. Bernardus Abt. 12, Chimay, and Delirium. I went out for dinner with a few of the guys at this great place called The Brick Store. At The Brick Store, the beer list is twice as long as the food list. The first Belgian beer I ever tried remains my favorite today – St. Bernardus Abt. 12.
Now, when I first tried it, I pretty much had to force it down my throat. It just wasn’t my thing. But over the past few years, truly good beer has really grown on me. In fact, good beer has grown on me so much that my in-laws bought me a home brewing kit for Christmas this year. Right now in our basement sits an enormous barrel fermenting more than 30 pints of beer.
I’ve taste-tested it a couple times and so far, so good. The beer should be ready to bottle by the end of the week. Then I’ll let the bottles sit for a couple weeks to age and I’ll have more beer than I know what to do with!
I’ve got all my friends saving their beer bottles so I can bottle my next batch in glass bottles rather than the plastic ones that came with the kit and by the time I’ve polished off all 30 pints, that’ll be plenty of time to have collected enough glass bottles that I can brew my next batch (which will be a Belgian) in those.
There’s a great home brewing/wine-making store down the road – Great Fermentations. I’ve been there a couple of times – once for an “Intro to Homebrewing” class and once to pick up a few items. If you’d like to try a beer once it’s brewed I think I should have enough.