Saturday, October 13, 2012

Looking Back...and Moving Forward

I made my first real homebrew on March 7, 2004.  I remember it being cloudy and overcast outside.  The sort of day that suggests activities inside. I had bought an aluminum pot, and made the beer on the stove in my kitchen.  The London Brown Ale recipe was chosen because it was supposed to mature quickly and be drinkable faster than others.  I was 24 years old, unmarried, no kids, no expectations.

Why was I brewing?  Because things that you make on your own retain more meaning than things you buy and consume passively.  Because I didn't have any money.  Because I wanted to make something unique.  Because I was (and continue to be) idealistic.  Much has changed since then.   In the interim moments between making my life something more than myself, I've found time to brew 112 beers.  Here's how they're      

American Amber Ale 7
American Barleywine 2
American Brown Ale 6
American IPA 12
American Pale Ale 10
American Wheat or Rye Beer 1
Baltic Porter 1
Belgian Dubbel 1
Belgian Pale Ale 3
Belgian Specialty Ale 3
Biere de Garde 2
Bohemian Pilsner 1
Braggot 1
Brown Porter 2
California Common 1
Dry Mead 1
English IPA 1
Flanders Red Ale 3
Gueze 2
Imperial IPA 6
Imperial Stout 3
Irish Red Ale 1
Mild 2
Munich Dunkel 1
Northern English Brown Ale 1
Oatmeal Stout 3
Oktoberfest/Marzen 1
Other Fruit Melomel 1
Other Specialty Cider or Perry 2
Pyment 1
Robust Porter 6
Saison 6
Schwarzbier 1
Special/Best Bitter 2
Specialty Beer 6
Standard/Ordinary Bitter 1
Straight (Unblended) Lambic 1
Sweet Mead 1
Sweet Stout 1
Vienna Lager 1
Witbier 3

I've made plenty of beers in style categories that I love to drink, and I plan to continue doing so.  Pale Ales, IPAs, Porters and Saisons will always have a place in my kegerator.  However, I also want to make new beers and experiment.  Looking at the list gives me some perspective and provides guidance as to styles I want to brew soon:

English Barleywine
Northern German Alt Beer
Belgian Dark Strong Ale


  1. You have much broader brewing experience than I do with most of the BJCP Styles covered. From what I can remember most of these beers were very good and quaffable. Always expanding and learning the styles fits your brewing persona well.

    I remember talking about getting a second carboy with you and it just seemed so crazy to even think about that big of a step forward. A lot of time has past since that 1st batch. Good times.

    For the future I would love to try your future Alt Beer. The thought of it sounds so tasty sitting at my desk right now.


    1. I'm excited to brew an Alt, especially since it's a little harder to get your hands on representative commercial examples, and my expectations as to its particulars are more intellectual than experiential.

      Either way, you'll be drinking it...


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