Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Beer Trade

For the past year, I have been reading a blog about a guy in Philly who seems to drink some kick ass beer while constantly making me jealous. I don't know how he does it, but he seems to get a hold of the rare, limited, special, and mysterious beers that I can never seem to find out here in the desert. Honestly, it pisses me off some time. My jealously doesn't stem from anger, but pure envy. The man lives a charmed beer life.

I'm sure you have read his blog as well, I am Beer Wise. You know, Brian in P-Town (Philadelphia). In a way, Brian and I are a lot alike. We both like beer (Dogfish Head) and we both like baseball. What else matters? Not much in my book.

Anyways, we have talked from time to time about doing a beer trade. I have done it before and I loved it. I mean, how cool is it when the mailman brings you beer. It is so much better than junk mail or bills. So a few weeks ago, we decided to do it. We decided to trade some beer.

O, the pressure. As much fun it is to go beer shopping, this time I felt pressure. This was big time. This wasn't a usual trade. This was a trade with a real beer guy. A man who knows his beer. My reputation was on the line. I needed to do it right.

Over the next few weeks, I made 3 trips to Total Wine, and 4 trips to BevMo. I must have spent a good 10 hours researching and trying to decide which beers to send him. It was almost nerve racking as it was fun. I mean we both love beer, but we sit on the opposite sides of the fence in our preference for hops and malt.

I received my bottles last week. They have been chilling out in the beer fridge since they arrived. I've been waiting for a weekend where I can sit, and enjoy, and review each and every one of them. You know what, I think this weekend will be that weekend.

I'll let you guys know how it goes. Before I do, I wanted to thank my friend Brian for taking a few moments of his awesome beer life to send me some. I encourage you to stop by and read what the man has to say. I'm sure you will enjoy it.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Beer Wars and Beer School

Last night I watched Beer Wars, again. It was the first time I've watched it since the night of it's debut on April 16th of 2009. I wonder why I waited so long to watch it a second time. It really moved my the first time I saw it. This time, it inspired me.

For those who might not know what I'm talking about, Beer Wars is the documentry by Anat Baron, formerly of Mike's Hard Lemmonade fame. The film takes the viewers behind the scenes of the world of beer, and the fight between microbreweries and the big guys. Even if your not into beer, the film is still a great piece of film making exposing the battle the small businesses face every day in the fight against corporate america.

When I first saw the movie, I was able to relate because for years, I was that little guy going up against big business. Eventually it came to the point where we just couldn't compete any longer. Special pricing, perks, discounts, rewards, whatever you want to call it, it's easy for a big company to bury the "neighborhood" competition with the help of deep pockets, and/or the legal system. Those with the most money, even if they are in the wrong, usually win.

In the beer world, things seem to be changing. The American consumer is telling those deep pockets in St. Loius and Golden Colorado that they don't want a free t-shirt just to drink their beer. Instead, they want taste and flavor. I too, am in that demographic.

I have talked many times of my love of beer and how it started. Over the past few years, my love and passion for beer has increased to a level I never thought it would. I'm past the point of just talking and blogging about it. I want to live it.

I decided a back in January that I wanted to start my own brewery. I sat down and figured out a time table of how I was going to do it. I realixed over the next few months that it wasn't going to be as easy as I wanted. I didn't have the balls to quit my job and go for it. I'm not that kind of guy. I need to study and plan something before I do it.

Last week, I decided to sign up for beer school. I sent off an email to The American Brewery Guild about signing up for their Craft Brewers program. That's when I found out that all the classes were full until January of 2012. The next shock was price of tuition. That was a bitter pill to swallow. At least I have time to save up the money.

I'm excited about the future. I'm excited about making beer and really living it on a daily basis. No matter what the cost may be, I'm doing it.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Class of 2012, here I come

January of 2012. What is that, a year and a half? 17 months, give or take? Whatever it is, that is when I start Beer School. In the mean time, I think I'll get brewing.

I really didn't think it would take so long to get into Beer School. But I think it is perfect timing. It would have been great to jump right in and start the learning process. Instead, it's like waiting for Chistmas, or your the Christmas after that.

So what to do with all this spare time? I think I'll brew some beer. I think I will brew lots of beer. With all the free time I'm going to have, I should be able to really fine tune some of my own recepies. I can work on my brewing methods and try to become a seasoned home brewer. By the time school starts, I will be ready.

However I look at it, I'm doing it. I'm really doing it. I am taking that dreaded first step. Today really is that first step towards my brewery future. Wish me luck.