I’ve wanted a hobby for some time now. An activity where you can acceptably use the word “tinker”. I wanted to be able to immediately connect with a stranger who shares the same hobby, instead of partaking in the American ritual of uncomfortable small talk. Something that is a creative outlet and has an end result. Something more fulfilling than evenings scouring Twitter and Reddit for half chuckles and cynicism-fueled opinions.
I found that hobby: homebrew. It’s often social, meditative, and a bit creative. It also doesn’t hurt that the end result is a drinkable beer.
I was hooked after the first batch — a brown ale brewed in conjunction with a slightly more experienced friend. After three weeks fermenting in primary and two weeks conditioning in bottles, we cracked our first brew. It was damn good! We hosted a tasting party a few weeks later, and the feedback was unanimous — we made a delicious beer. One friend commented, “If Mike can make this, homebrewing must be really easy!” A dig, but mostly true.
I’m still in amateur-land, brewing with just extracts and steeping grains instead of a full all-grain batch. Yet that doesn’t deter me from brewing flavorful concoctions with ingredients like habanero peppers, cacao nibs, coriander, among others. With each new batch both my equipment arsenal and skill sets grow , as they should for a good hobbyist.