This past summer I experienced something that I never thought I would experience – I did not feel like brewing anymore.
Let’s back up a bit – once the weather warmed up in the spring, I started off brewing 40L batches of brew fairly regularly, stockpiling beer for various upcoming events and some for personal consumption. Fruit beers, wheat beers, cream ales – I think what really happened was that I got away from brewing what I wanted, and started trying to please everyone else, brewing good beer, but lacking some character that I was looking for. By the end of an 8 hour double 80L brew day on July 2, I felt spent and for the first time, brewing felt more like a chore than the fun hobby it was supposed to be. A brewing hiatus was in order.
After a summer away from brewing, I started to get that itch to brew again. Big Spruce had announced their brewing competition, listing three separate styles to choose from, or brew all three – Red IPA, Altbier and a Czech Dark Lager. All three styles were new to me, but each intrigued me enough to decide to get the three of them ready. I brewed 20L of each over a 6 week period, enjoying the process each time. I was happy with two of the three beer, but decided to enter all three anyway – good thing since the beer I wasn’t particularly happy with pleased the judges the most!
I have figured out that the key to my brewing is making small batches of something that I want for myself – sounds selfish, but I do share what I have. Friends and family know where I am and are always welcome to drop by for a pint or a bottle to take away. English bitters, pale ales, IPA’s, Kolsch and Altbier are planned, with an experimental IPA in the works for the upcoming Garrison homebrew competition.