Friday, January 24, 2014

Episode 8: Tony gets schooled

Doug Griffith displays a pitcher of cold brewed coffee
Coffee for the coffee and cream stout
This week, Doug Griffith took my brewing dilettante out back and put two behind its ear. After years of promising to take a class, rather than write about classes, I showed up Saturday morning as one of about ten people who were to brew at Xtreme Brewing, in Laurel. Doug holds regular classes in brewing to get people who are interested a little hands on experience before they leap into brewing on their own.
There is little as egalitarian as a brewing class. Since the only thing that matters is the beer and our relative ignorance of how to make it ourselves, everyone bonded pretty quickly as we watched Doug brew a coffee and cream stout over the course of a couple of hours. In this week's episode of Beer with Strangers, we talk about the class process and how a community comes to be built around the drive, not only to brew, but to talk about brewing with other people.
As with any other practical endeavor, there are always people who know more, or have a different language o approach about the process. There are disagreements between brewers, sure, and there are people with a quasi-religious belief in their own methods and practices over someone else's. But, in all the years I've been around brewers, the one common thread is there are very few trolls because of the other common thread: it's all about the beer. If you're interested in homebrewing and live in the area, Doug will be offering an advanced course 2-4 p.m. this Saturday, Jan. 25 at Xtreme Brewing. It will include yeast propagation tips and tricks, and kegging help among other things. It's for people who have brewed at least a few batches.
If you're interested in being the next call-in guest on the show or you'd like to come in and share a beer with us, email me here, or message me on +State of the Beer. The show's Facebook page is Beer with Strangers and we're "@beerwstrangers" on Twitter.
Finally, and please, consider subscribing on iTunes'cause that way Apple will remind you to listen (your iTunes window will open, don't be afraid).
If you are or know anyone who is interested in taking a brewing basics class (the class is free and lots of fun) have them reserve a space here. Taking a class is the best way to figure out whether homebrewing is for you. Many people take several before trying on their own at home.