Inheriting a basic brewing kit from an Uncle who brewed super pale beers in college, our first brewing adventures begin in the early 2000’s. After reading “How to brew” by John Palmer, we start with a blast! No weak-ass beers brewing here!
Our first beer is a “partial extract” english IPA, filled with Galena and East-kent goldings. It wasn’t bad at all. Absolutely not sublte nor balanced, but drinkable none the least. Then we jumped from style to style, never really repeating any recipe twice. We brewed an Imperial stout, Weizen, Cream of Wheat, Brown ale, Scotch ale, Dubbel …
Then around 2008… it all slows down. We moved around a bit… and our equipment is frugal at best, everything is fastidious… The cost of hops here begins to be unbearable and the bottle washing is just … yeah.
We never get rid of our equipment… but it gathers dust. We are not brewing anymore.
Our little group of friends meet almost every thursday. There is usually 6 of us. We cook some good food or order some good stuff in… and we sample some beers of course! We’ve always been beer fans, but our consumption of local micros had gone down in recent years. We were mostly drinking “St-Ambroise” by McAuslan, with a pit caribou once in a while.. then a dieu-du-ciel perhaps. Then it got to the point where we barely only drink from small local breweries.
After many … lubricated evenings talking about it… The desire to brew got the best of us. With 6 people the work is much easier, and the investment a lot lighter. Right off the bat we go full grain and build a kit to brew double batches (10gals) with the intention to build a mill and buy the grains by the pouch. We also gather some laboratory equipment from friends in microbiology and start our own Yeast Library. Those things combined enable us to brew in decent quantities with insurance of quality and for MUCH less than partial extract was costing us.
A lot of work and a little investment… and now brews that cost 69$ to do partial extract now cost us around 25$!!!! Oh yeah, we’re getting there!
We buy our firt kegs in the summer of 2013. What a year!