With any luck, my bad attempt at a brewing-pun-title should suggest to the reader that I’m in a reflective mood. I started brewing beer at home a few years ago and as my general interest in beer has grown, so has my basic knowledge of brewing and my circle of friends and industry acquaintances. I’ve blogged about it before and it’s generally well-known that I am one of ‘those’ homebrewers who dream of a full-time job brewing beer. Last year I entered competitions and to my surprise won some of them. This part of homebrewing is fun and rewarding in many ways, but it isn’t what homebrewing is about to me. I’ve enjoyed competing and the five minutes of joy that go with winning, but the best thing to come out of these adventures to date, other than the beer and the friends, is an approach from a guy who wants to start a *brewing company (the Northern Monk Brew Co. I’ve tweeted about this a bit, but as yet the details we’ve released have been basic and this is down to the simple facts: starting a brewing company is not as straight forward as you might think….or should I say, as I thought it would be! I’m excited about my involvement in this company, not least because it’s going to give me the opportunity to learn to brew: I know how that reads, but it’s the truth and there is no point in pretending otherwise.
I know that I’m a novice, but we all have to start somehwere, right?; and I know that I can brew 5 gallons of beer and that the beer usually turns out alright. Putting the business of business to one side (thanks to a very committed business partner), I/we will face numerous challenges though ‘scaling up’; including ingredients/recipe considerations, yeast management, water treatment, not to mention getting to grips with a hefty brewing plant, and I know this will push me: the question is “how far?”. I have already been in touch with a couple of the friendly brewers out there (and there are plenty to choose from!) tentatively asking for advice, but always mindful of how this might come across. Plenty of brewers have uttered the words “we’re all learning”, but this is on a sliding scale of learning, a metaphorical sliding scale that at the moment I’m stood looking at, and one that I’ll soon be slipping and sliding all over.
In summary, my brain is busy with brewing related stuff. This series of blog posts will be my space to write it all down.
**All Grain (AG)