The Audacity of Beer

Puny beer for the inauguration

Puny beer for the inauguration

By Kay Steiger

Via IFA friend Catherine Andrews, the Washingtonian has a story on a beer made special for the inauguration by Mt. Pleasant homebrewer Sam Chapple-Sokol. (OMG, Sam, some of the IFAers live in your neighborhood!) In short, this is kind of awesome. I’ve always wanted to see the actual brewing process of beer and if I had infinitely more time and ambition I would give it a try myself. It seems that if you email Sam he’ll share some of his beer with you. Well, here’s hoping that blogging about it will bump us to the top of the list.


6 responses to “The Audacity of Beer

  1. It’s not that hard, actually. :)
    Less than $100 startup cost for the basics, and an afternoon of brewing.

    Also, you’re a blogger and stuff. Give a shout out to the DC Homebrewing community, and I bet they’d invite you out to a group brew, where you could see everything close-up.

  2. One place is the Shenandoah Brewing Company, which is a brew-on premise: Why drink anyone else’s beer when you can brew your own? They also supply the labels for your beer bottles.

    SBC is located on South Pickett St. in Alexandria, near the intersection of S. Van Dorn St. and South Pickett. You can get there from the Beltway, I-395 and Duke Street.

  3. @Radar I would totally take the DC Homebrewing community up on that!

  4. I’d heartily second what Radar said about getting together with a homebrew club — even the non-bloggers out there will generally get a very friendly reception from anyone who brews if they express interest in learning. Hell, just stop by your local homebrew shop, and the proprietor should be able to point you in the right direction.

    Brewing truly is dead easy. You have to be pretty anal about sanitation if you want to be sure not to spoil your beer, but if you start from a kit, you can be brewing for under $100, easily. The problem is that it doesn’t stop there… sure, you can get by on your stove top, but don’t you really secretly want the 165,000 BTU propane burner, and a bigger kettle so you can brew directly from grain instead of extracts? And why only make 5-gallon batches, when a half-barrel isn’t that much more work and you get 3 times as much product? Well, once you start making half-barrel batches, that’s way too many bottles to be bothered washing, so you have to put together a kegging system… and that’s not even counting the cost of all the grain you go through when you start brewing regularly, travel to competitions, and the like. I started brewing about 3 years ago, and let me tell you, it gets addicting in a hurry. Oh yeah, and there’s the yeast handling equipment too, but most of that’s homemade.

    So yeah, $100 will get you started, but be forewarned: if you’re anything like me, $100 is not where it will stop. Not even close.

  5. shhh. Don’t tell them that up front! :)

    And, yeah, I didn’t mean to push the blogger aspect. Homebrewers in clubs tend to be pretty friendly.

  6. Can’t help homebrewers much, but if you like craft, imports or even the simple American pilsners, “Does My BUTT Look BIG In This BEER? Nutritional Values Of 2,000 Worldwide Beers” is ready with the calories, carbs, alcohol by volume and Weight Watchers POINTS of your favorite commerical beers.

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