Never have I made my own beer. Much as I like the stuff, I generally rely on the expertise of those Belgian and German brewers for my personal pints. After all, they've been brewing it for hundreds of years, so should know a thing or two by now, right?
For those who'd like to try U-Brew, there is, however, a simpler option than turning you're basement into a chemist's lab of questionable results. Gallagher's in Edmonds offers the ingredients, the equipment, and the expertise to guide you in making your own beer. While I haven't yet tried my own hand at this, Michael and some other guys made their own brew at Gallagher's for our friend Ian's bachelor party, and last night it was finally time to bottle. And, since the official "bachelor party" was over, my status as a woman was no longer a reason to keep my distance.
Ian had chosen a stout for his personal brew. The barkeep (for lack of a better term; what do you call the staff at a U-Brew shop?) poured us each a sample, and everyone's first comment was unanimous.
"It tastes like coffee!"
Yes, it tasted like coffee. Beer... it's what's for breakfast.
"My wife said if the beer tasted like coffee she'd drink it," Ian said. "I thought there wasn't much chance of that, but..."
Well, we'll see if this coffee-beer meets Karin's requirements. In the meantime, the six of us at the brewery had a lot of bottles to fill. After having run them through the sanitizer, having already discarded the bottles with "fuzz" growing inside (coffee flavored beer: good; mold flavored beer: bad), we took turns with one person filling bottles directly from the tap while another capped the filled bottles. In the end, we had more than 100 bottles, including several 22 ouncers and a growler full.
The beer made us hungry for pizza, so we headed to Romio's for dinner once our project was over. But no more beer. We'd had our fill for the moment. Of course, Michael and I now have 22 bottles of home-brewed stout in a box in our kitchen. Anyone up for a cold one?