Come one and come all into the merriment of our brewing log…
Ale. This brew of hop and malt, this time laden gift to man and woman. A beverage of immeasurable taste and complexity. This libation of historicity; provenance ebbs through its very being and flows from vessel to vessel to body, connecting humankind to its ancestry. This dark foreboding brew is the supp I have supped since the delight of alcohol first graced my lips, its anti-lager-establishment feeding into the firmament of my being whilst directly linking me to the generations of my past. Hipsters and scenesters, you have claimed this as your own but for this you shall be forgiven; your image conscious choice may be for the wrong reasons, but you have brought with you a surge in new brewers intent on bringing something beautiful into the fray.
But, oh blogosphere, the supp is not enough… Now is the time to push the notion of the microcosmic brew and lay claim to a history of our own…. Too wanky???
Ok, well, what i mean to say is this; Bifur and I have dipped our toes (not literally, we aint Steve digiorgio) into the world of ale brewing.
We’ve wanted to brew some ale for a very long time; why? Well, I have extremely fond memories of my esteemed father, Mr Espressoshield II, brewing ale in our homestead.
It was a heady brew, created on the back of a hopped kit, like this one. I was impressed. Beer seemed to me to be something you could only purchase; witnessing it’s reclamation by the hands of a normal individual using a normal kitchen was special. Something that elevated us to the level of gods! (am I getting carried away again?)
I knew, the little lad I was, that when I was older I too would need to walk the path of the brewer…
But, I knew, I would want more. I needed to relinquish the shackles of a pre-determined brew and embrace the rawness of choice. I needed to cast aside the pre-hopped syrups in favour of a brew I chose. A brew in which I witnessed the gentle lilt of hop glide through the thickened slug of water and malt…
But it has not been able to come to be, for neither big nor myself. living in small flats in the municipality of Londinium alongside women folk not particularly fond of ale, nor its smell, has never allowed this to happen. The space, the equipment, the 40 odd pints fermenting and belching their odours into a teeny kitchen… Couple this with a work life schedule and… You get the drift.
That is, of course, until now. This past weekend we fired up the stove and set to work on a scaled down brew…
We had been inspired to tame the ale in such a way by Bifur’s recent wrangling with small scale hedgerow brewing. With relatively low amounts of time and an arsenal of cobbled together equipment he has been churning out some favourable country wines, and has even smashed out a mead that has slipped down a treat. Could we not bring this diy ethic to ale? Could we not scale down to enable us to keep spending down, diminish potential for loss and, most importantly, appease our ale sensitive ladies (strike through that line) keep space taken and smells emitted to a minimum?
Friends, there was only one way to answer these questions; the odyssey has begun. The brewing odyssey. The, brew-dyssey… We hope to succeed in our renegade adventures and, even if we scale up, we hope to do something that’s accessible. We hope that this is brewing for the everyman…
Stay tuned over the next few days and weeks for details of our first brew. From recipe, through fermentation, bottling and, eventually, tasting. We’ve already got a name which we shall unveil when we get this thing bottled. Excited? We are
A note from Bifur – I’ve been brewing for a few years now, but as Dwalin has already pointed out I have resolutely stuck to hedgerow creations. ~Over my brewing career I’ve created such delights as Blackberry wine, Raspberry wine and Mead. All of which have met with approval from my peers (honest appoval I hope and not my dear friends just humoring me…)
Why do this? I hear you ask. Because its so satisfying to make alcoholic drinks! Lets face it, I love drinking and I’m poor so to be able to create shit that gets me drunk for little or no money is awesome!
I’ve never ventured into the wide world of beer brewing however and I gotta say I’m a little intimidated. This shit seems to be one or two steps up in the complexity stakes but Dwalin has persuaded me that we should try (mostly when we’re drunk I’ve noticed and to be fair there is little I wont agree to try when I’ve had a few…)