Beer Makes Me HOPPY

In my lifetime I’ve baked many cakes, made a ton of casseroles, prepared penne ala vodka for a crowd of 40 and served multiple-course, scratch-made, sit-down meals for more guests than my dining room table can realistically fit.

But never, did I ever think I would learn how to make beer.

When our friends Sarah and Mike Kochanski of Left Lane Brewing (you heard it here first!) were always talking about their latest accomplishment in home brewing, I admit I was quite impressed. Everything I tasted of theirs was unique and delicious and it was a totally cool conversation starter at social gatherings.

Having been on many brewery tours throughout the country with my hubby, and of course being married to someone who appreciates quality beer like a wino salivates over a bottle of (insert label of high end vino here), I was up for the challenge. I even admit, after watching Discovery Channel’s short lived series Brew Masters, owning our own brewery became an added notch on our dream belt.

So we marked the calendar, gathered at our friends Chris and Lauren’s house, and eight of us began our magical journey into beerdom. Each couple brewed their own batch from beginning to end.

The month-long process was very exciting and I have to say, quite successful. It was one of those things when family and friends who tasted our beer were seemingly prepared to tilt their heads and gracefully lie about our attempted science project, and then in between satisfying sips would not be able to stop talking about just how fantastic it really was.

I do credit my husband for being the brains behind our team’s operation, while I was there for the occasional stirring of the potion, to lend a hand with capping the bottles, and to play a large role in the tasting event. And of course, I contributed some delicious snacks to keep us all going.

The process broke down over 3 different occasions: Brewing day which was the most intense and lasted about 7 hours, Bottling day two weeks later, which was a bit less lengthy and allowed us to try the uncarbonated version of the brew, and Tasting day two weeks after that, which was effortless and fun.

Grab a pint glass, kick back and join me on my photo journey.


9 thoughts on “Beer Makes Me HOPPY

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  5. Jen, I had a boyfriend who was a brewer. He made really good beer and decent wine, but he also made a hard cider which tasted like slightly peachy champagne. It had the perfect fizz and a wonderful light flavor. Exceptionally refreshing. I miss that and his amazing pork dishes and sauerbraten. I am happy to share that recipe with you if you would like to try it. (Trade might be that you see if you could put together an octoberfest dinner recipe file…. Red cabbage, sauerbraten and spaetzle. Especially the spaetzle… I haven’t tried making it yet! I figure this is a good idea since it goes so well with fresh brew!)

    • Thanks for reading Sherri! Sounds delish! I will let you know if I can use that in the future and appreciate the offer. I love your idea for some Octoberfest recipes. I will put that on my list for fall!

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