Wow! What a complete and utter surprise! I was shocked about being asked to be Brewer of the Month. I feel there are so many others that are way more deserving than I am. It's a great honor to join the ranks of BOM and one that I'll cherish.
My name is Steve Haner, but most of you know me as K9Dude. I was born and raised in Afton Iowa, a small rural town in southwest Iowa. Shortly after High School I left for the Air Force. I served as a K9 handler working with both drug and bomb detection. I was stationed in Colorado Springs, CO, Osan AB, Korea, Vandenberg AFB, CA and Nellis AFB, NV. I finished with the Air Force in Las Vegas and have lived here for 14 years. Currently I work for the Southern Nevada Health District as Security. I've been married to my wonderful wife Bonnie for 11 years and we have a daughter and a son. I also have 2 daughters from my previous marriage and one grandson.
I originally bought a Mr.Beer® Kit at the BX in 1994. Back then there was no booster and the instructions said to add sugar to boost ABV. Being new to brewing and there being no such thing as a BORG to help, I made a Pale Ale with extra sugar, because who doesn't want more ABV? The directions said to ferment for a week (didn't know about hydrometers), bottle condition for a week and you would have beer. Needless to say it turned out tasting like a really sweet bad champagne thing. I also tried a making a stout but it met with the same results. Discouraged I blamed the kit as the problem and threw it away.
Fast forward to 2010 when I started watching a show about Dogfish Head's owner Sam Calagione. I loved his contagious attitude towards Craft Beer and coming up with beers that had never been tried before. This sparked something inside of me and I started looking around on the internet for home brewing kits. I found out that Mr.Beer® was still in business and that they had completely revamped their brewing kits and mixes. I also found the BORG and realized that you can make great beer with Mr.Beer® it just takes a little more time and patience. So for my birthday in May 2011 my wife bought me a Mr.Beer® kit and away I went. Before I knew it I was steeping, partial mashing and even making all grain brews, but always keeping those Mr.Beer® recipes in the rotation. I thank all of those that are on the BORG that have helped me directly and indirectly to make a better brew. I honestly would have never got back into brewing if not for all the great people that make up the BORG along with the awesome pro's that are always there for you at Mr.Beer®.
My favorite beer is anything stout. That goes for Mr.Beer® recipes, commercial brews and "other" home brew recipes. I always have a stout of some kind in my pipeline. During the summer I do like a nice Hefeweisen, but drink my stouts year around as well. Although I will say that Home brewing has broadened my awareness for other types of beer and I'm gaining appreciation for something other than a stout!
I would most like to share a beer with all the people that have been there for me throughout my life. I've been blessed with having a lot of people that care about me and my family through the years and would like to toast all of them.