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Every year, thousands of new folks are introduced to the wonderful world of homebrewing through the magic of a shiny new Mr.Beer Kit. If you count yourself among those lucky suckers, you've come to the right place. You've just arrived at Mr.Beer's Community site -- a place where you can belly up to the bar (in a virtual sense), chat with like-minded individuals and get the straight-dope on this new hobby/obsession.
So what's this "Community" all about? In the Discussion Forum you'll find a whole mess of guys and gals who have been there before...
First, let me say thank you for considering me for Brewer of the Month; I consider this quite an honor. I began brewing a few years back thinking, as a Lutheran (LCMS) Pastor, perhaps I can brew beer in the style of the Reformer, Martin Luther’s wife, who, I understand, was the one who brewed the beer that brought people to Wittenburg (fact not checked!). Interestingly enough, when I was young I never understood real beer flavor, simply purchasing and consuming cheap, light beer. As I began brewing my own beer and understanding the richness of the deep dark flavors, I have a hard time accepting a friend’s offer to drink something that I can see through.
I have been brewing for twelve or more years, as I have lost track. When I first started, I worked to bring together different hopped and unhopped malts for my own distinct brew. Now that Mr. Beer has changed the old styles, I am returning to my experimental days of trying various hopped and unhopped malts for my own brew.
Usually at the first of the year I brew one or two special brews that I keep on the shelf until Christmas. Every year at Christmas my wife and I have an open house for our congregation members where I offer samples of my home brew beer.
My favorite beer has been my own variation of the Defibrillator Dopplebock.
As for sharing my brews, there are a couple other pastors in my circuit (area of local Lutheran LCMS) of pastors who were encouraged by my brewing and now also home brew, so we have begun a once-a-year sharing of the brews and sharing at other times as well. Along with sharing at my open house and with other brother pastors, I like to share with family, friends and anyone else who enjoys a good, full bodied beer (no wimpy lite stuff for me).
Tell us a little bit about you:
I am an archaeologist by trade and that’s the reason for the Time Traveler moniker. I have conducted or participated in excavations of sites in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Indiana and Illinois in the United States as well as in the countries of Peru and Jordan. I worked at Meadowcroft Rock Shelter, located near the town of Avella in Western Pennsylvania, when I was in graduate school. Meadowcroft is one of the oldest dated sites in the United States with cultural materials dating back to 16,000 years ago. Meadowcroft Rockshelter is a National Historic Landmark and is a site that the public can visit.
I live in Metairie, La just west of New Orleans, was born in New Orleans, am 54 years old and have no plans to ever leave. Nothing beats our weather, food and fun year around. I own my own business, a very small, promotions and awards company, Jack Petty Marketing & Promotions. I’ve been married for 28 years, have a son and a cat and a dog and keep as busy as possible by exercising 4-5 days a week and playing music and enjoying beers with friends and fellow home brewers. My twin and our friends get together every Wednesday night for good food and to share our home brews as well as craft beers and play music. I play guitar, was in a band for many years when younger, and am limping my way along to teach myself to play the banjo and mandolin (just for fun).
How long have you been brewing?
I started brewing in college while still living at home and continued brewing for a while after I got married. The oldies in our hobby may remember how few choices we had in the 80’s and 90’s but we just enjoyed making our own. Just about the time I started doing all grain, I stopped to have a life, a child and move into a new home, fully wanting to continue brewing later. I did have a Mr. Beer kit in the mid 90’s but had a home renovation and stopped again. Fast forward 20 or so years and a friend got a Mr. Beer kit as a gift and made an awesome beer, Junkyard Dog I believe. I was blown away and the embers were ignited and I knew I had to start again. So, I got a few more Mr. Beer kits (3 LBK’s now) and haven’t looked back.
I brew everything from extract to all grain (BIAB) and have a kegerator that holds 3 corny kegs that I work hard to keep full.
Today I have 1 LBK of Diablo with added hops, 1 LBK of St. Patrick Stout and 1 5 gallon fermenter of a RyePA.
What is your favorite beer?
Who can really have only 1? But I love Racer 5 (we can’t get it here), Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA, Green Flash West Coast IPA and Palate Wrecker and some local beers, especially, Mechahopzilla from NOLA Brewery.
Who would you most like to share a beer with?
If it were possible, I’d love to share a beer with my dad who died when he was only 66. He was not a big beer drinker, but, I remember when my twin and I were young and helped him cut the grass. When finished, he’d grab a Regal Beer (long gone local beer) and we’d fight for a very small taste. He left us way too early and there was still much life experiences we could have shared.
I, like many home brewers, would love to have my own brewery. Of course, that isn’t always possible so a small pub with the ability to brew my own beer in small amounts for others to enjoy, with local food and music would be great.
However, since not all dreams come true, my suggestion to new home brewers would be to start simple, have some patience, ask questions, join a local home brew club and read and learn all you can. Patience is the hardest part for new brewers. Once you feel comfortable and have some beers under your belt, and you decide if this hobby is one you want to continue, start buying some equipment to make your hobby more enjoyable such as a larger brew pot, auto siphon, and maybe some kegging equipment. This is a hobby that is an obsession and one you can share as well as affordable.