I drink beer. Have for a long time. But I've never tried brewing it. That is until this past weekend when Blondie and I visited Hopsters in Newton. The idea of brewing my own beer has been kicking around in my head for awhile now. But as with any true North Ender, Blondie and I just don't have the room for the equipment. Hopsters provided a perfect alternative. I used their equipment to make my beer, all while sipping on their beer, and never had to worry about the clean up.
Hopsters is a small, cute brew pub that has ten nano size brew tanks placed right in the middle of the bar, which surprised me. I thought we'd be off in the back brewing, but smart of Hopsters to put the tanks where everyone can see and inquire about brewing their own.
Now, I should tell you about the cost before going any further. The brewing costs between $180 and $230 depending on the style of beer you choose, plus tip to the staffer helping you brew, plus all the fine Hopsters food and beverage you partake in over the 2 hour event. Not one of the cheaper nights, but you do end up with about 3 cases of beer and the price is the same for up to a group of up to 4. So if you and a couple of friends chip in, it is not as expensive as it sounds.
Back to the brewing... After going through the book of options, Blondie and I decided to make the Irish Red Ale. Why? Well first off, between the two camps of I LOVE HOPS and the EH, I'M NOT A BIG FAN OF HOPS, I tend to fall into the latter camp (side note, that's the first time I ever successfully used 'the latter' in a sentence). I enjoy Celtic Reds as a whole. Plus, we are planning on bringing this beer to my family reunion in June. I wanted a beer that would be appealing to everyone in a large group. It seemed like the Irish Red Ale was the safest bet to get some flavor but also appeal to the general drinking public.
The brewing process itself was none too complicated. Our brewmaster, Dan, helped us measure out some grains, steep them in water, add some malt and a touch of hops, stir it all together, let it boil for an hour, add a lil more hops for flavor at the end, and then, voila, Blondie and I successfully brewed our first ever batch of beer. Dan assured us that with more complicated beers there are more steps to the process. But since our Irish Red Ale was pretty straight forward, the steps were limited.
Blondie and I now have to wait patiently for two weeks while our beer ferments. We then get to return and bottle the beer ourselves with a custom made Boston Crawling label. The questions I have for you, my faithful reader, is what should we name our Irish Red Ale? If your name is chosen, you'll win a six-pack of our beer. But be forewarned, Blondie has already suggested the name Midnight Ride. So that is where the bar is set.