Alcohol, open flame, high voltage and unlimited espresso, all laid down to a country music soundtrack. You can’t get this in Corporate America, folks. You know it’s a good party when it starts at 10 AM with somebody handing you a drink they claim is “a good morning beer” (probably in direct violation of some archaic North Carolina law like the one that prevents me from buying wine on my Sunday morning grocery shopping trips. Thank goodness we can finally, legally, buy decent craft beers here, and buy wine by mail, both recent developments), and somewhere over the course of the day you find yourself wondering what kind of insurance you have. Yes, indeed, our first Brew-In event was a success.
So what is Brew-In, you may ask? Well, it all started innocently enough like most good things do. Liking beer the way I do, but lacking the requisite talent to make it myself (or at least the time to learn), I asked my master brewer friend Jason if he would come over and christen our shop with a little brewing session. Why did I have that drain installed in the floor, after all? From there things started to snowball.
Jason suggested he invite a few other brewers. Heck yeah! And about that time, I encountered the Coffee In Action girls on the internet, and invited them to join us on their whirlwind sustainable coffee tour (imagine my relief when I confirmed they were over 21). Well, as long as we’re inviting people, I thought, may as well throw it open to everyone, right? I just started telling people… great beer, even better coffee, cool people, interesting conversation, in an unusual place. And a crock pot full of chili. Just stop by!
And come, they did. We probably had 50 people through over the course of the day, hearty souls who braved the unseasonably cold weather we experienced that weekend. Rosie the Roaster, our hugely eco-friendly system that causes us to burst with pride, sat quietly for the day because her fan motor is rather noisy right now and the replacement is on its way (long, sad story with my stupidity being the punchline). And she roasts too much coffee for small demonstrations. But our sample roaster (Sammy, don’t ask me where these names come from) performed admirably all day, and everybody who wanted to had a chance to be their own roastmaster. We roasted, we blended, we cupped, and then we did it over… and over, and over… again. Amazingly, I never get tired of this stuff.
The feedback I’ve gotten is that people were informed, entertained and fully caffeinated at the end of the day. In several weeks, the beer Jason brewed (a stout) will be ready for kegging. At that time, he’s going to give me some so I can turn it into a coffee stout. I was inspired by our recent trip to Kona, where I enjoyed the Pipeline Porter from the Kona Brewing Company. But I also like Terrapin’s Wake and Bake. I’m thinking the beer will suggest how I should finish it.
In the meantime, plans are beginning to form for Brew-In II. We’re thinking another Sunday in early Autumn. We’ll keep you posted! Meanwhile, I have lots of people who have interest in coming by for demos and custom blending, so I’m thinking about establishing some semi-regular times to do that, stay tuned.