Beer...........It's What's for Dinner

Beer....It's what's for dinner.

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Oh wait, or was that Beef? Anyway, beer pertains to my subject so the title stays. While sitting here thinking about a blog topic for the day, I get a phone call from my neighbor, Troy. He asked to come and get the beer that he and my husband have been working on with their home beer making kit. It has been in our garage refrigerator for over a week. For several weeks before that, the beer underwent the fermenting process in a very large bucket in our pantry. Troy was fresh off of a "vacation" that involved a very long drive to Tennessee and back with his wife and toddler for a family reunion. After lodging in cramped quarters with too little room, too little bed, and too much time, I am not at all sure if "scientific" reasoning was behind the decision that it was "time to bottle the beer". It occurred to me, after he left, how much fun he and my husband had during this process. This was more like observing a month long chemistry lab experiment in my opinion, but I remained supportive. The "fun" may have been lost on me, but I could see with every step the excitement building for these two men. So, this is how I stumbled upon my topic today. It was right there before my eyes, the idea for a Beer Making/Tasting party!
So, I did a little digging about beer making. It led me to plenty of information involving organic beer and the many varieties available. To be honest, the reasons my husband had for making beer had very little to do with the environment, and everything to do with entertainment. But I just had to believe there was an environmental benefit to doing this somewhere. I then stumbled on an informative website, Seven Bridges Cooperative, that educated me in the area of organic brewing. For the beer connoisseur, the appeal of using organic malts and hops is that they contain no chemical residues to interfere with fermentation which allows for a cleaner brew, and better taste. As for the environmental impact, Seven Bridges explains,

If you brew with environmentally safe cleaners and sanitizers and practice water conservation, brewing your own beer at home is safer for the environment than industrial brewing. In addition to saving water and reducing pollution, energy is saved as the finished beer will not be trucked long distances, and the bottles used are usually reused from previous batches.

According to a source (my husband), you will spend about 4 hours on a batch of beer, including the time to cool the wort, pitch the yeast, and to get fermentation going. A majority of this time is downtime, as the old saying goes, "a watched pot never boils". I suggest setting up a tasting from a variety of beers from different regions. My brother-in-law, Keith, and husband used to call it "traveling around the world". If that alone does not occupy your guests adequately, Home Brewers Outpost offers (in addition to a potpourri of home brew kits, supplies, ingredients, and gadgets) BrewMaster, the craft beer game. (featured above) It's description states,

"No beer knowledge is necessary, as this is not a trivia or drinking game. Indeed it is the perfect game for settings involving beer and non-beer fans alike.
As brewers, beer fans and others have noted, the game captures the fun and excitement of brewing."
No beer knowledge is necessary, as this is not a trivia or drinking game. Indeed it is the perfect game for settings involving beer and non-beer fans alike."

So being that beer isn't actually "what's for dinner", don't forget the food! Enjoy!

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