Becoming a Craft Brewer in the Beer Renaissance


hello and thank you for tuning into what’s brewing with Augustine oh today I wanted to take a shift from some of our normal topics on the show up talking about craft beer craft food and craft coffee and the trials and tribulations of the opening and running a brewpub in the Beer Renaissance in a car brings us to our topic for today which is becoming a craft Brewer in the Beer Renaissance just wanted to take a step back and talk a little bit about what brought me from where I was to where I am now trying to open up a brewery location in the Wichita Kansas area and its kind of an interesting road probably similar to many other homebrew turned entrepreneurs in the craft beer industry I started in homebrewing when I was in college in 1998 started with a no boil can from a Smithsonian store that was at a nearby mall I thought it would be a great idea to make a beer instead of going and spending money on beer as it turns out I spent way way way more money over the years on the hobby of homebrewing than I ever would to spend just buying beer so that’s my first error in judgment but it was a good air to have made anyway I get home I set up this no boil Kit mix my ingredients mix my water I’m sure some of you all out there are already cringing at this the idea of doing this and I and it turned out Havel it was a terrible terrible mess the beer was really bad and in large measure I know to the that the reason why you boil your wort before you before you go on and do the finish out your beer is because in large measure the boiling is going to kill off a lot of the nasties the be a bacteria things like that that are in the water just naturally which normally is in a big deal but when you’re letting sit around and make beer becomes a big problem high choke that down as long as I could and and the finally dumped the rest so after graduation I moved down to Wichita Kansas and one of the first things I did when I got down here was I got a kit from what’s brewing here in town which is a homebrew store here in the city of Wichita and you like many home brewers I cooked up my beer on my stovetop and I you know I made improved but still not fantastic beer when things that as a homebrewer I always hated my wife hated it even more was the fact that the I would frequently boil over my beer and it just made a sticky awfulness on our stovetop and I’m lucky to still be married to my wife I so you know one of things that I learned from from that that experience was that there’s you really have to take care of your brewing process and the make sure that you boil and have quality you boil thoroughly and have quality control processes in place when you’re making beer whether it’s 5 gallons of the time or 500 gallons of the time I have a couple of crazy stories the hat I came along the way excellent a lot more than a couple of crazy stories but where did you stick with these two for right now first story is how Stout and light can carpet to not mix as it turns out and of course I learned this one the hard way at about midnight at the end of a bottling session and when you’re bottling especially if you’re doing it on a homebrew scale but even on a commercial scale the process of bottling beer can be a fairly messy process is a lot of spillway July the mess that goes all over the place and I can it can cause problems especially if you are not making sure that each bottle gets thoroughly wiped off after you have capped it so I’m balling off about a case or so of the of nice actually was quite nice Imperial Stout or a dry start I can’t remember which but I picked picked up the case that I just filled star walking across Dara we were in a rental at a time at the time to walk across her nice tan carpet and crash my new again this was at midnight 1 o’clock in the morning when this happened and we have Stout all across the floor there were only a couple bottles that actually survived which that in itself was a little bit of a of feet on our part and lead to a lot of cleanup and curse words as we finish that out so lesson I learned from that was always make sure that you put your hands underneath the case and never trust the quality of the manufacturing of your beer case another and and this one actually embarrasses me even more but I’m gonna talk about it to get some time to fill up in this podcast and other story that I had was I at the time got this wild idea I will say this was several years ago but had wild idea that I would at the time beyond, my wife was not as into beer as I I am that was and she kinda wanted something that was fruity so I had a big idea of making her a wine cooler problem is I didn’t know a whole lot about getting something completely fermented out and when you have all the sugars of fruit well it takes a long time to ferment so what basically took did was I took just frozen strawberry juice added yeast letter ferment out till I thought it was done till I didn’t really see any more activity and I just went ahead and bottled it and well when you bottle something and you have not been absolutely sure that it has fully fermented you get bottle bombs at two in the morning at the time we kept our beer in a closet in our bedroom just can on the floor well its conditioning and the at two in the morning I’m hearing pop pop pop Bjork is hearing it to and it turns out all of our bottles of wine cooler or what was in theory a wine cooler started breaking open and this was another about 2 AM event that we had a quick pull all of those bottles out and all open them all up and is so you probably imagine they were all what are oftentimes called gushers where what what happens with them as you take Off and all the CO2 is released out in kind of a gusher I usually it’s the result of someone bottling a beer too soon or adding too much conditioning sugar to the beer but the good news is through these crazy stories in these crazy developments to my homebrewing I’ve learned about creativity and innovation creativity and innovation is what I really makes the craft beer movement run and even through failure we learn a lot and we have it Augustine of brewing doubt we are looking forward to showing you more about in the coming weeks and years we have a something real special that the working lunch and if you’re a thinking about getting into a making craft beer homebrewing just make it happen get it to get out there and try it one thing that I will say is that craft beer is not for the faint of heart it’s hard work and there’s oftentimes a little glory you make mistakes even if you have done all of your research more research than than I did at the time you’re still gonna make mistakes as mistakes are frustrating especially early on but you know what there’s nothing like enjoying a fresh pint of your own craft so get out there make it happen have a great time and this is Augustine oh and now you know what’s brewing

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