Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Beer Blog Beginnings

Brew tidings to you,

I am the other part of this team. This is my first time combining beer with tech, but with all the pixels out there, why not use them to record my journey with beer? Like Stass, I grew up in the Hunter Valley in NSW. After running the gauntlet of easily attainable beers (damn you highly distributed bad beers), found a standard in Tooheys Old which seemed to meet my style. I could have forever stayed on this beer and never explored any further, but then St Patrick's Day in 1999, I tried my first Guinness, and after the mainly watery aussies beer, this beer opened my eyes (and tastebuds) to the potential of Beer, and my desire to try out as many as I could in the time I have left on this earth. My alter ego Guinness Man was therefore born on this day, and led me to travel to Ireland in 2008 to 'sample' Guinness all over it. In between and since, i have enjoyed finding and trying many different beers, of course with a focus on ales, and darker ales in particular. However, as may friends and family will attest, I'll try any beer once. As Michel De Montaigne wrote back in the 1580's "to be a good drinker you must not have too tender a palate...we ought to refuse no opportunity for a drink; we ought always to have the desire for one in our heads". This I have translated into my rule of 'if it is free and has alcohol in it, I will not refuse it'.
In 2006, I found myself among a group of men with the equipment to brew beer, and after trying to brew a fair spectrum of beers from the can, we are now at a stage of experimenting with cans to bring other flavours, or boost more of the flavors we like. Yes, we have the potential to go much further by brewing from scratch, but so far we have found this meets out desires, with the amount of effort and space we have to use towards it.
More recently, I travelled to the USA at the start of 2009, stopping at Portland (no doubt) and my mind was opened again by a brewery called Rogue's and their beer called 'Chocolate Stout'. This was drunk with a Chocolate Truffle. I am unable to explain my reaction, except to say it was much in the positive, and has led us now to try brew an equivalent. We have a week and a half from today til it is ready to taste and am in deep anticipation, even though I will not be too concerned if it doesn't come off as I want, as we can always learn and try again. It is basically a Chocolate Porter can in which we have added lactose brewing sugar, 600 grams of cocoa powder and vanilla beans. Yes, it is basically a beer chocolate milkshake (Lister from 'Red Dwarf' would be proud).
Therefore, my tastes lie in malt and darker malts that create a quite 'chewy' ale. We now feel it is time that we started putting down our thoughts on beer and brewing for ourselves, and anyone else interested. If you have read this far, you may well be.
I look forward to recording my continued experiences with beer here, as I hope you may be interested in going with this beer journey with us.


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