It began with a series of emails:
Rihanna > Me, Jan 27, 1:38PM: It’s totally last minute and I didn’t ask before because you’re still a vegan, but Roby and I are taking a home brewing class on Thursday night in Brooklyn at Bitter and Esters. Having dinner at Marco’s after at 9. Interested in one or both?
Rihanna > Me, Jan 27, 2:03PM: Oh crap. It’s sold out now. I swear it was open this morning.
Rihanna > Me, Jan 27, 2:36PM: So I was like “Hey I’m throwing a great party, you should come!”
And you’re like “Awesome!”
And then I’m all “Oh never mind you’re not invited anymore.”
Me > Rihanna, Jan 2:37PM: And I’d already called two babysitters, canceled plans with a secondary friend, and started searching on Piperlime for an appropriate “brewing dinner” outfit.
A few lucky cancelations later, Rodney, Roby, Rihanna and I found ourselves speeding towards Brooklyn’s Bitter & Esters to take our highly-anticipated brewing class. As one might expect, it involved learning a foreign language and guzzling beer, two activities that shouldn’t co-exist.
After our class, the Bitter & Esters team offered a discount on supplies, which we readily accepted. Masquerading as a professional brewer in his plaid shirt and trucker cap, Roby investigated our hops options, while I took some tipsy pictures of the frightening display of powders, tools and tubing that we’d need to bring our beer to life.
We set a date for a few weeks out, and so began the process: a boiling vat of water for the adults…. And a decoy cookie platter for the kids…
With the kids distracted, we carefully followed our multi-paged 10-point font brewing instructions. Holy mother of ale, why didn’t we pay more attention during the workshop? Instead we drank and laughed through our session like a bunch of know-it-alls. Guess who was laughing now? That’s right…all of the intelligent bearded people who were now brewing Brooklyn’s next Sixpoint Ale.
And so it went for the next few hours. Us questioning ourselves, our process, and our reason for being. Our kids were happy to take advantage of the situation, reducing the cookies to rubble, and the playroom next.
At last it was time to store the beer in the bathtub and let it work its magic for a few weeks.
Since the beer was brewing at Roby & Rihanna’s, we got periodic updates and video footage of our container bubbling away. We would actually give birth to our very own beer.
We were in a great frame of mind for our bottling party. In festive cocktail attire for a friend’s birthday party that evening, we conditioned and bottled.
Roby, newly confident in his abilities as a brewmaster pulled off a double-duty drinking and bottling stunt. The crowd cheered.
Not to be outdone, Rodney attached a pair of fairy wings and while kicking his legs and fluttering his wings, capped each beer from mid-air.
Energized, we made our way to the birthday party. There, we clinked glasses, swigged beer, nibbled on Pimento cheese, and ate burgers for dessert. Life was grand!
We paid a price the next day when our kids reminded us that we’re not in our mid-20s anymore.
A week after bottling we were itching to taste the results. The universe provided us with a splendid Saturday, and after a full week of post-hangover recovery, we were ready for some more beer.
With bottles labeled (called “Westside” perhaps coming to a store near you?), and glasses frosted, we popped the celebratory first cap.
We took our first sips…
The result? Not only had we not made something that would be poured down the drain, but it was shockingly good. Maybe this will be coming to a store near you after all…dare to dream friends, dare to dream.
The roof deck seemed like a fitting place to enjoy our first case, particularly given the unseasonably warm day.
Our beer stood proud.
As usual, the kids were left to their own devices, which that afternoon meant disassembling and reassembling the trash can.
But we did it, we climbed Everest and we lived to tell the tale. Our beer was a success, and we’re still alive one week later to prove it.
Cheers to a great week everyone.
My husband is about to launch into beer making. Seems overwhelming to me!
It is, it’s a little confusing at first but he’ll get the hang of it, good luck!
So cool and congrats! It sounded like too much work, but a lot of fun later. You have such a funny way of putting things. Thanks for sharing!
There is nothing like home brew…nothing! For many a year also, father was the family ‘vintner’ with some worthwhile results. (Uh oh, should I have mentioned that??? &*) YAM xx
Hari OM Yamini, I love that your dad made his own wine, maybe that’s next on our agenda 😉
That is a lot of work but good on ya for doing it it looked definitely worth it, in farct eye arm gerring drunk just looring at the pircs …hic
The alcohol content was pretty high, watch out for that screen 😉
Haha, love the texts! “Oh, never mind. You’re not invited anymore…” Congrats on the beer. I’ve always wanted to do that!
Give it a try someday, worth the effort!
Looks like a lot of work. But I bet it makes it even more delicious to enjoy.
Wow… that is awesome, congrats …
That’s super cool you get to make your own beer. Must taste extra good!!
My husband and I did a brewing class in December and ended up with SIX cases of beer. Way more than we would ever drink.
Gifts! Hopefully it was tasty enough for that….I’d be psyched if someone gave me some home brew, as long as it didn’t taste skunky 😉
Really cool. Congratulations. Love the photo of the guys enjoying the brew and the kids enjoying the trash cans.
That looks like a lot of fun! I would love to brew my own beer someday.
Awesome! What a great thing to do with friends – cheers!
Thanks ML, so much fun! xox
Never made beer, only rootbeer, my sons have, will never be able to climb Mount Everest, what a challenge, congratulations on your accomplishments. The kids are cute with the garbage cans. Enjoy your day!
Thanks so much Karren, root beer is pretty fantastic too 😉
Our neighbors do that. How fun!
I hope that you’re raiding their closets for their extra beer supply 😉
That’s great!! Glad your beer was a success. I enjoyed your photos. My husband discovered a new beer over the weekend called “Wicked Pissa”. He gave it thumbs up. lol
A light beer I’m guessing? 😉 Sounds like a good one, love the name…
woah that’s fantastic!! here’s to more home brew for you 😉
That’s great!! Glad your beer was a success. I enjoyed your photos. My husband discovered a new beer over the weekend called “Wicked Pissa”. He gave it thumbs up. lol We’ve never brewed our own, but I think it would be fun.
Well done 🙂 It’s so satisfying when you make something you think is difficult and it turns out!
Absolutely, glad the hard work was worth the effort!
How did the kids like the beer? Did they sleep better after being left on their own to get into it?
The kids loved the beer 😉 They asked for it at breakfast the next morning…
What fun! My Ogre makes beer on a much smaller scale, using Mr. Beer Kit.
Ugg beer! I’m a wine gal myself! I remember years ago my uncle use to make beer and would make root beer for the kids. It was hideous. But it was in beer bottles so we totally drank it.
How neat! That’s awesome that it turned out great!
I’m impressed — it looks like real beer and all!
I think that’s what amazed me most- that it actually looked like beer coming out of the bottle, with real head and real bubbles. So much fun…thanks for stopping by this week.
great pictures & a fun date night
my husband used to have all the equipment and made batches of beer and some hard cider too. we moved and don’t have room for it right now. he still wants to someday again though.
Thanks for sharing – hope you can make some more beer soon….
That is so cool! I’ve read about a few people brewing their own beer. Congrats on it coming out great, I love the deep color of it. It definitely looks delicious. 🙂
Wow – that’s so cool! I think my husband would want to try that one day!
Hard work pays off. 🙂 And it looks like an awesomely sunny day in that last picture (we could use some of that weather here!).
Visiting today from Secondary Rds.
That has to be the coolest thing ever. What a clever post. That looks like a lot of fun. I think I need to look into it myself.
Thanks Lydia, definitely look into home brewing if you’re a beer fan…gives you insight into the process and you’ll appreciate your beer so much more!
This is amazing! I don’t personally drink beer, but I’d love to make it for my boyfriend!
It’s a lot of work, but so worth the effort. You should do it with some friends- makes the whole process a little easier and more fun…