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.