Thursday, January 1, 2009

Welcome to OMG Beer!

Thanks for stopping, at OMG Beer, we take beer seriously. Why I said "we", I have no idea, I'm just one guy, saving my friends from my beer obsession by speaking to the internet. If you've read this far, you might perhaps be looking for a new opinion about beer or are just exploring the worlds of homebrewing and craft beer. I'll try not to disappoint.

There was no specific moment - at least, that I can remember - when the epiphany of beer came upon me and granted me the the wisdom of beer love. One moment I was, you could say, beer ignorant. The next, I was on some kind of slowly evolving path to beerlightenment. Perhaps, there was a sip of some mass-produced, thin, low on flavor, American lager, a Pabst Blue Ribbon or a Bud Light, and suddenly I was on this path. I remember no such sip.

Beer memories are sparse, perhaps that's just the nature of the product. The Mellow Mushroom in Atlanta, near Emory University where I attended college, had a Paulaner Hefeweizen pitcher night. My dad often had Michelob or Amstel Light in the fridge, and sometimes Heineken. I can remember a Beck's or two, as well. Somewhere, senior year perhaps, my group of friends and I discovered Sweetwater Brewing Company and Dogwood Brewing Company (RIP). My girlfriend Jennifer then introduced me to my first Belgian beers, Delirium Tremens and La Fin Du Monde, at Chicago's Map Room. The quest for new beers and new beer experiences had begun.

A few years later, circa 2007, and friends had become homebrewers and I knew it was just a matter of time before I made that leap myself. My first homebrewing experience occured at Bev Art Brewer and Winemaker Supply in Beverly, IL, on the outskirts of Chicago. A two-part class served as my entry into homebrewing, my intention being to have the people at Bev Art help me brew a Winter Wheat, inspired by Bell's Winter White (the final product tasted nothing like Bell's Winter White though). Though nothing like real homebrewing, the class taught me about the four main ingredients in beer, hops, grains, water, and the magical fungi, Yeast.

That was just under two years ago. I've made 15 beers since then, some of which are worth remaking, and others which are definitely worth forgetting about. My current homebrewing setup includes two 6 gallon buckets that I use as primary fermenters, a 6 gallon carboy and a 3 gallon carboy for secondary aging and dry hopping. One of the things I hope to fulfill with this blog is keeping more detailed notes on each homebrewing experience, in order to constantly improve my technique and skills. I typically brew recipes that use malt extract, specialty grains for flavors specific to a style of beer, hops, and of course, yeast. Occasionally I do what is called a partial mash, and use some base grains to try to get a fuller flavor.

This blog grew out of two loves, homebrewing and craft beer drinking. I'll post reviews of beers I've quaffed (good ones and bad ones), beer news links that are worth reading, brewery profiles, style reports, homebrewing recipes, and well, just about anything else I can think of that is beer-worthy. Occasionally I'll wonder off topic and rant.

All of this typing has made me thirsty, I think I'll have a beer.

P.S. Please feel free to point out any grammatical errors, html issues, or other maintenance stuff; I'm a rusty former creative writing major and well, the internets and their fancy new fangled computer coding are not within my small area of expertise.

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