Thursday, January 3, 2013

Welcome to Mount Breithaupt Brewery

I can pick a point at Belmont Village (in Kitchener, Ontario) and draw a straight line to the northeast. This imaginary line passes through a quiet neighbourhood, a hospital, and then a cemetery. If that progression has any significance, then the endpoint of that line (a small, nondescript brick house amongst mature Norway maples)... well, that must make that heaven, mustn't it?

This is the home of Mount Breithaupt Brewery, a grandiose name for my humble hobby, named for the Mount Hope/Breithaupt neighbourhood in which it resides. I'm Chris, the so-called "master brewer", and I've been creating homebrew beers since that fateful sunny day on the deck, in the spring of 2008, when I looked to my lovely partner Erin and emphatically stated "I... want to brew beer."

I took a slow and steady approach to learning to brew beer, starting with no-boil kits, progressing gradually into extract brewing and steeping grains, finally making the leap to all-grain brewing-- the "real deal"-- in 2010.

I've even become a grower of hops, and have learned the joy (and hard work!) of growing, picking, drying and brewing with backyard homegrown hops.

Over the last year, I've started to explore some more advanced techniques and refinements with my sometimes brewing partner Andrew-- whom I originally helped bootstrap into homebrewing, but who shows an inventiveness, inquisitiveness and (dare I say) nerdiness about brewing that complements my process conservatism and pragmatism well. I've enjoyed brewing with him as he challenges me to learn more, and I hope to drag him onto this blog.

I'm hoping 2013 can be a year of renewal and further learning here at the brewery. Erin has been kind enough to give my hobby a brand, she has given me a presence in Untappd and Facebook and Twitter and of course this blog. She has given me a voice, and now all I have to do is use it.

And I think I've got a good backlog of things to share. There's how to get into homebrewing to begin with (something I've shared with a number of people). There is technique, lessons learned, beers brewed (including recipes!), tips on everything from where to source ingredients to how to shade your deck while growing beer ingredients to what to do when fruit flies get into your fermenter. (Bottle it and hope. I'm drinking it right now, it doesn't taste quite right to me but people seem to like it. And it was only one fly.)

Thanks for dropping by, and I hope you'll follow along. Maybe we can have a beer or two sometime.

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