Monday, July 23, 2012

This One's For the Girls

This week I have a guest post from my own wife, Beth.

Well hello there!  I'm the "other half" of Pants Monkey Brewing so to speak - as I'm the wife of the brewer!  Anyway, I'm writing this post for the girls today.  So guys, if you're having a hard time convincing your wife/girlfriend/significant other that homebrewing is a good idea, have them read this post.  Or any ladies lurking on their own, maybe you're interested in brewing but were too shy to say anything, this post is for you too.

So, why do I love homebrew?  First off, it helps that I love beer.  I didn't always love beer though.  It took me a number of years after turning the legal drinking age before I really had a taste for it.  I blame that on the fact that on my 21st birthday I was force fed beer to get to bring home a free mug and yeah, that turned me off of it for quite a while.  Flash forward a few years and my husband, the author of this blog, kept saying how good beer was with pizza or hamburgers and I decided, I really want to try to like beer.  I started with something simple, Leinenkugel's Apple seasonal from that winter, since it was more like cider and worked up from there.

Gradually, we found ourselves into the craft beer scene more and more and then hubby inherted some brewing equipment and said he wanted to try making his own beer, so I said sure, why not?  At the time he was out of work and needed something to occupy his time and I figured, if we make our own beer maybe we'll save money by not having to buy beer as much.

Now, I will have to be honest with you, homebrew is not necessarily always cheaper.  And there can be a lot of cost up front - but over some time it will start to pay for itself the more you get into it.  I will admit, I was more willing to let him start brewing because we did inherit so much of the start up equipment.  But, I also was rather intregued by the concept of being able to make our own beer from scratch.  I love DIY.  I'm not good at most DIY, but this one just seemed do-able.

So that was four years ago and our love of homebrew and beer in general has just grown more and more. The craft beer scene here in MN has exploded in the last probably two years or so and that has just fueled our fire for homebrew.  We see what these awesome local breweries are doing and we want to try it ourselves!  For Christmas two years ago I gifted my husband tickets to Winterfest, a giant craft beer event in St. Paul, MN.  We had a blast trying different beers and I was inspired to create my own recipe after attending!  You heard me right - I actually created a recipe and did the work to make my own Cherry Wheat beer.  My husband likes to crudely call it "Beth's Poppin Her Cherry Wheat Beer" since it was my very first time making everything from start to finish.  He's naughty like that though.

Another reason I love homebrew is I love to throw parties - I'm the quintessential Monica from "Friends", I love being the hostess.  Having a bar with seven kegs now gives me an excuse to throw one hell of a big party in the fall for Oktoberfest.  I love this annual event, we invite our friends, family and co-workers and it's a blast.  It wouldn't happen without homebrew!

Finally, the biggest reason I support my husband's homebrew hobby and why I love it - it's something we enjoy and can do together.  I love sitting out on the deck with him on brew day, I like drinking the beer together and discussing the way it tastes, I even like going to the homebrew supply store and helping pick out the next kit.  And homebrewing makes him insanely happy.  He is adorable when he talks to people about it, his face lights up and it just makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.  I'm probably embarassing him and getting all mushy, but seriously, we've had some stressful times in the last few years between work, family drama and other things, but homebrew is something that relaxes us and kind of makes those problems go away.  It is such a wonderful part of our life as a married couple.

So, ladies, I don't know if I did a good job to convince you or not, but I really do think you should give it a try.  It's satisfying and fun and your husband/boyfriend/significant other will love you for it.  If nothing else, tell them that if you let them do this, they have to buy you something pretty in exchange!  I'm teasing.  If you are seriously interested in beer or trying homebrew yourself, there are a couple of organizations geared towards women you should check out.  Barley's Angels is a beer group that meets at a bar/pub to sample and learn about beers, usually on a monthly basis.  I haven't made it to the local chapter meetings here in MN yet, but they are a very active group and it looks like they have a ton of fun.  I have had the chance to participate in another local Minneapolis women's group though - Bitches Brew Crew, they meet monthly to brew a batch of beer from start to finish.  I don't doubt there are other groups like that in other places too, check or Facebook, you never know what you might find!

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