Session #23: 2008, a year of beer

by Steph Weber - January 2nd, 2009
Categories: brew, fest, Session

session_logo_all_text_500This month’s Session topic (hosted by Beer and Firkins) is a New Year theme.

What will you miss about 2008 and what do you expect will excite you most in 2009 in the Beer World?

2008 was a big year for me. I finished my Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering, got married, started a new job, bought a house… lots of milestones.

It’s also been a big year for beer and brewing. For our wedding, Tim and I brewed six 5-gallon kegs of beer. Though our immediate family had been sampling our homebrews for quite some time, this was our first big debut as brewers to extended family and friends. We pulled it off with raging success, and we couldn’t have felt more encouraged about our aspirations to open a brewpub.

Months later, when friends of ours asked us to brew a keg for their big annual summer BBQ, we readily agreed. By this point, we had made the leap from extract brewing to all-grain (we started in May after almost two years of extract brewing). Once again, we were encouraged by the reactions from the party-goers. Non-beer-drinkers were digging our beer! We were really gaining confidence in our brewing.

So naturally, when we decided to have a housewarming party in our new home, we brewed five kegs of beer and created a house full of drunk and happy people. For Tim’s holiday party at work, we brought two cases of homebrews. Drunk and happy coworkers. We even converted a few Bud-Miller-Coors fans!

2008 also saw the completion of our kegerator. I can take no credit for it, minus some minor input I had with the design and the taps. This one was all Tim. We also managed to attain a conical fermenter this year, as well as all kinds of additional brewing equipment. (I’ll be going into the details of our new brewing set-up in a later post.)

We also attended a few killer fests this year. The first annual Savor was held in May. Here, we met Sam Calagione, Garrett Oliver, and *gasp* Charlie Papazian! July was the Royal Stumble, our very first one. We met oodles of great people, all brewers and beer enthusiasts.

But the ultimate was our first Great American Beer Festival in October. I’ve already gone on and on about this, so I won’t repeat myself. But anyone who’s attended GABF understands the absolute thrill we felt at this event.

So wow, a lot has happened for us this year in the World of Beer. I think what I’ll miss about 2008 is all the firsts. First debut as brewers, first all-grain brew, first kegerator/bar (knowing Tim, there will be more!), first beer fermented in the conical, first Savor, first Royal Stumble, first GABF. 2008 was an incredible and exciting year, and I will miss it dearly.

But the great thing is, none of these firsts will be lasts. In 2009, we’re just gonna keep on going. More brewing, more parties, more fests. So I suppose the thing that excites me the most about 2009 is continuing to do everything we did in 2008.

This past year, we brewed 155 gallons of beer. Our New Year’s resolution: to reach (*ahem* surpass) the legal limit of 200 gallons. We’ve got 5 gallons under our belts so far. Looks like we’ve got work to do!

2 Responses to Session #23: 2008, a year of beer

  1. Wow! Sounds like a great year!

    Good luck on all the brewing next year.
    One thing that hosting The Session did for me was give me a chance to read all these new (to me) beer blogs! I’m glad I found yours!

  2. hope that you guys get to 200!!! thanks for all of the info. i hope to start brewing in 2009. love your blog. good luck in 2009!!!!!