5 Things I’ve Learned from Weekly Brewing

As a long time Craft Beer enthusiast, I’m used to brewing up my own recipe whenever the mood strikes. I’ve never brewed on a schedule. However, because I’m teaching Avid’s basic brewing classes. I’ve crafted a new beer, and sometimes two, every week for the past few months.

All brewers know that perfecting your technique is something that happens over time and making liquid magic is far more art than science. But here are a few things I might not have uncovered on a less regimented and less public brewing schedule.

Brewing is Not Just for Dudes with Beards

When I decided to offer basic brewing classes, I figured I’d be sharing craft beer with guys interested in learning about one of their favorite beverages. I never expected the diverse audiences that have made our classes so much fun. Match.com has nothing on a brew class.

Temperature Matters

Avid is located in the downtown area of sunny St. Pete (apologies to our patrons up north) we don’t experience outside temps that can turn a carboy into a glass and ice sculpture. For us, when “winter” hits, it’s time to throw open the doors, put the tent up behind the shop and brew outside. I’ve made every brew outside since September. When your environment for brewing and storing is less controlled, it underscores the importance of staying on top of the temp for your brew. I can taste the fruity notes in beer that got too hot while I was busy explaining dry hopping over giggles from the match.com crowd.

More Brewing Equals More Cleaning

Seriously! Brewing is a good time. People want to hang out. Sometimes we don’t wrap up a night class until close to 10PM and then I still have to clean the brew pot and pick up the beer bottles. Nobody in the next class wants a gritty funk beer.

Beer Connects Us

One of my favorite things about craft beer is the way it brings people together. Craft beer fosters community. I see proof of this every week, when I start class with a group of 15 strangers and end just a few hours later with a new set of friends.

Names Matter

I brew something different in almost every class and I’ve noticed that the name I select for the beer, has a lot to do with the way the students connect to the experience. My favorite so far has been Downtown Brown but there are still plenty of classes left for me to teach and I’m sure plenty of things left for me to learn from them.