Hydroponic Age

The terms “hydroponic” or “indoor growing” are often attached to an illegal gardener attempting to grow marijuana plants without detection, rigging ventilation and looking over their shoulder hoping their crop in an attic, closet, or basement is a success. This is, of course, an inaccurate portrayal of hydroponic growing. However, when most of our food supply (including grains and vegetables) comes from industrial production, the full value and benefits of personal hydroponic growing aren’t always obvious. We are used to buying foods without knowing the source and eating things with a barcode.

Today there aren’t a wealth of examples of people who garden for more than a hobby or a cash crop but this is a strictly modern-day view. A century ago Americans were much more accustomed to growing their own nourishment. During World War 1, it was feasible for the USDA to encourage citizens to grow food and make full use of backyard spaces or even vacant lots.

However most people entered this century completely detached from the idea of growing food. In the 1980s we may have declared the small scale American farmer almost completely extinct but interesting changes in our collective opinions have meant a resurgence in personal gardening for food.
Spurred by a troubled economy or health concerns Americans are showing renewed interest in controlling their personal food supply. But this is still the modern day, our backyards have shrunk, or for apartment dwellers don’t exist, many code restrictions prohibit front yard gardens, and the vacant lot business…that’s just ridiculous. So where and how can those with the desire to grow, grow?
Hydroponic and indoor gardens mean that you don’t need to have acres of land to successfully grow delicious, organic, plants, vegetables and herbs. Avid Brew and Grow offers solutions for growing everywhere from small backyards to apartment balconies.

MicroBrew is Not Really New

The United States and in fact most of the industrialized world is built for mass market. If you drink a commercial beer, you can order that beer on one coast, travel to the other coast and have the exact same drinking experience. You can even hop a plane, travel across the pond and drink the identical concoction of commercially distributed beer. With the exception of some adjustments on the can and a variation in the price, the liquid inside is always consistent, always the same. You rarely have to worry about a surprise.

You can rest at ease…unless you’re like us and the lack of surprise, the endless predictability alone makes you restless.

Man’s ability to brew and enjoy beer is much older than our ability to globally distribute a single blend. Long before we had refrigerated trucks and complex distribution systems most towns had a local brewery with a flavor unique to the area, fed by the local water and fostered from the local spirit.  Brew Masters selected hops and labored over wort in corner breweries instead of massive production facilities. Locals drank from their microbrewery and when they traveled they tasted the new flavors of their destination.

In the 1940s, If you lived in San Antonio you probably drank LoneStar and if you traveled to Milwaukee you tried out some Blatz. By the 1960s Blatz was sold to Pabst in keeping with a national trend toward large manufacturers. Chicago for example did not have a single registered brewery by 1980 but in the early 1900s it had over 45.

The silver lining in this history is the resurgence of micro brewing in this century. Big and small cities have seen a steady uptick in local breweries and a resulting explosion of craft beers. It’s not uncommon to find supplies like hops, malt, grain, carboys, yeast, brew trees, and wort chillers in someones kitchen or garage and a unique can, bottle, or keg housing a one of a kind brew. Today we expect quality but reject a one-size-fits-all experience in favor of individuality. In the beer world individuality and adventure dominate home brewing.

Avid Brew and Grow is honored to supply high quality supplies to novices and masters who say no to boring beer and brew their own adventure in homes around the country.