I began brewing out of necessity (hey – it was cheap, and I was underage) at a small college in upstate New York. On the road to receiving my degree in Biology, I developed a certain familiarity with the Yeast and other micro-critters. In the ensuing ten years or so, I independently “researched” many brewing techniques, styles, and recipes. I rarely try to repeat a batch, as I prefer variety. I leave consistency and repetition to the professionals, as this is their goal, and they usually do it quite well.
In 1990, while working at an outdoor education center, I took the plunge into the grain bin, as it were, and joined the ranks of the all-grain brewers. Putting all of my education and “research” to work, I took the next step and opened The Hop Shop in February of 1994. The rest, as they say, is history (and with time having become scarce I’ve had to return to kit/extract brewing). I’ve learned that there are as many brewing styles as there are brewers, each coming up with some unique methods of overcoming adversity.
The Hop Shop has evolved into quite a storehouse of knowledge and experience – a haven for brewers, if you will (and wine makers as well). The Hop Shop also serves as a valuable forum of exchange for recipes, equipment, and ideas. Stop by to talk brewing, and we can probably learn something from each other.