By Stephanie March
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Presented By Surdyk's
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The Morning After
By Tad Simons
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by Arts & Nightlife Editors
By Allison Kaplan
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Stephanie Wilbur Ash
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Where Were You For Your First Time?
By: | Posted: 03/24/2009
This weekend we open the farmhouse with high hopes for the coming
season, anticipating the new crops we are starting this year and the
crops that are tried-and-true. One of the new perennial crops coming
off our farm this year will be hops: Cascades, Willamettes, and
Hallertaus. For me, this winter seemed relentless and unduly long, so
to pass some time, I decided to take up home brewing.
Over the last few years, I have moved from mostly a wine drinker to mostly a beer drinker. I find that pairing beer and food can be as much, if not more, enjoyable as pairing wines with food. Maybe it’s because I’ve been doing wine and food pairings for so many years that it has become de rigueur. Maybe it’s because there are so many different beers out there that I hadn’t tried and, therefore, hadn’t thought of pairing them with foods. Maybe it’s because beer can be more approachable to many people. But mostly, I think it’s because I enjoy beer more than wine. I’m not giving up on wine; I just enjoy beer more.
Home brewing can be a very easy process with a low initial investment; once your basics are paid for, you can brew a few cases of beer for approximately ten bucks each and three to four hours of your time. The cool thing about home brewing is that it is very much like cooking and not like baking. You start with a basic recipe and tweak it as much or as little as you like. There is way more art than science to brewing,
which I find endearing. I don’t have to stick to rigid parameters; I can freelance with just about any of the ingredients in the recipe. My first foray into the brewing process was an IPA to which I added toasted coriander seed. The brew turned out way better than I expected (thanks to the guidance of my nephew, Nick). I get my supplies at Midwest brewing and have found the guys there very approachable and ever helpful. Hopefully by next year I will be growing my own grains and hops for brewing and become and off-the-grid beer drinker . . . a boy can dream of free beer, can’t he?
Stephanie March is Mpls.St.Paul Magazine’s food and dining editor. See bio
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