Will and I love beer. We drink it, we share it, and - for about 2 years now - we make it.
Although we're not pros yet, we like to think we've come a long way. Back in the fall of 2019, we were bored on the couch of our apartment...more than likely throwing back a few fall IPA's. We had talked about getting into brewing, and for some reason it came up quite a bit over those few days beforehand.
Well, we pulled the trigger on a $190 starter homebrew kit from Northern Brewer (it's now a cool $230 in case you were wondering). It came with 2 glass carboys (fermentation tanks), a bucket for bottling, a few hoses, a siphon, some cleaning materials, and a bottle capper. The Deluxe package also included a free recipe kit, so we thought a "Fresh Squished IPA" sounded easy enough.
About a week later, the kit arrived - somehow, it stayed intact - and off we went.
To make a long story short, we just wung it. The brew kettle boiled over a few times, it was definitely too hot for most of the boil, and we didn't realize we needed to put our beer in ice until we were done cooking.
As expected, we took a sip a few weeks later...and it sucked.
For the last two years, we've been working on refining our craft. Sure, we've got some work to do, but we've certainly come a long way from that fall night in 2019.
When Will and I did our House Enterprise yearly planning at the beginning of 2021, we had a few simple goals for House Brewing Company:
-Make one high-quality beer multiple times
-Get creative and innovative
-Expand our reach: get the beer "out there" more
So far this year, I'd like to think we measure up well against these goals. We established the "Recreation Series" by brewing one of our favorites, "Number Two," for a second time. It tasted almost the same as the previous edition, which means this goal can be satisfied. We've certainly got creative; from an orange-mango beer with Yerba Mate tea, to a blueberry wheat beer (with real fruit!!), we're beginning to be more comfortable with what ingredients go well with the others.
As for getting our beer out there more, it's certainly been the more challenging of these goals. It took a partnership with "The Wonton Don" of Barstool Sports to really make any leaps, but we've been trying to find avenues for other people - rather than our friends - to give us some honest feedback on our creations.
And now, we take it a step further.
Will and I are pretty pumped to announce that we are competing in the 9th Annual Merrimack Valley Homebrew Competition. This is a big step for our brand and our beer, as we'll be getting some tangible feedback on all of our beers. It'll take place on Saturday at the Portuguese American Club in Lowell, MA. Unlike past years, we sadly will not be able to attend the awards cermony, but we'll hope to take home one of the supposed cash prizes that go out to the top couple of beers in each category.
We sent in SIX of our beers in hopes that one (or more ) of them places.
Don's Early Light - American Wheat category
Cheat Meal - Imperial Stout category
Number Two, Part 2 - Irish Red Ale category
Jack O' All Trades - Spice/Herb/Vegetable Beer category
Blueberry Beer (Name TBA): Fruit Beer category
Mr. Brightside (OG Kush hops): American IPA category
Quick snap of our Instagram: a glimpse of our latest creations, "Impostor" and "Blueberry Beer TBA," both of which have been bottled and are in their final fermentation period.
Honestly, they could really all finish last and I wouldn't care. What I'm most excited about is getting our beer out there and getting some real feedback from those in New England who know beer best. That's a good step in building House Brewing Company from the ground-up.