Brewing Background

I think I am naturally curious. I know I like craft beer. I like the "big picture" and understanding how/why stuff works, but I've only been brewing since early 2014. I had wanted to get my own starter kit for some time, but was also reading a ton of information in beer forums and knew as soon as I bought something small to get  started I would want to get to all-grain recipes as fast as possible. Rather than waste money, I resisted the urge to buy something until I really knew what I wanted. I began brewing with my neighbor and some of his friends. The more the merrier! By working with a good group of guys I was able to look at their equipment and the ways they had modified things to suit their needs. I also was able to help with everything from extract kits to all-grain recipes. We took over kitchens that were too nice while wives were out shopping and then moved outdoors as soon as it was warm enough.

As I began to feel confident enough in building my own brewery, I knew it had to meet the following criteria:

  • Quick clean-up and easy to move
  • Safe and enjoyable to use
  • Not limit recipes or variations I wanted to try
  • Provide fairly consistent results once I perfected my own recipes
  • Use only food-safe parts
  • Large enough to produce worthwhile batches that could be split with friends after sharing in the work
  • Use standard equipment to limit expense and also be able to share designs with others wanting something similar

After failing to find an available brewery setup that met these criteria and was still under $600, I decided to design and build my own from the ground up over a simple 6-month period. Pictures were taken throughout the build so that I could eventually share the process.

My first 2 batches I ever worked on were an extract pale ale and an all-grain honey steam. Of course, they turned out perfectly...and I was hooked.

Brewing for me is a lot of things. While I did want to save money on the initial set-up and am always planning the next project to take it to a larger scale, brewing itself isn’t about saving money. I like the craft. I want to control ingredients, knowing everything that goes into my beer. I want to consider water and locally sourced hops. I want it to be mine and I want to be able to explain it when I share it. I find something so rewarding about creating something from start to finish (almost, I am not growing hops yet), being able to explain it to friends or others with similar interests, being able to call it my own, and being able to truly enjoy something I have made.

The simple brewery I have created allows me to enjoy the art of brewing. We don’t get stuck sparges, miss targets, or deal with clogged valves. The setup works as I had hoped and lets us focus on trying new recipes. Hobbies aren't supposed to be work, they are supposed to be fun and shared. As an added bonus, mine includes drinking good beer with great friends.

Professional Background

My career has almost all been in some form of higher education. Currently, I work for a public university in the Pacific Northwest and hold graduate degrees in organizational administration and higher education. I also have taken several welding classes for fun, learning much on blueprint interpretation and the TIG, MIG, and Oxy-Acetylene processes. I really enjoy an atmosphere where people are developing because they want to. I like learning...and teaching...on subjects ranging from leadership development and student success all the way to water profiles and new craft beer methods

Contact Us

Live nearby? Need help putting something together? Want to share the work on a brew day?