Let me begin this blog post with a story that will completely embarrass my daughter (I love it already). When my daughter was seven, she had an Easy Bake Oven. Anyone who has ever had a daughter has probably had one. In fact the hospital issues you one before you leave if you have a little girl. One day she got some new supplies from Toys-R-Us to make donuts in her Easy Bake Oven, and she was pumped.
After baking her first batch, she was ready to sink her teeth into them. They crunched. She winced. Then, with a squinty, horrified look on her face like she had just eaten cow poop… she told me how delicious they were! The picture doesn’t completely show it, but the look on her face was so pained and joyful at the same time, it was priceless. You can also see that her little brother had his eye on the donut, too.
Now, at fourteen, she’s able to open a package of Betty Crocker blueberry muffins and bake them herself, and they are absolutely delicious. A lot can happen in a few years.
I love this story about my daughter because it reminds me so much of the first time I brewed beer. The equipment wasn’t familiar, I was working with instructions that told me how to do something, not why I was doing it, and I didn’t have a lot of confidence in how it would eventually come out. But…
I made it myself.
That was what was so special about it. I made it myself. For my first few batches, it probably didn’t matter if I brewed up swamp water… it was going to taste delicious. Over the years, three to be exact (not a long time), I’ve learned a lot. I’ve read several books on brewing technique, learned several styles and have made many batches. I’m now my daughter at 14 who can seriously make something that tastes good. Not necessarily from scratch yet, but I have every confidence that if I give it to someone else, they will think it’s good.
This is probably the best feeling in the world to a homebrewer. It happens when you cross that gap between when you think your beer is great, to where others think your beer is great.
As a homebrew store, we want to get you to that point as quickly as possible. However, we also don’t want to take away those first feelings of complete pride in your own creation. A large part of that has to do with you taking the first step, doing something that you didn’t think you could do, and giving it a try.