So, last November, I brewed some beer. This was ‘my’ first beer, a Belgian Golden Strong Ale based on my favorite beer of all time, La Fin du Monde. The other guys in the house (Charlie and Lenker) are both old hands at homebrewing, so while I picked the recipe, and we did a few things none of us had done before, they were the biggest part of making the beer.
Our first indication that this was not a normal beer was that it bubbled over while fermenting. The second was that it was still fermenting two and a half weeks later. To put that in perspective, the other beers we brew are done in as little as ten days. When we transferred it from one container to another (a process called double fermenting), we sampled a bit.
It was kind of like a large Frenchman stripping his shirt, sidling up to you shouting “BATTONS-NOUS!” and clocking you with an uppercut of alcohol and a roundhouse fulla sugar. Two important things happened that day: first, we realized we DEFINITELY need to double-ferment my Belgian Ales, and second, that we could make the second batch with maple syrup instead of sugar.
So we let it sit for another three weeks (it seemed very excitable to be in its new container at first) and kegged it and we bottled half of it. I was going to send the bottles to Marissa, but she wanted me to send books instead. So I had all these bottles of my homemade beer, Le Chinatown, just sitting around. So, having told people about it, I gave them away.
This turned out to be just about the best idea I’ve ever had. The beer was quite good straight out of the keg, and pretty fine once we’d let it sit another week or so. But it really came into its own out of the bottle. Stronger, smoother, punchier.
And the people who drank it wanted more. And the people they told about it wanted to try it. And I couldn’t afford ingredients, so I told them that if they bought stock in the grains, yeast, water, and bottles, I’d get them the finished product.
That was late January.
I sold out shares of batch two, L’héritage, pretty quick. A friend approached me two and bought ALL the stock of batch three, Ma Blonde, via PayPal. And today, one of the investors in L’héritage shoved a twenty in my hand to secure a few bottles of “the next thing you do.”
I have more people wanting to buy my beer than my ability to to make beer. I’m amazed and delighted. And wondering how to build this up successfully…what permits do I need to open my own microbrewery? 😀
Brasserie Mathieu…has a nice ring to it…