Bonding Through Beer

It’s no secret that it is easy to make friends while you’re hanging out in the bar throwing back a couple of cold ones. You obviously have similar interests – beer and probably football or whatever sport is on the TV – and it’s only natural to assimilate with others who are like-minded. There is an intrinsic value in the camaraderie developed by those who choose to imbibe together. For those of us who like to brew, there is an entirely new dimension of that brotherhood that develops. As far as I’m concerned, this mindset goes back to when I was a kid, helping my dad work around the house. The feeling of accomplishing that singular goal you had in mind is a wonderful thing to experience and deserves to be treasured.

The same holds true for brewing beer. This is my favorite hobby to begin with, but doing it with friends is even better. First, it makes the job a little easier. You have help when it comes to mashing, sparging, racking, bottling, kegging, etc. All those steps are done with a sense of teamwork. This in itself makes things turn out better, at least in my opinion. Having a group of people collaborate on something they all want to see flourish and be successful is much more productive than one guy scratching his head, stumped on new ideas.

Case in point – I love to brew. I’ll do it alone because I enjoy the hell out of it. But I really enjoy it when I’m working with someone else to produce that batch. Plus it creates an environment where you both partake in the creation of something that you will both be enjoying later. You truly get to reap what you sow and you have a friend there to do it with you. Because let’s face it – no one likes to drink alone.

Just a couple weeks ago, I was over at La Casa de Roman, aka Irv’s place. He and I brewed up a clone of Deschutes Black Butte porter. It was fun because we both got to see how close we were to hitting our specific  gravities when going through each step of the brewing process – despite a little scare at the beginning of the brew day, we absolutely nailed it. That’s what I’m talking about right there – that feeling that you worked with your friend to produce something you’ll both be enjoying later,  and the fact that your work produced spot-on results. Not to mention, you can take a short break and crack open a cold one as soon as you hit the hot break , i.e. when your boil begins. Like Toyota used to say – Who could ask for anything more?

I’m always in the mood to brew with friends. The problem is mainly our conflicting schedules – work, school, kids, etc. And then you have the issue of finding a good central location with everything we need to get the job done. All of us have our own brewing equipment, but that’s beside the point. The main issue really comes down to the logistics of getting everyone in one place at one time to get it done. This is one of the reasons we still haven’t produced those videos on brewing that I mentioned some time ago. I wanted to film some of our brew days to show you the way we go about things. Perhaps I can still make it happen, but that’s another conversation.

In summation, I would like to express to everyone – from fledgling home brewer to seasoned braumeister – that brewing together is more than just an exercise in teamwork. I really do see it as a good bonding experience. You strengthen your relationships by working toward a common goal and you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor afterwards. Not to mention, it’s an excuse to get together for a drink. As if we really needed one. Cheers!