Staying Connected to the Craft Beer Scene

Doesn’t it seem like only yesterday that I announced that I was pregnant? Well, maybe for you. For me, this has definitely been the longest nine months of my life. And, yes, I just hit the nine month mark, if you can believe it. I’m probably not going to have my little bundle of joy for another month, though; society lies (they lie!) to you and you are actually pregnant for 10 months, not nine. And in the majority of these nine months, I’ve found it very difficult to participate in my favorite hobby for obvious reasons; it’s hard to partake in the Chicago craft beer scene when you are unable to drink. But recently my hubby and I have been homebrewing like crazy and this has helped me feel connected to the beer scene, even if I am not going out as much.

We recently moved from my beloved Bucktown to Portage Park (we bought a house!) and while the nursery is probably the first room we should have put together, we decided to concentrate on the home brewery. There is a natural gas hook-up in the basement (complete with ventilation) so we purchased a Blichmann burner from Brew Camp. We also got our very own grain mill and a water filter for the sink in the laundry room. Within a couple of weeks, we were ready to brew in an almost-state-of-the-art home brewery.

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The new home brewery!

The first beer we brewed was a hoppy Irish Red Ale that we named Flynn’s Irish Red (after our son) that was served at my baby shower. Next, we brewed a SMaSH (single malt and single hop) beer utilizing 10 pounds of Golden Promise malt and seven ounces of Glacier hops that was served at the CHAOS Brew Club’s Brew BQ on July 13th. I am pretty proud of this beer; it is a delightfully hoppy and light summer beer. And I was even more proud when it got a shout out from Philip Montoro of The Chicago Reader! And on the Fourth of July, we brewed a very American/patriotic Oktoberfest with rye malt that I have dubbed Rye-Topherfest (my hubby’s name is ChrisTOPHER). And the best part about this beer is that it is a lager and will be ready only a few weeks after my due date. Score!

So, while I have not been as social and have become quite the homebody as of late (mostly because it is difficult to move and I am exhausted 95% of the day), I have found that homebrewing has helped keep me in the beer loop. I do miss being able to participate in beer festivals or just going to a brewery and ordering a beer; I will be there soon! My hubby definitely owes me a night or three where he is designated driver…

4 Responses to “Staying Connected to the Craft Beer Scene”

  1. Virginia Thomas

    You’re in my neighborhood now! We’ll have to work on turning Portage Park into a real beer destination! Nice setup…we’re planning something similar once we close on our house. :)

    Reply

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