Thursday, May 04, 2006
Thursday, May 4, 2006
But that's just the payoff. There are almost as many reasons people get into home-brewing as there are bottles of beer on the wall. For some, it's the science that attracts them -- a grown-up version of childhood chemistry sets, with easily measurable results. For some, it's the art, the style, daring and detail that goes into each brew. Some want something very specific, like those who prefer hop-laden bitter beers, old-fashioned beers, or darker stouts and porters. Some just want a brew you can't get at the local pub.
To its most fervent adherents, home-brewing is more than a hobby. It's more like a personal quest for the Holy Grail of beer -- that magic elixir that will make all other stouts, porters, lagers and ales pale in comparison.
Here's suds in your eye
Brew pubs bring exploration of beer to a head
By Lane Page
Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy," according to Benjamin Franklin or some other sage. In truth, there is question whether the wittiest of our Founding Fathers was indeed the originator of this quotation, but as some wags have responded, if Franklin didn't say it, he should have.
Obviously, someone did. And although it was neither Matt Hahn nor Frank Helderman, no doubt they concur. Hahn and Helderman are brewmasters at Howard County's own brew pubs, Rocky Run Tap & Grill in Columbia and the Ellicott Mills Brewing Co. in Ellicott City, respectively.
They also agree that freshness is the reason such happiness is to be achieved more readily from a pub-produced microbrew than a six- pack from the package goods store.
"Bottling is tough on a beer," says Helderman. "Without getting all technical, you have the possibility of introducing staling agents such as oxygen, getting light struck, sitting on a truck or getting filtered to the extent of stripping out the long chain protein molecules that contribute to the head and the mouth feel."
Powered By Qumana