Wednesday, February 9, 2011

How it all began...

Hi, My name is _______ (insert what ever nickname you have given me) or if we have never met and since this is the internet, we most likely haven't, you can call me Claire. I want to be a brewmaster, to be clear, a brewmaster is someone who makes beer. Sounds like an odd career choice for a girl huh? I didn't always want to brew beer, actually I was quiet a normal little girl with typical career goals. A teacher in grade school once asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I told her with the most serious face a 5 year old can muster, Godzilla. I had wild dreams of becoming a giant mutant lizard, destroying cities and saving Tokyo from radioactive moth creatures, which to me was normal. But reality set in when I was told that was impossible. At that very moment I decided to never let someone tell me something was impossible, (I know now that the closest thing I can do to becoming a large reptile is on Halloween) but I never let the impossible stop me from my goals. And in the last few years, my largest goal has been to be a brewmaster.

“Never tell a young person that anything cannot be done.
God may have been waiting centuries for someone
 ignorant enough of the impossible to do that very thing.”
 ~ G. M. Trevelyan

My love of beer started young, with my mother. Mommy, as I affectionately call her (or during my teenage years "the women who destroys my individuality") has a very sophisticated palate. She raised me from an early age to know the difference between quality and "piss water". Once, during my rebellious teenage years, she caught me drinking cheap beer. I will refrain from naming big brands (I don't like lawsuits, my lawyer is cranky), but the label said "LITE" in very large letters. Her reaction was far from the typical American mother, instead of being grounded for drinking, she lectured me on the fact that I shouldn't be caught dead drinking that type of beer, that she raised me better, and no daughter of hers drinks "lite" beer. Now, I'm not saying my mother condoned under age drinking nor do I, but she had a point.

 I don't know my exact age of when I had my first sip of beer, but I do remember it was from my Mother, and I do remember it was a microbrew from Sierra Nevada. "Clairebear, beer is special, when your older you'll find more enjoyment from the better tasting beers then the cheap ones. Life is too short to be wasted on bad tasting beer." ~Alice Andrus, to me the smartest women alive. She sparked my passion for cooking too, which for years was my career of choice, Chef Claire. But as I grew into an adult and I experienced the joy I was told about when I was just a snot nosed brat, beer became a true passion. When I found out it was possible to actually make brewing a career, my mind was blown. I quickly started researching homebrewing techniques and gathered a few friends to brew my first batch of beer. Like my first batch of cookies I made by myself when I was 7, I failed horribly. I didn't properly sanitize nor was I patient enough and I opened up the keg before it was time. Batches after that improved, but were still far from what I wanted. Since brewing beer at home is expensive and I'm a poor college student, it has been a few months since my last batch. But this summer's goal is to brew at least 3 beers. My long term goal is to transfer to Oregon State in Corvallis to get a BS in Fermentation Science. 

I started this blog to chart my journey and to write about my passion of beer. I hope you will continue to read from here on out and that you will support me on the road to becoming a great brewmaster. Like my mother said "Life's to short" so I'm going to do what I love. 

"Brewers enjoy working to make beer as much as drinking beer instead of working."

-Harold Rudolph


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