This Saturday brings forth my favorite homebrewing experience of the year. Septembeerfest 2011 is finally here.
In the spring of 2006, Mark’s wife and I were trying to come up with a reason to get everybody together to drink some beer. Somehow it was brought up that a small group of our friends, and also our fraternity brothers, were into homebrewing. We thought it would be cool to get them to brew up a bunch of beer and have a little beer festival.
I talked to a couple of the guys and asked them if they could make a bunch of beer and we would have this party in 3 weeks. They laughed at me and explained that you can’t magically create a bunch of beer worth drinking in 3 weeks. You’d think after 5 years of touring breweries in Wisconsin that I would have understood that by now, but
if you know me at all you’d also understand why I wouldn’t.
Plan B was to have Brian, Josh, and Jason brew up some beer and we’d get together in September for this inaugural beer festival. Somewhere along the way, I decided that I would give homebrewing a try also and would bring some beer to share. I was given a homebrewing kit by my awesome kids for Father’s Day, and so my love of homebrewing beer began.
September came and the festival was
great. We had lot’s of people there; many of whom had never tried homebrewed beer before. Many people that were a little apprehensive about drinking alcohol that some guys had fermented in their basements. Overall, most of the newbies at the fest agreed that high quality, craftbrewed beer made from home was better than most of the stuff you see in the stores.
Since 2006, Septembeer Fest has grown and evolved. We generally have about 150 people in attendance, and we have incorporated a contest for the brewers to compete in. Each year, the previous year’s winner chooses a beer style that all of the brewers will make for the next year’s fest. This year we have fruit beers; It should be interesting to say the least. Some of this year’s offerings will include peach, blueberry, raspberry, banana, and pineapple. Previous years have focused on Märzen Octoberfests, Brown Ales, and other styles.
I’m really looking forward to another great year of getting together with dear friends, promoting the enjoyment of homebrewed and craft beers, and just having a hell of a good time. As one brewer boldly stated this week, “Septembeer Fest is the most wonderful time of the year!” Move over Christmas; Septembeer Fest is here.
I’ll check in next week with a post-fest review and some pictures. Until then, I hope your weekend will be as great as ours is bound to be.