I brewed my first batch of homebrew in college when my college roommate was putting together his “list of things to do before I die.” He said one thing that he wanted to do was to brew his own beer. I looked at him and said, “We could do that.”
“Well, sure we could,” was his response. To which I replied, “No, we could do that now. Let’s knock it off your list.”
However, being broke college students, we had to also convince a few friends to help pitch in, with the promise of awesome beer as a result. So, five of us, including my future wife, all pitched in $25 and we bought a brewing equipment kit and a 3 gallon aluminum pot (with no lid) from TJ Maxx, and with each 5-gallon batch we made, we all got 8-10 beers all to ourselves!
The rest, as they say, is history. We graduated, people moved on, and I kept brewing. Brewing more and more, reading every book I could get my hands on, upgrading to an all-grain system, and eventually building the eHERMS system that I brew on now.
I was so passionate about brewing beer, creating new recipes, and sharing my beer and brewing knowledge with others that I decided to start a blog about homebrewing in North Carolina. There are plenty of local homebrew clubs, and there are several large general homebrew forums and resources, but there was not a site that pulled together resources specific to NC (vendor lists, a club directory, and brewer and DIY spotlights), thus, I began the NC Homebrewing blog.
The blog has led me to some great opportunities. Along the way, I have met some amazing and interesting people, shared beer with some of the best brewers around, and even had the opportunity to play a role in starting a brewery (Fortnight Brewing Company). Even though I am no longer a part of Fortnight, that too was a great experience, and one that I would not have had if I had not started brewing my own beer.
These days, I continue to blog while learning and sharing information amongst homebrewers and professionals in the area, and I am always working on finding ways to use fun and unique ingredients in my beer, which is what got me interested in the Iron Brewer competition. I am looking forward to competing, as well as meeting and talking with the other brewers. It is always a pleasure to brew with others and talk about homebrew, because there is always something new to learn!