Beer: My First Heady Topper

IMG_0201As I started getting more into craft beer and liking IPAs the most…a couple of beers have come across my radar that I really wanted to try.  One being Three Floyds Zombie Dust and the other being The Alchemist’s Heady Topper.  Both rated as really good beers and both not that easy to come by…Heady Topper especially as they only sell it around a small town in Vermont.

Once I started looking into Heady Topper a bit more, I realized I knew someone that lived only a few hours from Vermont…my mom.  What mother wouldn’t want to make beer run for her son to a town four hours away and then transport said beer from Rhode Island to Ohio.  Luckily, the answer to this question was my mother.  My mother wouldn’t mind a bit.  Plus, who wouldn’t want to go see VT in the fall when the leaves changed color?  I was trying to sell the trip you guys.

So, with her and her boyfriend Bob’s help, we set up a plan to get some Heady Topper from VT to RI to OH.  The plan wound up being that my mom and Bob would drive to VT and stay overnight at a bed and breakfast.  This would allow them time to scope out a beer shop that The Alchemist delivered to.  This is another thing about Heady Topper.  It’s only delivered to certain places on certain days (check the schedule here if you want).

Back to the story…

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Beer: Brooklyn Brew Shop Bruxelles Blonde – Part 2

securedownload-1Previously on Rocking the Suburbs…Beer: Brooklyn Brew Shop Bruxelles Blonde Part 1

And now…

After two weeks had passed it was time to bottle this beast up.  I had made sure to drink enough beer during these two weeks to have empty bottles on hand to use(not a hard task).  With the help from the wife we were able to go through the bottling process pretty easily.  After a test run with the tubing to siphon out some liquid between a couple pots, it was onto the beer.

Just to be on the safe side, I siphoned the beer out of the fermenter and through a strainer again just to catch any tiny thing it may suck up.  The beer flowed easily into a waiting pot that had some dissolved honey and water in it (to aid carbonation).  With the parts in the kit provided to help with the siphoning, filling up the bottles was a snap.  You let some beer flow, kinked the tube, and then onto the next.  It was a nice little assembly line filling up the empty bottles.  Once the bottles were full it was time to cap them.  Since I was bottling over the July 4th weekend, I bought American flag bottle caps (here) to use…it just felt right.  Along with my new trusty bottle capper, also from Amazon (here), I capped off our first bottles of beer.

Now, to wait another two weeks.  Damn…

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Beer: Brooklyn Brew Shop Bruxelles Blonde – Part 1

securedownload-5As I’ve become a fan of craft beer, the next step in my beer-volultion was to brew my own beer.  It’s the cool thing to do these days.  Too many people I know to count have brewed their own beers.  I’ve always heard it wasn’t a hard thing to do and allows you to create something to call your own.

So a while back my mom bought me a kit from Brooklyn Brew Shop in order to make my first batch.  I had found this place online after a recommendation from a fellow beer lover and home brewer.  The nice part of starting with something like the kit from Brooklyn Brew Shop is that for under $50 you get pretty much everything you need to make a gallon batch of beer.  For a beginner like me this was perfect.  Since I was starting this thing from scratch, the easiest path was the best path.  The kit that would end up being my first beer was the Bruxelles Blonde kit.  As described on the Brooklyn Brew Shop site:

A dreamy, light-bodied Belgian ale with a gentle malt sweetness, Bruxelles Blonde offers a refreshing, slightly earthy, slightly spicy hop aroma and a smooth, fresh taste.

So, with supplies in hand…or in the box…it was time to brew…

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