The Birth Of #BasicBitch
The idea to seriously try my hand at homebrewing arose in late 2015. I was down in Seal Beach for Zwanze Day and after a lunch buffet of Carbonnade, frites, sole meuniére, mussels prepared three ways, and bitterballen served with house-made mustards, my date and I (we were in one of our together-but-not-“together” phases) decided to stroll down Main Street to walk off our (read: my) buzz. At some point we stopped in a little bakery called Sweet Jill’s. If memory serves she bought me a peanut butter square. I can’t recall if she opted for her own dessert or if we shared. As we studied the sundry pastries, cakes and other delights on display, she lamented that her career was what it was. A dream of hers, she said, was to own a bakery. I’d heard her say that before. I can’t blame her, she had a deft hand when it came to cookies and brownies. Plus owning a bakery would be way less stressful than her job. A comment made in passing like that is usually processed, responded to, and then forgotten. Because my brain works in its own low-functioning, psychologically and medically anomalous way, instead of forgetting that off-the-cuff remark I dwelled on it for the entire drive home. Were there any combination bakery/brewery operations in existence? Could we be the first?
Don’t dwell, Evan. Keep writing.
When we first met, one of her roommates was a homebrewer. He was really fucking good at it, too. Intimidatingly so. I don’t think any of the times we hung out – when I’d drank pints from his regularly rotating keggerator – I felt confident enough to talk to him about brewing. Shortly after we met he got a job at a fairly well-known brewery in Vermont, so any opportunity I had to pick his brain was lost. My desire to truly dive in and start experimenting remained in my periphery. Every once in a while I might mention it in passing (or while drunk, which was when I was most open about my life and my feelings). While reading old messages back in February I came across one from August of 2016 where I drunkenly asked her, “If i brewed a beer would you taste it and critique it honestly?” I never received a response. Re-reading that text was actually what inspired me to buy the equipment and not just explore this hobby, but try to become as good at it as I possibly can. Remember when I wrote that I wanted to find more ways to stray from the beaten path? This is one way in which I’m being proactive.
You have to crawl before you can walk, of course, so my first foray was the most basic recipe I could find: a single-hop IPA that would net me roughly five gallons of beer. Other than keeping friends and family apprised of the process, I refused to recognize any “CAN I TASTE IT?!” requests until I was certain I hadn’t fucked it up.
Did I fail? Did I succeed? Here’s how it went down:
If you live in the city of Los Angeles and would like to try #BasicBitch, let me know. It’s easy enough to contact me here or on Twitter or on Facebook. I’ve got about a case left after my friends and family have been taken care of, and this experiment is more about sharing than anything else, so I’m happy to oblige.
Next up…well, I don’t know. I feel like I should get a few more of these novice recipes under my belt before I try anything too bonkers. As we approach summer I’m thinking a kolsch or saison will be next…something else that will invariably be given a self-deprecating, zeitgeist-y hashtag for a name. I mean…would you expect anything less from me?
My birthday is Tuesday. I fly back East for work Wednesday night. I’ll try to post before then.
Mono & World’s End Girlfriend – Trailer 5 [MP3]
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