Brewer’s Log

   

Tuesday 12:44 pm – August 1, 2017 – Brewing a double batch today using chocolate wheat from Valley Malt. I call it Fidelity. During the boil, I am pondering the future. Looking back along our path, too. We have a saying, Suzanne and I. Whenever we leave the house and we realize we left something behind, we “double back and check our tracks.” It’s good for my mental health, that I know. Another of my favorite maxims is “slower is faster.” We train our bartenders in this mental exercise. After more than 20 years working in and visiting other people’s breweries, bars and restaurants, I have learned that a frenzied, nervous, hurrying staff upsets the energy of the place. No matter what else happens, we are all about feeling good when we are at Homefield. Homefield is an everyday celebration of all our hard work and the way we value each other and the good we can do and make together.

To our delight, we have found people who’ve responded in like. We never get tired of hearing how much you enjoyed your time here. Thank you for embracing our little place and its great mission. We never intended to start a brewery. Anyone knows me personally can tell you how much of an iconoclast I am. I don’t follow well.  Often I stubbornly resist doing the smart thing just because it happens to be what a lot of other people are doing.  I like slow nights at bars and nearly empty beaches. I like highways when they are so empty you feel like the world has stopped.  This is who I am and much of the time these traits are flaws. Working on it.

Which is why I am pleased to be planning our first anniversary celebration. To be here, brewing batch 71 into a new tank, enjoying our tapas bar menu, having made so many incredible new friends and heard so much passionate music, well no one deserves it this good. I recognize that I am here only because so many people stepped up to help make it real. Thank you all.

August 11, 12 and 13, we will have four musical performances from my personal favorites. In addition we have invited people from our menu to come and offer samples of cheese, bread and wine and more.

From the brewery we expect to be serving Sunset, a raspberry rhubarb brew that is dry, tart and refreshing. Also we will have Lovefest, (which says it all about year 1). Coming in at 7%, it’s hazy, it’s hoppy, it’s made with all local malt and a healthy dose of local Rakau hops. Also we should have Manifest, a name we’ve used often to describe our darker brews. This one weighs in at 8%. We might have more, but the beer hasn’t told me if it’s ready or not. Till then we have Felicity, Freedom and New Englander. Plus 6 music performances beginning Thursday this week. Time to shut off the kettle. Till next time, cheers.

 

Wednesday 5:09 pmJune 7, 2017 – Hard work pays off but if you don’t honor the good fortune that guided the stars on your path, all the hard work you and a thousand others can do won’t fix a thing.

I am sipping a beer I call Reflection as I contemplate a beer I brewed earlier today.  I call it The New Englander.  Coincidentally, Yankee Brew News was delivered today with a cover story on New England IPA as a new beer style. There is so much meaning behind all this. But I am probably overthinking it.

If you have New England clam chowder though, you might appreciate it more if it’s made with cream from Richardson’s Farm in Warren, potatoes from Tangerini Farm in Sunderland, clams from Chatham, and herbs from the chef’s garden. That’s how I think of New Englander. Its a name I’ve used on beers before. Although none of them have been the same, they all have a few things in common – most importantly, they are all made from local malt, hops and yeast. But also, they do resemble this thing called New England IPA.

Emphasis on hop flavor and aroma instead of bitterness and of course the signature haziness. Anyone who knows me knows I don’t like to stick labels on things. In my life I’ve noticed whenever something is a genre, category or style, it becomes harder to appreciate for itself. I have always and I guess I always will favor individual over crowd, creativity over craft.

But I call this beer the New Englander because I want to get to the nitty gritty of the farms in the region. The flora in the soil and in the air. The hearts of the people who sink themselves into this production, this stewardship of a thing that is essential to living and living well. The flavors.

This is a beer that comes right out of the ground. It’s my luck to be the one making it time and again. So, here’s to the fortune you might find if you don’t mind some sweat and sleepless nights and if you put yourself into something fully. Now, I will have a little glass of Tenacity.