It started quite a few years back, when Ice House was the good stuff...but the obsession didn't really start until Jano invited me to brew with him 6 years ago. I broke his hydrometer while I was "helping" clean up, and thank baby jebus, was invited back. The hydrometer was replaced, and I still continue breaking the hell out of them to this day.
In the course of the past few years, I have met, hands down, some of the most intelligent and kind people that I have ever come across. Lifelong friends bound by the pursuit to create something special with their own hands that really gives meaning to the word "craft" and "artisan" that seem to be used so much these days. Wine, beer, mead, or seeking out and sharing rare beverages from around the world through trading or travel, these guys and girls are what I consider true individuals.
Just a few of the people I idolize with whom I've shared countless pints, shots, drams, tall boys, snifters, boots and mugs with over the years and have influenced my time at Beacon Hill and have encouraged, inspired and helped in countless ways:
Rodney will always be my partner. The brewing thing would have never happened without him. Late nights/early morning zymurlogical feats of strength with my brother. We have brewed a lot of beer together.
I've seen Alejandro turn Big Al Brewing into a reality, and look very fondly back to the days of panicked homebrew accidents in his garage and trying to figure out this crazy piece of equipment called a "pump". He's the homebrewer done good. He is living the dream.
Kevin Davey pursued his dream of making German beer by quitting his sweet plumbing gig, going to Seibel, graduating at the top of his class, and not giving up until he landed a job at Chuckanut where he continues to make world class brews.
Mark Emiley works tirelessly for the "cause". Encouraging and promoting homebrewing in Washington through the Washington Homebrewers Association and the Puget Sound Pro-Am. He is a recent BJCP Master Judge and is rumoured to have bugged the governing powers that be so much, they said "F!ck It" with %) 5060 and passed the bill unanimously to stop all of the late night phone calls. He makes some pretty awesome beer and wine too.
Tim Hayner also works tirelessly for the cause, organizing the first mead and cider clinic, Washington Mead and Cider Cup, and also an amazing judging clinic to help everyone understand these simple yet complex drinks. He's also as sweet as the honey he ferments, genuinely one of the nicest and coolest dudes you will ever meet. He's done so many favors for me over the years, he will automatically receive my first born if I ever have children. Over the last couple years, he has grabbed mead and cider bull by the horns, is promoting the hell out of it and is turning out some of the tastiest concoctions you could ask for. He has the ribbons to prove it. His Golden Mash Padel was a no contest and was very well deserved.
Jerome Seipp, my gourmet heavy metal older brother that I never had. His creativity seems to have no boundaries. Graphic design, brewing, cooking and music. He also works his ass off as arguably the most well respected beer judge out there and takes care of anything judge for WAHA. Our BBQ team is looking forward to him taking his turn in the smoke to knock out some Real, Killer, Puget Sound"Q".
Seattle Ratebeer Crew, Tom, Ben, Brandon, Alex, Bob, Clint, you guys have been responsible on quite a few occasions for an aching head the next morning after your generosity in sharing your beers from the far corners of the world and sparked many bouts of inspiration in brewing. You guys have been a great sounding board with honest critiques on beers that I've made...
Fellow Beacon Hill resident and Bellevue commuter Geoff Kaiser's Seattle Brewing News has grown into a very successful source of beery information for those in and around Seattle, and does a great job of promoting the beer scene. He too is responsible for many aching heads the next morning and providing great feedback , and hopefully it goes the same for him after hitting the taps in the basement.
Bek is my everything. Patient, understanding, kind and beautiful in every way possible . And she will love IPA's at some point, if it is the last thing I ever do....
The dream will be realized at some point. Maybe Beacon Hill someday. For now, it's time for Plan B. Stay tuned...thanks for reading, mom.