Remember the anticipation of childhood? The upcoming birthday. Christmas morning. Summer camp. Children are capable of an eagerness so passionate, you can almost watch them vibrate when they ponder certain approaching moments.
Of course, we soon learn that the anticipation is often strangely sweeter than the ultimate gratification.
But I must admit, I'm feeling some great, giddy excitement since visiting the Brooklyn Flea recently and picking up one of Brooklyn Brew Shop's dandy little homebrew beer kits.
Check it out: freshly cracked barley, yeast, hops, sugar and an adorable gallon-sized glass carboy that'll actually fit in a New York City-sized apartment. Genius.
You may be thinking I'm an alcoholic or wondering whether I'm unaware that NYC features both terrific beer pubs and excellent beer shops. Why make it when you could just buy it and be assured of a good product every time?
Valid thoughts across the board. But what I'm really amped about, that is, my true reason for excitement... well, it isn't really about the beer at all — it's the thrill of discovery. If this little kit produces a gallon of nice beer at the end of the process, that's just a satisfying bonus.
I chose the Belgian Tripel kit, though the Brew Shop also offers a Grapefruit Honey Ale, a Berry Red Ale and a Chocolate Maple Porter — which may be next on my to-do list if all goes well with the Belgian.
In this video, you can watch Brooklyn Brew Shop's gregarious brewmaster/millmeister Stephen Valand crushing (gently, so gently) my newly purchased Belgian barley. He'll also tell you why this is important to the brewing process.
I'll report back once my little yeasty beasties have done their work.