A couple weeks ago while at Publix, Nicole struck up a conversation with our friendly butcher. As is the case with most of our conversations, the topic somehow turned to beer. Turns out, Joe is also a homebrewer! And as chance would have it, when Nicole went back to Publix earlier this week, Joe happened to have a bottle of his homebrew in the fridge at the store. Such happenstance became our good fortune, for he gave her the bottle for us to try!
This evening, we cracked open Joe the Butcher’s Imperial Stout. I must admit, I was a bit apprehensive. I’ve never really had another homebrew before. What if it wasn’t good? What would we tell Joe? What if it was great? Does that mean I suck?
Well, apprehension took a back seat when I tried the beer. It was quite good! The beer has some very nice qualities, including a sweet, roasted flavor with a little hop bitterness to balance it out. A solid effort! I would say it is better than anything I have brewed to this point, but it gives me hope that some day I, too, can brew a beer that is distinct and doesn’t taste the same as all the other beer I’ve brewed. :)
So kudos to Joe the Butcher! This is a guy that has it all, meat and beer. What a fantastic combination. I wonder if he does parties???
It was a homebrewing friend who taught e, years ago now, that I didn’t dislike all beer, just bottom ferments. He would ask me to try his latest batch, I would tell him he was casting pearls before swine, he’d ask me to try anyway, and for friendship’s sake, I would. Ten I’d scrape my tongue clean and tell him, “that tastes like beer.”
One day, we did the little “try it, you’ll like it” dance, and to my surprise, I found the brew very tasty. He got out a selection, and started predicting which I would and which I would not like. He was right on the button. I like top fermenting yeast. I’m not so crazy about bottom ferments.
Lesson learned: try it, you just might like it. (This is the great benefit to beer festivals, you occasionally meet a new friend.)
BTW, I recently stumbled across an offical, Catholic blessing of beer:
Aside from drinking Joe the Butcher’s Imperial Stout, the best part was getting it out of Publix. After Joe sliced up our lunch meat for the week, I asked if he could put a sticker on it or something to say it was paid for. He took care of it. The young guns manning the cash registers were totally excited to know that Joe brewed his own beer. The secret’s out…