Without fail, whenever I pull out all of my homebrewing gear to prepare for a day of beersmithery, someone stops, looks around, scratches their head, and asks questions.
“Are you going to boil crabs?” “What are all these buckets?” “Is it beer yet?”
I laugh and dutifully answer any questions the voyeur might have, trying to think of other situations in contemporary America where a person might suddenly become so enthralled by an activity that they engage in deep conversation with a complete stranger.
Some latent power in brewing radiates, pulses out an aura of homemade creativity that demands attention and explanation.
It could be the novelty of the whole process; despite the American Homebrewers Association estimate that one million people actively homebrew in the US, many have never witnessed the primordial swirl of freshly hopped wort at boil, especially not in their neighbor’s front yard. It could be the spectacle of the water…
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