How long have you been home brewing beer and how did you get started?
I have been brewing beer for almost 3 years (when I ordered my first label from Evermine). I started brewing because my wife and I both like beer and I needed a hobby that I could do at home.
Tell us about the first batch of beer you ever brewed.
The first batch of beer I ever brewed was a partner project with a friend of mine. We had bought a beer kit together with all the minimum equipment and we had to try it out. We thought we had done everything correctly and we spent an entire Sunday working on it. After everything was done (4 weeks later) we tried it. It was definitely beer, but it was definitely very weak. So, we named it “Weak Sauce”.
What’s your favorite brewing mistake you’ve ever made?
It’s so hard to pick. There was the time we poured a scalding hot wort into a plastic carboy and melted it or the first time we tried to make all-grain beer and threw all the grains in the hot water making oatmeal instead of beer. But my favorite mistake turned into one of my favorite beers. I accidentally used the beer grains for another beer while trying to make a recipe for a certain beer. When I realized my mistake I just decided to make it a big mistake and started adding all the hops that we had in the fridge. I called the beer “Kitchen Sink” and it turned out to be a fabulous mistake.
What’s your favorite kind of beer?
Currently, my favorite is any Belgian Wheat beer.
How will you be celebrating Oktoberfest this year?
We will be opening up my latest beer creation, a Cucumber and Salt beer named “The Salty Q”. We will also most likely be attending the local Oktoberfest here in Oakland (also known as Oaktoberfest).
How do you decide what are the perfect labels for your beer?
The labels first start with the name of the beer. Then, I choose the colors based on the ingredients in the beer (or the theme behind the name of the beer). Some of the beers require songs or stories, so I order big square labels with extra room for text. I need a lot of labels for some beers and so the best bet for my money is the oval or small rectangle labels that get 15 to a page. Most of the time though, I just want 6 big labels for 6 beers that I most likely will give away (it’s more fun to give away the beer than to drink all of it). Many of the latest labels have needed personalized graphics so I have been working more with the make-your-own design and I love the variety of options.
What advice do you have for people that are just starting out in home brewing?
Same as with any new hobby, you’re going to have to make a few mistakes and live with them (or drink them) before you figure out how to brew. My other advice is to have patience and stick with it. It takes a bit of time to figure everything out, but once you do, there are so many things you can do with your own beers…and labels!