Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Big Brewhaha @ Hopman’s!!

Saturday morning arrived with great anticipation from those of us on The BPR crew!!  We were all up early and excited to get our shit together and head out toward Hopman’s as early as possible.  Despite our best efforts at packing up all of the gear the night before, we had determined that we’d still been missing a few essential items, some of which were still at Eddie’s house in West Bloomfield.  The decision was made to send Byrnes on a mission to fetch the necessary crap from his house while Amanda & I made a pitstop at Meijer to pick up mucho ice on the way out to the Big Brew Day at Hopman’s.  Upon our arrival just prior to 11 AM,  we got busy crackin’ a coupla cold refreshments before commencing the setup of all of our gear for brewing.  Before long, Byrnes joined us and we were well upon our way to having everything set up and ready to brew some beer!  We managed to erect a somewhat-wobbly pop-up canopy shade tent thingy before we set up a pair of tables on which we planned on grilling meatballs and deep-frying various appetizers once we had the beer-making underway.
For this very special event (and the similar one they do in the fall), Hopman’s extends a deep-discount of 50% off all beer-making ingredients, so long as you brew outside on-premises during the event!  Byrnes and I intended to take full advantage of this and, as it turns out, our encampment made the second-most beer out of any encampment present at the event that day!!  We were able to get 20 gallons brewed on-site during the event!  Only one other group of brewers had the capacity to brew more, but they kinda cheated because one of them was an employee at the Rochester Mills Brewery & had borrowed a 50 gallon-capacity rig from them just for the event.  I’m very pleased with the way things went during the Big Brew Day!!
The Neighbs:  The man, the myth, the legend!!
The Neighbs even came to scope out the scene & hang out for a few hours!  Byrnes & I managed to each brew two 5-gallon batches of beer; A Hopslam clone & a 15-minute IPA for me and an Australian Pilsner & a Imperial Nut Brown for Eddie!  Meanwhile, Amanda managed to kill the entire bottle of Pinot Grigio that she had acquired earlier from the CVS, which had apparently been the liquid-courage that she needed to catalyze her into wandering around introducing herself to & taking pictures of the total strangers that were also there to brew up some beer!  She managed to make a coupla new acquaintances and snap a few great pics of the festivities!  
Click here for a link to the photo album or click on the collage for a larger view!!

Once we had started the beer on the boil, we had time to get some grub whipped up for ourselves and those that were outgoing enough to stop by our encampment to say “Hi!”.  Byrnes sauteed up some meatballs in a cast iron skillet while I prepped the cooler for the corn that Amanda had just shucked.  We then put the deep-fryer on high and had boneless chicken wings, pierogies, and homemade popcorn shrimp coming out piping hot before we knew it!  

Get a load of this S.N.O.B.!!!
Overall, it was a great day for brewing beer!  The weather, though predicted to rain throughout the day, had actually cooperated very nicely, negating the need to pull out the extra tarpaulins that we had brought for just that contingency!  We were even invited by the Board of Trustees to join the S.N.O.B.s!!!  The Society of North Oakland Brewers is a great group of guys who all share a love of homebrewing and all that goes along with it!  Memberships has its perks too!  All members receive 10% off of all purchases at Hopman’s and are eligible to enter in the regional homebrewing competition held each year among the small-batch, artisan beer-brewers throughout Michigan!  Furthermore, members are welcomed and encouraged to attend the S.N.O.B.s Big Brew Event held each year at the Renaissance Festival!!  (Be sure to stay tuned for more details about this!!)  Those that choose to participate in that event are given free admittance to the Ren-Fest as well as 50% off of all the ingredients needed to brew!  Byrnes and I were sold on the membership by this perk alone, but there are other great things about the club (i.e. the keynote speaker at each monthly meeting, the experience and knowledge available from the other homebrewers, and even just the opportunity to meet a bunch of like-minded brewers)!   Be sure to check out more info about the S.N.O.B.s on their website by clicking here!

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