Once upon a time
More precisely in the summer of 2010, we brewed our first beer kit. At the beginning I did not take it seriously, I thought it was just something Laurentiu wants to try once to see how it is. When we met, he told me he is passionate about beer, collecting crown caps from beers all over the world.
At that time I didn’t know much about beer. To be honest, like most of the people, I thought that beer is that clear, yellowish, whatever beverage. And for sure not for my taste. But I was so wrong and I am thinking now that so many people don’t have any clue about beer, being fooled by the big companies with their marketing campaigns.
Beer is so much more than that, but of course we are not talking about all the beers, we are talking about that artisanal, craft beers made with passion and joy by amazing people all over the world.
And yes, brewing beer is an art. I read once a book of Sam Calagione, owner of one of the most influential craft breweries in US, Dogfish Head and he was saying:
“Most people don’t consider beer making an art form in this days of multinational brewing conglomerates and automated brewing equipment. But the brewer’s art is alive and evolving in the small, independent breweries and homebrew enclaves that are thriving around the world. True, the brewer’s art is ephemeral; it is an art that is consumed, but so is the art of musicians, actors and dancers. When done well, when done memorably, the effects of each of these art forms can stay with the person who experiences them for a long, long time. Possibly, even, forever. ”
But let’s get back to our story.
I remember the first artisanal beer that we tried together, Orval. We liked the bottle, we liked the small label, the logo, and the beer, oh, what a beer. It was outrageous, I could not figure it out if I like it or not, having that sourish taste. For Laurentiu was love at first sip. Then we started to read about Belgian beers and we found out that Belgium has so many breweries with a tradition in artisanal beer for so many years. And the Trappist beers, oh what a story. Monks at monasteries started to brew beer long time ago and they still brew nowadays. The income from selling the beers covers the living expenses of the monks and the maintenance of the buildings and grounds. Whatever remains is donated to charity for social work and to help persons in need.
So take into consideration that each time you are drinking a Trappist beer and, you are actually doing a good deed.
To shorten our story, we fell in love with Belgian beers and we continued to brew at home different Belgian types of beers: belgian blond, dubbel, tripel, quadrupel, saison.
To brew beer with a kit is too easy so Laurentiu motivated himself and wanted to try more. He made some recipes with partial grain and we started to brew beer in a pot. A 20 l pot, but it was difficult and we did not have a cooler for the wort. First time we cooled down the wort covering the fermentor with ice. It was fun passing through so many experiences when we were homebrewing. After partial grain we bought an electric small brewing kettle and we brewed continuously batches of blond, dubbel, tripel, quadrupel. After each batch, we asked for feedback from friends and beer connoisseurs , improving our recipes and starting to take part in homebrewing contests in Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia and Hungary.
Besides all that brewing, our passion grew so much and we started from our beginning together to visit breweries in Belgium, Netherland, Germany, Sweden, Greece etc and tasting so many beers. Among the breweries visited were Orval, De Koningshoeven, Cantillon, Silly, De Halve Maan, Ayinger etc.
It’s funny to look back in the past before beer, thinking about what would you like to do and brewing beer was never among our plans when each of us were young children, but after discovering beer, the dream of having a small brewery became stronger and stronger until it grow into reality.
To conclude the most important part which must be understood is that you must always follow your dreams even if nobody supports you and of course stop drinking that nonsense beer that you find everywhere.
It’s time for discovering a world full of good beer with so many flavors and diversity.
Cheers to that.