Here is how I procure my beer: I get in my car, drive to the store, select my beer and some snacks, hand the clerk my credit card, get in my car and drive home to drink said beer. Quick and easy. Occasionally, I get my beer a different way: I walk outside to the mailbox and find a box of beer inside it, at which point I discard my mail and drink my beer. If you’ve never received beer by mail, then you need a new mailman.
Point being, I’m an old fart who likes to keep things easy, and I don’t believe the process of procuring and drinking beer should include a step where I clear out my garage and make a sanitary space for a giant R2-D2 lookin’ oven thing, then do a lot of waiting.
I have no doubt that there are folks out there brewing up some good backyard suds with a Brewbot, for example. But it would have to be damngood beer to get me to put in any more work than it requires to drive to the store down the road. There are other ways to brew your own beer, of course. There’s the $800 PicoBrew, which allows you to brew your own Rogue Dead Guy Ale for roughly 33 percent more money than buying it at the store, but at least it’s small enough that you won’t need an addition to your house to make room for it. Apparently there will soon be a Keurig method of homebrewing, too, but Keurig is the kind of company that could fuck up a cheese sandwich, so let’s not get our hopes up about that device.
Look, I requested and received a SodaStream for Christmas, so I get the impulse to play chemist in the kitchen from time to time. But I’m drawing my line in the sand right here at home-brewing and pasta-making and juice-pressing. These are hobbies, and that’s fine, but when I want to eat or drink I don’t want to start by downloading a PDF or taking out my power washer. Some things just don’t need a high-tech version or a killerthings are good just the way they are: simple, old-fashioned, and just damn good. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go read a book on my Kindle while I ask Alexa to turn on the Roomba and download audiobooks onto my iPhone.
Here are a few of the decidedly less amateur brewdogs I’ve been quaffing over the last week or so:
Not Your Father’s Vanilla Cream Ale: My father didn’t drink much vanilla cream, but if he did, he might have bought this. Or, well, I guess it depends on whether or not his dad drank much vanilla cream. It’s really hard to say, since he died before I could ask him. At any rate, NYFVCA is a lot like the other Smalltown Brewery offerings