Can we call ourselves a brewery if we have our own label? Yes, I think so! My friend, who not only climbs ladders, scales pear trees, and has expert home building skills, is also a whiz with photo manipulation and surprised us with this awesome beer label. Jamie, Joe, and I are featured on the label in our Halloween costumes (she even stuck Joe in from another photo), and I can change the name of the beer and the date as we brew new batches.
Our annual St. Patrick's day beer tasting with our other brewer buddy was postponed until after work last night. Yesterday morning, as I was packing the car with the cooler and some bottles from our last batch, I asked Brandon to print out a few labels so I could at least have a few bottles to show off at the tasting.
Brandon just happened to have these big mailing labels, and at first I thought they we too big and I might have to cut them down, but once I got to the office and Jamie and I started sticking them on, we realized they were the perfect size. I was quite proud to fill the lunch room refrigerator with bottles of our beer. The folks who saw them were very excited about the labels. They might have even been berserk for them! Ha!
So not only are we a real brewery now, but I think we are a unique brewery because all our gear is transportable. What other brewery can claim that? For the batch of beer we brought to the tasting (which is not a competition, yet somehow we always win!) we brewed and bottled at Jamie's house for the first time.
In this silly photo you can see Jamie diligently cleaning bottles, while Joe diligently drinks beer, and I annoy everyone one by taking photos. We all take our roles very seriously, which is why we've reached such a high level of perfection, right?
We say that our beer is Atlantic Amber, but in truth we selected this title because we had ingredients left over from other batches that sort of matched what was called for in the recipe. Since none of us have ever had an Atlantic Amber anyway, we figured it would be close enough. We might be getting a little over confident in our skills, but I thought the beer we created was pretty tasty. It's a sweet tasting beer, more malt flavored than hops, but I thought it was a lovely color and had plenty of kick. Our friend had both an English pale ale and an Irish red. He has a keg set-up in his basement refrigerator with a tap, but his beer isn't as portable as our bottled beer so he gets the honor of hosting the beer tasting parties.
The only problem with this batch is that some of the bottles have too much foam. Since our tasting party was held outside on our friends deck, we just had to remember to hold them over the rail when opening them. Not all are too foamy, which makes me think we didn't get the priming sugar evenly distributed in the bucked before we bottled. I'm not sure how to print labels that don't run when they get wet. Once we put them on ice they didn't look as fancy as they did when they were dry.
Is Joe trying to open that beer with his teeth, or did he forget to remove the cap before drinking? I think his new farm and new baby have made him get out of beer drinking practice!