Journey into the Heart of Brewing . . .
My Little Rock friend John Wells, of EBeerSnob fame, has been telling me about this craft beer movement for a couple of years now, and I guess that he wasn't exaggerating since the New York Times has devoted a recent travel article by John Holl to the phenomenon: "Make Your Beer and Drink It, Too" (February 28, 2010).
Or rather, devoted to fans of the phenomenon:
By 8:30 a.m., Glen Nile was elbow-deep in a bucket of Cascade hops, pulling apart the dry pods and releasing the lupulin, a resinous substance that plays a crucial role in the creation of beer. Meanwhile, Errol Chase, who goes by "Butch," was pouring pints of oatmeal stout.You have to be pretty fanatical to devote an otherwise free weekend to brewing somebody else's beer -- and paying to do it!
"When it is something you enjoy doing, it can hardly be considered work," said Mr. Nile, 40, of Cumberland, R.I. "Plus, to work on a system like this is a real treat."
Mr. Chase is a brewer. Mr. Nile is not. We were at the rustic Woodstock Inn Station and Brewery along with 20 others for an educational weekend of brewing. For some it was a chance to learn about the craft or to get advice on home brewing from the professionals. For others it was a gastronomical delight: two days of eating and drinking in the heart of New Hampshire's White Mountains.
[Mr. Scott Rice, the owner,] estimated that about 1,500 visitors had attended Woodstock's brewery weekends. Guests can take part in every step of the brewing process -- including the messy work of removing hundreds of pounds of processed grain from the "mash tun," where grain and water are mixed. The early morning brewing leads into a hearty Saturday lunch (featuring bread made from the spent grain); later, there’s a five-course dinner and souvenirs. (Breakfast is included in the cost of the room.)That cost, should anyone be interested, is "$118 per person, not including lodging," which means that it costs even more.
Actually, I must have the makings of a fanatic, for that price sounds pretty good to me, and with the craft beer tradition beginning to develop here in Korea, as Andray Abrahamian informs us in "The Beer Necessities; Craft Beer in Korea" (10 Magazine, November 30, 2009), perhaps I'll be looking into a little vacation myself some weekend in the not-too-distant future.
Off-topic, but the grammar fanatic in me wants to change Mr. Abrahamian's semicolon to a colon . . .