I brewed my first beer when I was 17. I had just finished my first semester at university, studying science, and decided that the 15 minutes that Professor Trout spent talking about fermentation in one of my food science lectures was the most interesting thing I had heard in six months.
I bought myself a Coopers brewing kit and set about doing the same thing that every single person who has ever bought a Coopers brewing kit does, and made 23 litres of really shit beer. Sure, the only remarkable part of that beer was the classic overpowering homebrew twang - but it was mine.
It was at this time that I decided that this is what I wanted to do with my life. I would transfer into a full food science degree and get a job at a brewery. The world was my oyster.
Six weeks later I had dropped out of uni and was working as a waiter in a restaurant.
The university was no longer offering food science and nutrition degrees and the only local brewery wasn’t hiring. But I persisted! For about another month or so. Until I discarded my dreams along with my hydrometer and fermenting vessel in the space under my Mum and Dad’s stairs.
I avoided that space under the stairs for almost a decade. I mean sure I didn’t live with my parents anymore so it was pretty easy to do, but more importantly it held the physical manifestation of my failure. And also eskies and camping chairs.
About seven months ago that Coopers brewing kit sat on top of the dryer in our tiny bathroom with 23 litres of salvation quietly bubbling away inside. Watery and mostly flavourless salvation, but salvation nevertheless. I was back, baby!
This time it will be different. Partner-in-crime Brad will endure my frantic daily missives on potential recipes, and subsequent moments of despair when we realise we inevitably fuck up again. And again.
At the very least, I now have a credible excuse to spend inordinate amounts of time and money drinking and reading about beer. If only Old Man Trout could see me now.