October 28, 2008

Batch Alef

Was it really only a month since we'd hatched the plan to brew beer in our NJ suburb? Really just 3 weeks or so since we'd turned that first box of ingredients into Two Jews Brew? Could it really, actually be time to drink the stuff?

Yes, really. It was time.

Last Saturday afternoon, we invited a couple dozen local 2JB enthusiasts over for a sort of Semitic Beer Cotillion: the coming-out party for Batch Alef.

Nahum brought over the box of bottles from the basement fermenting lab, and soon most of the middle shelf of the fridge was filled with brown glass bottles (none of which, perhaps miraculously, had exploded during the last part of the process). Between our two families and our invited guests, there was a great spread of sweet & salty snacks.

Everything was ready. All that was left was the drinking.

Just before everyone arrived, Nahum and I popped a cap and split a bottle into two frosted beer glasses. We looked (it looked good), we sniffed (it smelled just right), we clinked our glasses (l'chaim!) and gave it a try.

And wouldn't you know it - the beer was good. Really good. It tasted just like a glass of amber ale was supposed to taste. Smooth, a little hoppy, a little crisp, and totally tasty. If I'd given a bartender a fiver and gotten this in return, I would have been perfectly happy.

Though in this case, we weren't perfectly happy...Nahum and I were ecstatic. We'd made beer! Delicious beer! Let the party begin!

For the next three hours, people came and went and we proudly poured our creation. I'm pretty sure my mug was never entirely empty, and each sip just felt right. Everyone who had a glass of 2JB seemed pleased and impressed (and maybe just a little surprised - but who could blame anyone for that?). The food was delicious, more bottles were popped open, and we had just about as much fun as two brewin' Jews could have asked.

Of course, the conversation eventually turned to the most crucial question of all: the next batch. Not content to rest on our laurels, this coming weekend we're going to do our darndest to skip the sophomore slump, mix up 5 gallons of seasonally correct pumpkin ale and get the whole thing going again.

No comments: