My friend and neighbor, Jeff, has organized a great activity as he transitioned from the world of work to retirement. He has become a garage brewmaster and hosts backyard monthly ‘tap release events’. Brewing beer and getting people together fit perfectly with his background as a chemical engineer & MegaCorp operations executive.
About a dozen guys got together a couple weeks ago for his latest two brews – a Hopfest IPA and Oatmeal Stout. The group is a mix of friends and neighbors and the discussion spans travel, sports, and music. Everyone tries to keep the conversation light and friendly. Even the beer talk is kept simple, “After all, beer isn’t wine. There’s no need to make it complex,” someone recently observed.
Jeff started his “hobby obsession” a few years ago and was able to keep the events going through most of the pandemic by keeping us outside. What once was just a single keg on the patio has blossomed into a dual-tap “kegerator” as he has invested capital into his increasingly sophisticated brewing operations.
Other guys – some retired and some not – have gotten into the act themselves, building on what Jeff has going. One guy is a skilled BBQ expert and has brought 10-hour smoked brisket to Jeff’s event. Another couple guys put on a small-scale “Blues & Brews” concert in his garage during a recent tap release.
I’ve found that people who are still working always wonder what they will do with their time in retirement. Jeff is a perfect example of what you can do with a little imagination – turn a once-in-while hobby into an enjoyable, regular event for others. Brewing new varieties is a great pastime for him that is made even better when it is shared with others.
In what ways have you been able to share your hobbies with others?
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3 thoughts on “Monthly Tap Release Parties”
Your post sounds like you live in the Minnesota version of Margaritaville. I bet good neighbors like you have increase property values.
I have also taken up home brewing as a post retirement hobby. My middle son seems to be trying to pay me back for the things I have done over the years for him and decided I needed to take up home brewing.
Home brewing is not about saving money unless you live in Canada which taxes beer greatly. It is about the experience and comradery. I try to up my game with each batch and am planning to specialize in beers you cannot buy in the US.
The best beer I have had so far in my life was from a Kloster Andechs, which is a monastery that has been brewing since 1455. My favorite was the Doppelbock Dunkel. I want to make this.
Here is link https://www.andechs.de/en/monastery-brewery/product-range/doppelbock-dunkel.html
Benjamin Franklin is often falsely attributed with, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” I think it really came from the monks at Andechs.
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That beer looks terrific! We were in Munich for Oktoberfest, the fall before the pandemic. The fest beer & dunkers were so terrific & refreshing. I’d love to go back, even though I drank WAY to much!
Are you sharing the beers you make with friends & family? My friend Jeff was originally bottling the beer and handing them out. The ‘tap release party’ idea came later, but has been wonderful.
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So far mostly my sons sharing with their friends, who are good kids that want to help me work on cars and other projects. I am planning on inviting a neighbor couple over for the next release with a soak in the hot tub.
The secret to Andechs is laagering, which is really just simply cold storing it for a couple months. It results in a very smooth high ABV beer. Bet you have plenty of cold spaces to laager beer in MN during the winter?
One of my son’s friends was over a couple weekends ago. She is biochemist for a biotech who home brews and mentioned that she recently made some high ABV beers and she couldn’t taste any alcohol. Her starting and final gravity numbers seemed right. I told her about my experience in Germany that you really don’t taste the alcohol if the beer has been made correctly.