November 1999. I can never remember what batch came first - the porter or the red ale. But either way, I was immediately addicted. My girlfriend at the time had bought me a couple of how-to books on homebrewing, knowing only that I enjoyed craft beer. After about the third batch, she told me, "I've created a monster." How true. The relationship quickly died, but the passion for homebrewing only grew into an ever-bigger monster.