New AHA member here. I am a veterinarian in Texas (never lived anywhere else) and I've been homebrewing since 1995 with a nearly 10 year hiatus due to moving to an area without a homebrew supply. Shipping was too expensive but now several suppliers have great shipping deals and a local supply store opened here last fall. Right now I have plenty of beers on hand so I haven't brewed in about a month, but I usually brew an average of 2-4 beers per month.
I started homebrewing after going to Germany and tasting real beer for the first time. Good imports and craft brews were just too expensive back in college, so a friend showed me how to home brew and I've been hooked ever since. A basic brewing set up was cheap and the 5 gallon kits averaged $21.00 each - much less than the equivalent amount of craft beer from the store. I've brewed probably 100-125 beers, several kit wines (mostly ports), and a couple of dozen meads. I have had a serious offer from an investor to help me go commercial with my meads (guess he thinks they are good), but that will be more of a retirement project. I like my job and don't want to devote the time to starting a commercial operation at this stage in my life. I have never entered a beer contest but will be entering the 2nd annual Texas Mead Fest this September - mainly for fun but also to see how good my meads are compared to other mead makers.
I am not currently in a club but I belonged to the Texas Aggie Brew Club back in college. The name was a bit of a joke: TABC also stands for the state regulatory agency, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
Hometown: Plano, Texas. I currently live in Port Arthur, Texas.
Homebrewing Disaster: Other than the occasional boil over, I have only lost one batch: a Kolsch. My A/C went out and the beer fermented at 105 degrees (danged Texas summers). It was quite nasty.
Favorite styles to brew: I am experimenting with several styles now that I have never made before, mostly Belgian styles - I really like these. In the past I mainly made stouts, German wheats, and Boston lager clones but always made a few other styles for variety. I really like porters.
I used to just follow the recipes from the local homebrew store I used back in college. I was looking for good beers that were cheaper than store bought beers. Lately, I've tried other recipes, notably some of Jamil Zainasheff's, and now I'm making great beers, not just good beers. I plan to start designing my own recipes as a next step.
Are you an indoor or outdoor brewer? Indoor. I college I brewed outside using a Cajun cooker, my stove was electric and I learned pretty quickly to brew with gas. I currently have a gas stove so I brew inside.
Do you have any pets or kids named after beer styles or ingredients? Haven't thought of doing that, maybe I should name a son "Hallertau" and a daughter "Saison"
If you could serve your homebrew to someone famous, who would it be and what would you give her/him? Wil Wheaton, he is a homebrewer too and he said he was going to try my Irish Stout recipe (haven't heard back from him on it yet). I would probably serve him a Chocolate Hazelnut Porter or the Irish Stout if i met him in the winter, a Begian Saison in the summer.
What style(s) will you never brew? American lager - Budweiser/ Miller style crap.
Due to space, time, and cost issues, I do extract brewing instead of all grain. I use plastic fermenters and aging buckets and do not own a carboy at all - buckets are so much easier to deal with. I keg my beers (gave up bottling back in college - too much work) and I have a 1982 Frigidaire with 5 taps - frosty mugs and hops kept in the freezer. I usually keep one keg of root beer on tap in the summer, then change out the hoses and rubber parts to keep the root beer taste out of my winter beers. The fridge needs to be repainted, someone suggested using chalkboard paint so that I could write the names of the current beers above the taps and draw artwork on the doors.