I'm a student at UW-Milwaukee and I'm writing a short essay on the culture of homebrewing for one of my classes (I'm also a newly christened homebrewer, with one batch 5 weeks bottled and another undergoing secondary fermentation). I'm sending out a few e-mails hoping to get just a few, brief comments on homebrew culture, the state of the scene and'/or what it means to you.
These don't have to be all addressed or the answers definitive, but if I could get a few thoughts sent my way I would very much appreciate it! I'm sending these questions out with a bad case of hindsight, having started my rough draft, so anyone who wouldn't mind responding could send me whatever, whenever, that would be amazing. Thanks!
How long have you been homebrewing? Do you do this for specific occasions or do you like to keep a rotation going? Do you have certain people that you brew batches with, or do you brew alone?
Do you seek out localized products (IE: Hops grown in your state), stick to a known brand or use what's available? Are there homebrew shops in your community? Are they family-owned or chains?
Have you ever entered into a homebrew competition? Do you participate in any homebrew groups? How do you feel about the homebrew community? Have you had any experiences with homebrewing events (IE: Three Floyd's Dark Lord Day, which draws a wide range of homebrew enthusiasts)?
What role do you feel homebrew plays in the world of microbrewing and macrobrewing? What do you appreciate about the experience?
Lastly: Any Homebrew horror stories? (My own involves 3AM, a glass carboy and a bathtub filled with ice water, although it still turned out all right!)
That may be several questions, but--again--feel free to answer the ones you feel easiest to respond to. My key thing is I'm trying to obtain a few usable quotes, so a couple of short-but-animated responses will work much better than a list of succinct answers. If I do quote you, I'll just use a first name a brief description of your role (IE: Has a blog on homebrewing, works in a homebrew store...). This isn't for publication, it's just for a course project. If you would prefer to go nameless, though, just let me know.
Thanks for at least reading this, even if you choose not to respond! If you do reply and you could include your first name/role in homebrewing ('enthusiast' works just fine!) that would be extremely helpful.
I'll check back to this thread over the next few days, but the best way to reply to me would be via e-mail. You can reach me at:
Thanks again, I really appreciate it!