I'm Tristan and I'm a homebrewer.
I'm 28 years old. I live in Wausau, WI with my wonderful wife Danielle and my dog Mauser. I enjoy brewing a good mix of lagers and ales. In particular, brewing all varieties of Pilsners and other lagers has been my focus.
Homebrewing started for me in 2002 when Point Brew Supply opened in my hometown, Stevens Point, WI. My mother actually left the newspaper clipping of the press release on the countertop at home. I stopped by one day and talked to the owners, Marc and Katina, who prosthelytized homebrewing and patiently explained everything involved. I took home a box of goodies which included all the usually brewing paraphernalia, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale extract clone kit and John Palmer's "How to Brew." Marc wrote down his home phone number on a card and told me to call if I had any questions. This was just a preview of the wonderful people I would meet engaging in this hobby.
On a sunny afternoon I set out to brew my first beer. Wort a-boiling in a 15 qt stock pot and windows fogged I was almost swiftly banned from the kitchen at home. All went to plan. One good whiff of the wonderful aromas of malt and hops from the airlock was all it took to spark the addiction. After tasting the finished product my parents agreed to let me back into the kitchen to facilitate subsequent batches.
In only took a few more batches before I took the plunge and purchased a Bayou Classic and keggle to move my brew day to the outdoor expanses of the family driveway.
In 2004 I moved to Madison, WI for a summer and put homebrewing on the shelf. Madison offered me a great selection of craft beer which satiated my thirst. I moved back to my home town the following winter and shortly after, started my career in software training. In the spring of 2009, my good friend James moved to the area and mentioned he started homebrewing again. He invited me to come over and brew a batch. We decided to brew a 11 gallon "clone" batch of Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale. I caught the bug hard again and started brewing feverishly. James helped me set up my all-grain system. I joined a homebrew club called M.A.S.H (Marshfield Area Society of Homebrewers) in late 2009.
I had the good fortune of attending my first National Homebrew Conference last year in the twin cities and meeting Kai Troester, John Blichmann, Ray Daniels, Denny Conn, Jamil Z, Justin from the brewing network and John Palmer, one of my homebrew heroes.
The key aspects that I really enjoy are the chemistry and overall mechanics of the mashing process. Microbiology is extremely fascinating. If you told me 10 years ago that I'd have a microscope at home, counting yeast cells and propagating cultures I would have never believed you! Fast forward to the present after 60+ batches, helping brew a few batches at a local microbrewery, two box freezers, draught setup and a lab and I'm loving this hobby more and more.
I feel this hobby has really enriched my life and forced me to learn and grow. Here's looking forward to a lifetime of learning and enjoying great beer.