"Homebrews on Homebrews" - Quit it with the Lice and Have a Homebrew!

"This is supposed to be a HAAAAPPPPYYYYY occasion! Let's not biiiiicker and arrrrrrgue about who killed who!!!"

Okay, now that that is settled. Over the past two years, I've gotten deeper and deeper into the immensely gratifying, and occasionally immensely intoxicating, hobby of brewing my own beer. As a former Engineering Science/Bioengineering grad at Penn State, it has given me a great way to hold true to my Engineering roots.

But I digress! The reason I brought this topic to the beloved FanPost section is two-fold:

First, I wanted to see what other homebrewing fanatics were out there among the BSD community. If the interest was great enough, I'd love to make regular threads to discuss the always evolving hobby. And if the interest isn't out there? Maybe I will inspire some of you to pursue the ever-rewarding challenge of brewing your own homebrew. Or maybe just stimulate a discussion of all the great brews to choose from on gameday.

Second, and probably more importantly, I've made my fifth homebrew during this past month, and I decided to take it in a PSU direction. Throughout my homebrewing escapades, I've always brewed for occasion, and I always assign a roman numeral to the beer and incorporate it into the label. So to run through my beerscapades.

I - I made it for my Dad who has been a role model for me ever since I could remember, and we share the enjoyment of beer. The label reads, "Go raibh do ghloine lan go deo," meaning "may your glass ever be full" in gaelic. Spoiler Alert - our family has roots in Ireland.

II - I made it with some fellow medical school classmates for a school-related winter event. The result? A fantastic hard cider.

III - I made it for the Steeler's seventh run at a Super Bowl. It was lined up to be called "Stairway to Seven Stout," but after all of the Steel City blunders in the Super Bowl, I named it "Steel Curtain Stout."

IV - I made it for the Kentucky NCAAM National Championship in 2012. Learning from my own past mistakes, I did not pre-emptively name this beer. After we sealed our shining moment in the Big Easy, I coined it "Gr8ness IPA: CalIPAri's Cats"

And the fifth...

V - I've called it Bourbon Barrel Joe Pale Ale (see what I did there? Joe P.A.?). You see, with each homebrewing installment, I make a label. As a part of each label, I incorporate the roman numeral of which number beer it is for me. That made the fifth one V, and V is JoePa's middle initial. As a life-long Penn State fan, Penn State alum, and one who has looked up to JoePa's values for his entire life, the idea was a no-brainer. Here's a glance at the design::


For you homebrewers out there, I just used a standard pale ale recipe and transferred it to a secondary fermentation with bourbon-soaked woodchips. Could not have asked for a better result.

I just wanted to share the culmination of two of my favorite things (PSU and homebrewing) and a final product that I am extremely proud of. I can honestly say that it is my favorite homebrew to date. The bourbon flavor is subtle, yet lends a sweet character to the beer. After all, bourbon was JoePa's perferred whiskey. I am even drinking it as I type:


I hope you enjoyed my little article on my own non-technical journey through an enjoyable hobby. Hopefully it will inspire some of you to join me in the wonderful challenges of concocting your very own homebrew, and if not, that's okay! Please feel free to share your favorite beer styles, homebrewing techniques, or favorite occasions for which you would want a microbrew. It's all part of the fun.

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