You Want to Brew What?
A dear friend of mine told me that a new brewery was starting up and wanted to brew his homebrew recipes. I think the world of my friend and his homebrew recipes are fine, but I was just stunned. I've heard plenty of asinine ideas coming from new start-up breweries, but this was a new one.
My thought was if you do not know enough to create your own recipes, do you really know how to brew great beer? How is it you can brew great beer, but can't create your own recipes just as good as what you can find from someone else? If you are a great brewer, you must have proved it to yourself by brewing great beer from your own recipes, right? You started out on your kitchen stove, people told you it was great, and then you believed that you could open a brewery with those recipes. Isn't that the way it goes for just about everyone?
Sure, I understand being a brewer and starting with a recipe from some other source when venturing into new territory. I wouldn't berate someone for starting with a recipe from Brewing Classic Styles or any other source and brewing it commercially. I really love the concept of ProAm beers and collaboration beers. It is just so much fun and often doubles the passion, but that is usually a one-off thing. It isn't the source of everything a brewer does.
I suppose there could be someone with lots of money and the idea that they would just build a brewery and hire someone to brew whatever recipes they found on the Internet. That doesn't seem like a recipe for success in craft beer to me, but I certainly don't know everything about the beer business.
For me, owning a brewery and brewing beer is more than just a business. It is an opportunity to express your passion and creativity to scores of very passionate beer lovers. Sure, I go on and on about how it is a business first, but why not open a fast food franchise if you aren't passionate about expressing your own creativity?
We have a passion, a focus, a belief in our interpretation of great beer. We agonize over the details and what the beer tastes like. We spend a great deal of time debating the finest details of each new recipe. Where would the passion be if we just took another recipe and brewed it?
I think this is why I'm not fond of contract brewing when a brewery is just one in name only. I understand contract brewing when an existing brewery runs out of space and needs help until they build a new facility, but I don't understand letting someone else brew your beer and then claiming that as your "creativity" and "passion for brewing." Really?
Of course, this is just some old dude ranting. I firmly believe people should always be free to do what they please in brewing, and drinkers should drink what they love, no matter what anyone else says.
For me, that is creating new recipes that express our personal passion for beer, not leaning on others to create for us.Last modified on