This post brought to you by Summer of Groupon. All opinions are 100% mine.
My grandfather (my dad’s dad) was a chemist at Boeing. Obviously he did stuff with the planes, but one thing I will always remember him doing is making wine. He had an entire basement full of bottles . . . and he drank a glass of red wine every night. Just one. He lived until 93 years old, so maybe there’s something to that? Anyhoo, he gave me the supplies in my 20s
, and I tried making wine. I was just okay at it, but I found I enjoyed the process. So when I saw a few offers on Groupon for a beer making class and a brewery tour, I was very interested.
Two things in particular motivated me to do this, actually. I love knowing how things are made, but I also have hippie roots. My parents were communal farmers in the early 70s, and I think I have a bit of that agricultural spirit. I’ve tried dehydrating fruit and meats and making my own kombucha . . . so this seemed kinda cool. And also, two of my brothers really love craft beers and I wanted to impress them. Well . . . and I guess you can add that on occasion, I do enjoy a good beer!
We headed to Red Brick Brewery here in Atlanta, yet another place I’ve never been to. One thing I am loving about my Summer of Groupon is going to all of these new places! Atlanta is such a huge city and I love exploring. Oh, and the free pint glass and t-shirt I got along with my tasting tickets wasn’t too shabby, either.
You get to see their operation, which is huge, and even listen to a little live music.
And of course, beer samplings with friends is encouraged. They do this every Friday. I had no idea!
The most interesting part of the tasting was actually trying their Super Green Yuza IPA (with green tea) along with green tea ice cream! Yum! And that takes me to actually making the beer itself. The next was all about learning what happens behind the “beer curtain.”
This beer brewing introductory class was held at the Wine Workshop and Brew Center in Decatur – my old neighborhood. I never even knew it was there! This is a true family operation. Husband and wife team Marcia and Gerald make it a great environment . . . with their other family members working there as well.
Gerald and his son Steve were awesome teachers and very entertaining. They made all of us laugh!
We walked through the steps of beer making, and it turns out that there’s a lot in come with brewing tea, actually. Okay . . . there are a few more steps . . . but I didn’t realize that you boiled malt to make “wort,” and that is what makes the beer.
We got to learn all about the malt, both dry and liquid, and we even got to taste test them.
Some were good, some not so good . . . and you can see how they change the flavor of the beer depending on which you use.
We had a great time. It’s a perfect activity for just spending time with friends. Did I mention I love spending time with my friends?! And in the end, you fill up a jug that is going to ferment:
And will eventually produce the beer that you buy in bottles from the store. So cool!
I loved the class, but I have to say – my favorite part of the whole thing was the fermenting wine wearing polo shirts to keep the light out (you don’t want it to oxidize and ruin). I can’t remember the last time I saw an inanimate object wearing a polo, but they looked smashing.
All in all, I had a fantastic weekend! Thanks to Groupon for providing me with more amazing experiences. To find brewery tours and beer/wine making centers in your area, visit their Summer Shop. See you after my next adventure!