Make Beer

We—the makers of the Web—like to do just that: make.

We build sites, store applications, frameworks and tools. We write articles, organize conferences, populate social networks, record podcasts, create blogs, aggregate data, design typefaces, and shoot video. We get a kick out of making things—any type of things. If we’re not making things, we’re changing things.

For me, the non-web thing comes in liquid form. I’ve been making beer for around 8 years, now (and making good beer for over 3).

The hobby is extremely rewarding (you get to drink the results), and I’ve met many different kinds of people through my brewing obsession—a much more diverse group than we web geeks.

Getting started isn’t terribly expensive (you can buy the necessary equipment and ingredients for your first batch for not much more than the equivalent amount of beer), and it’s truly easy to make something drinkable.

You can extend your skills, upgrade your equipment, and hone your knowledge as much or as little as you like, and if you catch the brewing bug, you might just find yourself with a kegerator full of tasty beer—on tap!

So, find your local homebrew shop, or your local brewing club, ask some questions, read, join the community, and get started. Beer wants to be made (and let’s face it: you want to drink it).

Beer: Also Magical and Revolutionary

One side-benefit of traveling for work is that I’ve been able to broaden my horizons in many areas, psychiatrist but a hobby that I’ve chosen to focus on is beer sampling. Visiting foreign cities has helped me escape the beer desert of my home in Montreal, and has allowed me to taste many delicious brews that I would otherwise never have had the pleasure of imbibing.

As web professionals, we’re often called upon to attend—or speak at—conferences. The events that surround the main schedule are as important as the conferences, themselves. This is where communities are formed, and where ideas are refined. These after-hours social sessions are often coincidentally held at establishments that serve beer.

If you have functioning taste buds, this coincidence is a huge opportunity for your mouth.

In the past couple years, I’ve been able to attend some of North America’s best beer bars, and sample some of the world’s best brews, all without incurring huge personal travel costs.

Uniting friends through deliciousness is an art, and one that I take seriously. We’ve shared bottles at the Map Room in Chicago, tasted the incredible menu at Russian River near San Francisco, put a dent in Taco Mac‘s bottle list in Atlanta, drank on Microsoft’s dime at the Taphouse Grill near Seattle, exhausted the Lost Abbey supply at The Brickskeller in Washington D.C., and completely took over Beer Table in Brooklyn for an evening (just to name a few).

Next time you’re gathering a group, post-conference, to hack on a project or hone your newest web ideas, leave the overpriced hotel bar behind, find an interesting tap list, and venture into the wonderful world of tasty malt and hops (or sour beers if you’re feeling particular adventurous).