After a tough year at the Beerme home, I am looking forward to a better year, starting tomorrow. My oldest son has moved to Atlanta, Georgia to begin his life as an independent man. I'm happy about that and for his continued health since battling and beating cancer a couple of years ago. My youngest son had a tough year last year, as well, but seems to be picking himself up and dusting himself off for a run at 2007. My wife has been fighting the loss of her oldest boy, since the move to Atlanta a couple of months ago, but she is happy and healthy as well. I am working hard at maintaining my professional status with the State and moonlighting as an educator one day a week. All is good.
As for the brewing, it went pretty slowly this past year, but picked up considerably during the last month or two. A review of my brewlog shows the following brew schedule:
1-15-2006-Rye-Rish Red Ale, the eventual blue ribbon winner at the Michigan State Fair!
1-15-2006-Jeff's Amber Ale, a fine Strong Ale brewed with my friend Jeff
5-29-2006-Top-Heavy Blonde, a Belgian Golden Ale that was somewhat disappointing
11-4-2006-The Mild Ale That Wasn't, a brew done at the Teach A Friend To Homebrew celebration at Hopman's Brewing Supply in Waterford Township
11-24-2006-Golem Barleywine, a smokin' strong ale (11%) that appears to be a real winner, so far...
12-3-2006-The Bitter End, an ESB that also looks like a winner (if the judges can get past the American hop presence)
12-3-2006-Honey I Shrunk the Beer, a Small Beer produced by the final runnings of the ESB. Also a fine beer, perhaps a session beer of some prominence.
So there you have it. Seven beers this year. Not much to crow about in terms of production but all were very good, with the exception of the Belgian.
What I hope for in 2007, brewing-wise, is some more consistency. I would like to see better efficiency in my brewing, some new equipment (new or homemade) that will better the product, more prolific brewing, a better hop harvest and some more awards for my beer. I think I may have ensured at least the last wish with at least one of the beers I brewed over the last month, but I'm still awaiting some independent evaluation from my friends before predicting it.
This year is barley over but may the new year be very hoppy for you all!