Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Brewmasters Have Little to do with Beer

"Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza." - Dave Barry

Tomorrow  will be my seventh year with the Carolina Brewmasters, a group of knucklehead homebrewers in search of crafting the perfect beer.  For me, the brew process does not even make my top five reasons I'm part of this fine organization.

My top 5

5. Organzing the Charlotte Oktoberfest - yes, a bunch of volunteers put on one of Charlotte's biggest festivals of the year. In fact, we have raised over $50,000 annually to charities in need. One of those selected was the Victory Junction Gang, Kyle Petty's summer camp for kids with autism, cancer, down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, and other challenges children face. The entire festival takes nine months to get ready, over 200 volunteers are needed, and the true meaning of teamwork and selflessness is characterized from beginning to end.

4. Diversity of the club - men, women, black, white, Asian, gay, straight, old, older, oldest, physically impaired, lawyers, actors, brokers, the unemployed, the good looking, the not so good looking. You name it, we have it (and get along).

3. Beer is the conversation of choice. And what an excellent topic this can be. Point 1 - it's not politics, religion, relationships, careers, the Joneses, sports team obessions, or the economy. Point 2 - it's not snobby conversation, because when it comes down to it - it's just water, malt, yeast, and hops. In other words, it's not wine.

2. Just like a kid sharing their arts & crafts with their parents, we create something that others can enjoy. We would much rather share than hoard to ourselves. We take pride in our creation, which is part art, part science. When we get bored with one style, we have over 50 others to choose from. Plus a six pack of your homebrew make for some pretty cool birthday presents.

1. Call it sappy or pathetic, but some of my closest friends I've made since college are Carolina Brewmasters. From the hockey games to the trips to Asheville, the basement meetings to the BBQ's, my social life hasn't died, just matured (a bit). But more than that, the friendships with the families and their kids that my wife, son, and I have  made these past years are the true bonds that make me proud to be a Brewmaster.


  1. Great article. If I knew how to brew beer I would definitely want to join Brewmasters.

  2. Steve, you have done an excellent job in capturing the core essence of our organization. While we love beer and brewing, there's so much more to CBM than those two passions can encompass. I truly enjoyed reading this posting. Bravo, my friend.

  3. Awesome! I just bought the book, Joy of Home Brewing, and am looking forward to getting started. Do you know of any group in PBurg like what you have down there? Maybe I can start one.
    Any brewing tips you can throw my way as a beginner would be appreciated.

  4. Kevin, that's a great book to get started. I'm not sure of any groups in Parkersburg or where to get supplies. We have a place here that ships own via www.ebrew.com. Let me know if I can help anyway and have fun


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