Let’s Make Kalamazoo “BeerCity USA 2013”

beercityusaKalamazoo is in the running to become “BeerCity USA 2013” and you can help make it happen. Home to Bell’s and a growing list of other micro-breweries, Kalamazoo deserves to win this. As the Vote Kalamazoo site says, “What we’re voting for is bigger than a beverage. We’re voting for our entire community. We’re voting to tell the world about this awesome place we call home. We’re raising our glass and toasting Kalamazoo!”

So I ask you citizens of the Internet, to go and vote for my fair city of Kalamazoo. And if you’re not from around here, be sure to visit and sample our fine beer city.

Home Brew

Months and months ago I snagged a Mr. Beer home brewing kit at a great price on one of those “daily deals” sites. I received the kit a while ago but for one reason or another (like a wedding) I never got around to giving it a shot. Luckily it was not forgotten and with a bit of extra time about a month ago, my wife and I decided it was time to home brew a batch of west coast pale ale.

Christopher mixing up home brew beer

After a bit of patience and lots of stirring our beer was ready to ferment. It was a “hurry up and wait” situation. It’d be 7–14 days (we opted for the 14 to be sure) before we’d get to tap the keg and fill some bottles.

Mr. Beer home brew keg

For the next two weeks this little keg sat in our living room, just taunting us. Who knew the hardest part of making your own beer was just waiting for it to be ready?

Filling bottles of home brew from Mr. Beer keg

Bottling day had finally arrived. I read through the instructions again and started filling up my bottles. Then it was time for, yup, you guessed it, wait some more!

Home brew bottles conditioning in a closet

These guys got to hang out in our dry, dark linen closet for another two weeks. So much waiting!

A glass of home brewed west coast pale ale next to a bottle

After an extra two-day stay in our refrigerator, we finally cracked open a beer. It felt quite rewarding to finally take a sip of something we created at home. It wasn’t half bad either. I’m happy with the way my first attempt turned out and I’m looking forward to trying it again soon.

Next time I’m hoping to give it my own special touch and change the recipes a bit. I might even upgrade to a more “professional” brew kit. It turned out to be a lot of fun and could easily become a new hobby.

Slice of Life (Sans-Abby Edition)

This is a cross-post of a guest spot I did over at Abby’s blog. She’s been off getting her French on and she asked me to throw something up while she’s off the grid. I decided to go with her weekly “Slice of Life” style post.

Settlers of Catan board game

Birthday Cupcakes

Munchkin Card Game

Moosejaw T-Shirt

Ru Paul Bumper Sticker

Michigan Brewing Company Mackinac Pale Ale

This was what my week without Abby looked like. It wasn’t particularly exciting but it kept me busy.

  1. Settlers of Catan: We played two games on Friday and I managed to pull of a win in both games. Later in week, I continued that streak with a third win. I’m pretty sure everyone will gang up on me next time we play.
  2. Birthday Cupcakes: At a dinner with friends we celebrated Bethanie’s birthday with some homemade chocolate cupcakes, courtesy of our friend Kristen.
  3. Munchkin: My friends discovered a new (to us) card game called Munchkin. It’s kind of ridiculous and funny. We had a good time playing a couple of games and I’m sure it will be a staple at future game nights.
  4. Moosejaw T-shirt: This little goodie arrived in the mail for Abby. Moosejaw was  kind enough to give out free t-shirts last week, unfortunately not in my size. I guess Abby gets lucky on this one.
  5. Ru Paul for president bumper sticker: I saw this in a campus parking lot. It was a nice little laugh after a long, boring meeting.
  6. Michigan Brewing Company – Mackinac Pale Ale: Lately I’ve been trying to only buy beers I haven’t tried before. This week I picked up this pale ale based on name alone. It was pretty good.