Acknowledgements Part 1
When you read books, quite often there is a section titled acknowledgements . This is not a book but I want to acknowledge friends and authors who have helped me get to the brewer I am today. I thought I would write one for you. These are some of the people who are responsible or have been a very influential to my beer brewing experience during my brewing lifetime.
It all starts at the beginning, For me that happened about 1981. I worked with an Electrical Engineer named Mike Haspert who maintained and repaired the automated Integrated Circuit Test Equipment at the computer chip company where I worked. Mike invited me to his house to taste some of his homebrew. Homebrewing was just in it’s infancy as the Federal and State laws had just recently been changed to allow brewing beer at home. This occurred in 1978 and was signed by Jimmy Carter. Up to this point, Mike was the only person I had ever met who made his own beer. Mike made British and German beers at the time and I realized then and there tha brewing beer was for me. Mike said that he would teach me how to brew and except for a break, I have been brewing ever since. Thank you Mike for introducing me to such a rewarding hobby.
Mike also introduced me to some very influential brewing books. The first one I think I read was Brewing Beers Like those You Buy, written by Dave Line in 1978. Dave was an Electrical Engineer from the UK who wrote this book as well as another titled The Big Book of Brewing to respond to brewers complaints of unsatisfactory results of homebrewing. This was caused by substandard supplies, poor quality extract syrups, beer kits, and the use of Bakers yeast. Brewers wanted results comparable to British beers found in the pubs and the bottle shops of Britain. Dave addressed these issues for homebrewers of Britain and later he wrote a book titled Beer Brewing Kits. Dave’s writing style regarding brewing tips involved around utilizing equipment and supplies the were commonly found around the home as well as using items from the grocery budget such as liquid bleach used for laundry.
Charlie Papazian wrote a book, for new American home brewers of the 1980’s called the The Joy of Homebrewing in 1984. Charlie was a Nuclear Engineer who addressed the basics of home brewers for American brewers. At this point I am reminded of a proverb that my friend Mike used to say that “Farmers make wine, but Engineers make beer”. Mike was an Engineer, Dave Line was an Engineer, and Charlie Papazian was Engineer. I was persuaded that maybe that Mike was right. However, I learned how to make wine and realized the assertion that farmers make wine was incorrect. Wine making may be more technical than brewing beer, or more engineered at any rate. I would have to say that to make the quality that I drink PH>D.’s make wine. But I digress. The Joy of Homebrewing covered all the basics of homebrewing and became the “go to” reference book for myself and most other American homebrewers since the 80”s. This book has now morphed into The Home Brewers Companion which became the master’s edition of The Joy of Homebrewing. Charlie is an easy “reading” writer and many, many times throughout the book, he says “relax-have homebrew!”
To wrap this all up-I want to thank Mike Haspert for introducing me to homebrewing and teaching me how to brew beer. He also introduced me to great beer brewing authors of brewing such as Dave Line and Charlie Papazian. Each author’s books have provided much needed source of reference for homebrewers over the last 30-40 years. I owe thanks to both Dave Line and Charlie Papazian. Both authors have written books that even though some aspects of brewing beer have modernized, are still reference books that brewers still rely on today.