I'm Jonathan, and I run the Hop of the Month Club! That's me on the left. Thanks for stopping by.
I started homebrewing in 2007, and made the jump right into all grain. I wrote the first recipe that I ever brewed using the recipe development chart in Randy Mosher's book "Radical Brewing" that I'd checked out from the Denver Public Library.
That batch was a bit over the top (used a bit too much cardamom and got an imperial version of the porter that I was shooting for) and over carbonated (bottles were opened outside only). It also hooked me.
I found a good homebrew store, and got some good advice on calculating priming sugar. And I learned to put a recipe together using the same trial methods and principals that I learned when I had attended Culinary School.
I kept brewing over the years, reading as much as I could. Brewing as often as I could, and brewing with fellow homebrewers when the opportunity came up.
If you want to know about how the Hop of the Month Club got started, check out this blog post: Origin Story Blog Post
Since you're still reading, here are 5 things about me that you might not know:
- The beer that got me hooked on craft beer was the St. Bridget's porter from Great Divide. I had had craft/microbrews before. Liked some, but the St. B's was the beer that made me sit up and take notice. I had the Yeti Stout from Great Divide in the same session, it's also fantastic.
- I brew the same recipe, or variations on the same recipe a lot. Since I know what to expect, this allows me to test new ingredients and get an understing of what the component under scrutiny adds to a beer. The recipe that I brew most often, is one that I've been brewing since about 2009. Under the 2008 BJCP it was an ESB, under the 2015 style guide, it's an American Pale Ale.
- I think of beer as a food. Both in terms of recipe development and in how I consume it.
- I tend not to stick too closely to BJCP style guidelines. If I can find a beer in the store, I'm not likely to brew it. I like crossing styles, borrowing techniques and fiddling with guidelines until the beer suits my own personal taste.
- I no longer work in kitchens professionally. Which is great, since I now have time to brew on a regular basis!
Anything else you want to know? Ask me at Jonathan@HopoftheMonthClub.com