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How to Make Beer: Our Family Discovers the Lost Art of Home-Brewing

A few years ago, a friend's car broke down and, as I am known for doing, I volunteered Mr. Fox to fix it with all his spare time (between rebuilding our 140-year-old farmhouse and a full time job.) As a thank you, the friend bought him his first home-brew kit. Thus began the great beer adventure. First came the planting of the hops. As I've written before, we have an extensive garden that produces organic vegetables we enjoy all year long. Growing cascade hops is very easy and the only trouble we had was keeping them from taking over the entire garden.

To brew your own beer you don't need to grow your own hops. We just figured since we grow everything else, why not? They grow like weeds and harvesting them is easy. We spent a lazy September Saturday clipping off the cones and collecting them for drying. Once they dried, we froze them for later use.

Before you begin your brewing experiment, it is essential you buy The Joy of Home Brewing by Charlie Papazian. This is the home-brew Bible and a terrific read that will have you laughing on the first page. It is not only a guide to making your own beer but a "lifestyle manual, a philosophical tract, and a work of subversive literature."And there is nothing we love most in the world more than subverting the popular lame culture, whether it happens to be pushing hope, change and unicorns or tasteless beer.