It's all in the brew...

HAVE you ever had a beer that tastes like pears and passionfruit?

Sonya has. In fact, she brewed it herself, under the guidance of old hand Ryan, who has a penchant for brewing beer. And what’s more, she describes the trade as “my most fun trade yet.”

So how did the pair get started?

Ryan says, “I placed an offer to teach people how to brew beer from a starter kit, and also offered to provide all the equipment to get going. I have been brewing beer for about a year and am enthusiastic about sharing my new-found interest with others.”

Ryan gave Sonya some tips first on what to buy – malt, beer brewing kit, hops – and then they met to brew the beer – he was welcomed into her home with fresh black coffee. Then they met again a month later to bottle the beer.

“I had said to Ryan that I like Indian Pale Ales, so we brewed to that style,” says Sonya, “Ryan has all sorts of technical expertise in terms of how to make the Pale Ale that went beyond the instructions on the kit.”

Ryan’s tips included boiling the malt for extra taste, adding hops to the boil to create a bitter taste – “I shared the advice a friend gave to me,” says Ryan - and then a couple of days later Sonya added more hops for a fruity taste.

“I borrowed Ryan’s barrel to let the beer ferment, then we bottled it,” says Sonya.

And what a success it was.

“Last weekend I tasted my first 'brew' and it is an amazing beer - despite still being very young, I think it tasted like pears and passionfruit and think it is just as good as anything you could buy.”

Sonya enjoyed the trade so much that she can’t wait to brew another batch. “I am now a convert to beer brewing and looking forward to putting down my next one!”

So if you’re keen to give it a go, why not get in touch with Ryan through the Timebank? He says, “I’d really encourage others to give it a go – it’s a relatively simple process and I’d enjoy helping someone to brew their own again”.

As they say, it’s all in the brew…

Jennifer Niven.