Sassquash Mild

Drinking the mild I brewed four weeks ago.

Drinking the mild I brewed four weeks ago.

That moment you crack open a beer you have brewed yourself– it’s kinda magical, kinda scary.  It’s hard not to load it with harbingers of life in general (if the beer is shit does that mean I’m shit at life? What if it’s good, but not good enough?  Am I consigned forever to mediocrity?)

I am a worrier, and drink beer as a way to regulate certain personality flaws, this being one of them.  But my first solo brew is totally drinkable.  Sure, the body is thin, and there is no head to speak of.  The carbonation level threatens the delicate flavors– in short, a hyper active child only a mother could love.  And I do love it.

I shared it with friends, and we were all eating pizza and playing with a Blythe doll.  It seemed like the thing to do, as my beer wasn’t going to put hair on anyone’s chest.  It’s a shandy-like beer, a return to childhood, to the furtive sippings of forbidden stuff.   My friend noticed the chocolate malt and the biscuit, and she’s not even a beer-head.  She also said it was squash-like.  For non-Brits, squash is a refreshing, fizzy fruit drink. I don’t think it really tastes of squash but the mouth-feel is certainly reminiscent.

Sassquash.  It’s as good a name as any, and my friend is pretty darn sassy.  I realize now, just like Adam in the garden, naming things is a certain privilege.  Just so with beer.  I love the ‘in-joke’ names of home and micro brews that crown this anachronistic labor of love.

I don’t want to spend my entire brewing career churning out fizzy lifting drinks.  Now I have to figure out what exactly went wrong here, and how the next batches could be improved. But where to begin?

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16 Responses

  1. It’s missing Yeti dust, ma’am.

    • I’ve got Yeti dander in the trub, Maud help me! (I really just wanted to type that sentence).

  2. If there’s a homebrewing group in London, join it. Take your beer to them; if they’re anything like Portland’s group, the people there will be incredibly helpful assisting you. Save a couple bottles for them to sample. Some people won’t tell you anything, but others will give you feedback that will improve every batch you make.

    Or bring it to me! Bring it to me!

    Except I won’t be helpful so much as a drinker.

    • It looks like there is a group in London– the meetings are over an hour away from me (of course). I’m sure they will be nothing like Portland’s group. I would bet beer money on it.

      • F that. Join the Yeti Hunters instead. Imagine if you find one. He’ll be all yours. Hair, beer and all.

        • Haha, Wortwurst…a girl can dream.

  3. I have been toying with the idea of homebrew now for a few weeks. It’s great to read about your first attempts.

    I agree with the naming thing of beers. I often picture microbrewers sitting down and drinking A LOT of thier brew and seeing what trippy thing flashes across their eyes.
    For funky names and labels, I am particularly fond of the Tring Brewery’s ones at the moment. They are all tied to local legends and people.

    I look forward to reading about your future brews

    • Brewing is easier and more rewarding than I thought. The challenge has been to find good equipment and ingredients.

      Sometimes at beer festivals I will try beers based on the name alone. I’m a sucker for anything with a heavy-metal sounding name.

  4. I have similar feelings as I crack the first of a batch. A scary, exciting moment indeed!

    • Capa, are you brewing anything right now? Do you have any ritual associated with opening the first beers?

  5. I’m honored to have been part of the naming process! I’m looking forward to you and M coming to visit me and M and maybe making a start on some w-s-m brewing.

    By the way, this place: http://www.homebrewcentre.co.uk/ is near(ish) to me and this place:
    http://www.citikey.com/business/10039491/
    is the home brew shop in Bristol we were talking about.

    • Brewer’s Droop is a great name for a store.

  6. My first solo attempt, also a Mild, came out similarly. Although I’ve gotten some good responses (people have said it’s malty and easy to drink) and those “green” flavors have worn off with some conditioning. I chalk it up to experience, as it’s thin yet drinkable, but that’s sort of what I shooting for with the style. I may revisit it in all-grain, who knows. You can always tweak your recipes, which is part of the fun.

    At any rate, keep on brewin’ on!

    • E.S.– already I’m seeing an improvement as the bottles age a bit. I’m just relieved it’s drinkable. I look forward to learning how to tweak the recipes and get more predicable results as I learn!

  7. Happy to swap homebrews some time…

    • We should totally do a mini tasting or something. By next month I should have this stout bottled, too. I could definitely use some of your recipes and know-how, also.

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