I’ve never lived in a place that holds beer in such a high regard as the 801. Even my own family was the bootleggin’, hooch makin’ kind—it’s in my blood and I love to cook, so I decided to try my hand at it. I already flit around my kitchen talking to imaginary cameras, commenting on the spices and fresh ingredients I’m using as I bake. I figured this would be a great installment of the Rachel Gay Show and at the same time, I’d find my roots.
The ferocious people at the Beer Nut were all too eager to help me every step of the way through my first batch of homebrew. They hooked me up with a starter kit containing everything I needed to get going: Two five- gallon wall plaster buckets, sanitizer, a thermometer thing, some tubes, a clamp gadget, things, stuff, some other things and more stuff … needless to say I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the equipment, the number of steps involved and quantity of ingredients. The starter kit sat in the corner of my kitchen for two months. $85 stared ominously at me as I sat all alone on my cold, dark, pretend set.
Luckily, my phone rang. It was the lovely people of the Beer Nut inviting me to their last Sunday of the month beer-making class. At $15, it’s totally worth it, especially for my extreme right brain. I do much better when I can watch someone do something while I take notes. The instructor was so hot—I couldn’t concentrate and kept fantasizing where his alleged hops tattoo might be. I nicknamed him Sir Loves Hops A Lot. My mind was ripped from Sir Hops’ nether-regions when I heard, quite possibly, the gayest thing come from his sweet mouth. SLHAL told us to, “Start with 6 1/2 gallons of pure artesian water from the well on 8th south.” The class had just gotten interesting. The best part was finding out that I could infuse just about anything into my beer batch. Being one quarter Stevie Nicks, my imagination exploded with possibilities.
As I walked home, I went over my combination options in my head. I arrived at my door to find my friends Stephy and Jo-Jo Bean on my front porch with their friend Silly Si-Ben. I immediately put my new brewing skills to work, and made us a pom/ginger tea dusted with magic. It was on that trip that I came up with the gayest libation a queen could fall on. Dammen und Herren, I give you VonBlonden Brew: a light pilsner, infused with lavender, hyacinth and lemon peel—2/3rds of which come from my springtime garden.
The next day, I set out to find my seven-gallon stock-pot ($50) from the restaurant supply store. Next it was back to the Beer Nut to get ingredients, which were patiently picked out by my new “boyfriend” ($40). I was home in no time with m’gay water, cameras rolling and blaring “Bella Donna” on my record player for good juju. Six hours later, presto-homo, beer! At press-time it was still fermenting. I’ll bottle it next week. If you’re picking this up on the issue-date, then you no doubt know of SLUG’s giant pride party in my back yard tomorrow. I’ll be cracking open a couple bottles of VBB for a tasting. Cross your fingers.
I thoroughly enjoyed my beer-making experience. At this point hell, I’ve got all the materials to make it and at under 50 bucks a pop for five gallons, I’m hooked. I’ve decided to continue with my hobby over the next year and hope to stockpile my concoctions of basil/cucumber lagers, crabapple/blueberry red ales and cherry/chocolate stouts so that in a year from this month, I can get all you fabulous people drunk on booze I made in honor of Auntie Kennedy’s 40th Birthday!
Become my friend on Facebook (Principessa Kennedy) or MySpace (Princess Kennedy) and you will be invited to my birthday party. On the afternoon of Friday, June 19, I’ll post the address of the beer bar that will, unknowingly, host my happy hour “Guerilla Beer Bar” birthday party. It’s a surprise party for them! Militant drag requested, but not required. Be there, bitches!