IMG_1872I like beer. A lot. Spend any time around me and that fact is fairly apparent. And like so many others catching on to the craft beer craze sweeping the globe right now, I and my husband have also recently taken up brewing our own beer. There’s nothing like putting the time, effort and patience into a hobby that provides you with such, ahem, tangible (and tasty) results!

So, after I signed on to produce another episode of Patchworks for MTS TV’s Stories From Home earlier this year, it didn’t take me very long to settle on a subject that fulfilled one of the foremost rules of the creative process – write what you know!

Enter Alan Munz. He and my husband have recently formed the Westman Alers brewing club in an attempt to bring together like-minded home brewers who want to swap recipes, share tricks of the trade and generally gab about what they love doing with other do-it-yourselfers.

IMG_1882With 13 years experience in home brewing under his belt, Alan has become a bit of a granddaddy in the fledgling group – dispensing tips, tricks and general advice to whomever needs it, with pure enthusiasm and with none of the attitude you would expect from a relative expert amidst a group of “newbies”.

While he’s fond of downplaying the complexity of brewing beer from scratch – it’s not rocket science, he repeated to me several times over the course of my shooting schedule – Alan certainly has shown me that the do-it-yourself concept is so much more that just throwing some grains into a bucket of hot water and seeing what shakes out. The science is mind-boggling. From Ph testing his water, to using locally-produced grains in his mash, to harvesting his very own homegrown hop varietals at just the right time to achieve a truly authentic taste… Alan’s libations are legit! (And I can speak from experience… one of the perks of producing a documentary about home brewing is being able to sample your subject’s successes, right, Nate?)

As a craft beer enthusiast, I’m really proud of this episode of patchworks and I’m excited for it to premiere on MTS TV later this fall …. not only because I think it will bring more awareness to the Westman Alers group and foster an appreciation of the craft of home brewing across Western Manitoba… but because I like beer. A lot!