Instead of B.Y.O.B. it was MakeYourOwnBeer. "Super fun," as my, "married," friend (inside joke) Catfish would say. Vine Park Brewery has got to be one of St. Pauly's best kept secrets. So here's how the whole thing works step by step. Beer makin' ain't for kiddies so enlist a cute Jr. High gal to look after your Hank for a few hours (don't think his mom didn't have to text for permission to stay out later than anticipated). Next pick what kinda beer you are gonna make and decide who's the A. Class Clown, the goofball you gotta love. B. Bossy know-it-all, who thinks they know more than the teacher. C. Brains behind the madness, coming up with all the naughty ideas, but too nice for the teacher to suspect. Or D. The "A" student, good at reading and barking out directions. (If you really need, the answers are below.) Ok, back to makin' beer. We made the Walnut Brown Ale, which required adding hops and gluten to the big kettle. They don't let ya do a thing unless you wear these big rubbers, when you bend over, I mean, when you add stuff to the kettle so you don't get burned (can you say lawsuit?). Basically this stuff boils for about 30 minutes and they send you to this great hole-in-the-wall bar across the street to make buds with the, "beer bellied," bartender (so fun, but perhaps slightly seedier than their website lets on). If you are a really good student you come back across the street in time to add the hops to the wort (not namin' names, but our star pupil sorta f'd up after a glass of vino). Then the wort is pumped out of your kettle into a big container into which you pour your yeast. This big container is left to ferment for about a week (be nice to the guys working there or you never know what may get added) before it arrives in the walk in cooler for the big cool off. You can walk out the door and leave them to do the clean up knowing in 3 weeks you will come back to bottle. But the night is still young so you MUST head over to Shamrock's for a Nookie burger , a couple of commercially brewed beers, a swing around the dance floor and if you're lucky, a visit with a goofy regular who won't leave ya alone. Cap off the evening with good night kiss, take two Advil and come back in three weeks for the details on the bottling process. All the taste(less info) and no calories.
Quiz Answers (as if you didn't already know) A. Catfish. B. 34B cup. C. My hubby. D. Nicki Potato.