I like beer. A lot. Big beer, small beer, dark beer, light beer, red beer, hoppy beer, malty beer, fruit beer, beer out of clay mugs, beer out of wine glasses, beer made by monks, beer made by imps and almost any other beer you throw at me. I blame working at a Wellington craft beer bar for six months.
You see, those six months both ruined my life and made it better. Before I worked there I drank bland, fizzy Euro lagers like Heineken, Becks and Stella Artois (which, ironically enough, are brewed in New Zealand) and Tui.
Six months later, I was a fully-fledged beer nerd. I knew the difference between ale and lager yeast, American and English IPAs, hops and malt and anything else beer-related. I could find the flavour in a beer rather than quaffing it down for the sake of imbibement. I could enjoy beer, instead of - well - just drinking it.
But there was The Downside; "good beer" (more on that another time) does cost more money. While $12 will get you a dozen Tui on a good day, it will only get you a four pack of something from Epic or Tuatara. Some single bottles go for double or triple that much. And between you and me, a fresh-out-of-university journalist isn't making it rain money.
What were my options? I could go back to drinking "bad beer" (hell no!), not drink beer at all (I'll pass on that), forgo paying rent and/or power (I quite like those things) or find a way to get the good stuff for cheap. I'm not into stealing, and haggling doesn't get you anywhere fast in New Zealand, so making the stuff myself seemed to be the only option.
And make my own I have. I'm a few brews in and already have caught the bug. I'm amazed at how fun, fulfilling and fantastically easy it all is. And that's what this blog will be about. I'll share my brewing adventures and let you know how it all turns out.
I'll also let you know about the new beers which come out - which ones are worth drinking, or not - and anything else relatively beer-related. If there's something you want to know or want me to check out, feel free to comment or hunt me down on Twitter.
So read on, and follow me on my trip from drinker to brewer.