I think about beer alot. Not because I’m some kind of alcoholic, but because… I… I guess I don’t know why. I jump through all these hoops to crack grain, to add water and keep the temperature just so. To cultivate the hops just so. Boiling it just so. I have all these contraptions that I’ve built, temperature probes and heating blankets, all to keep this tank of sugar water at a certain temperature, so this microorganism, yeast, my little beasties, can eat the sugar and poop alcohol at such as rate to create delicious flavors. I check up on them, open the top and peak, look at the big frothy foam mess they make at the top of the beer. I scoop out a few of them, the chosen ones, to keep them alive, to start a new colony in a new sugar water some day.
I know the personalities of all these different little beasties. This type likes to be cold. This one warm. If you heat this other one this way, he makes this flavor. If you mash your grain this one way for this other little beastie, you give him this interesting food to eat, and he makes this other unique flavor.
I think about the fact that people have been doing this for tens of thousands of years, and my small place doing something distinctly human. I think about how brewing used to be the province of women and shamans, and that’s alright with me, because I’m a woman too, and maybe a shaman in my own way.