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Homebrewing is sort of like parenting…  Watching the little tyke evolve from the ornery days of vicious fermentation may just be akin to the terrible two’s where your kid would rather nash at your arm than peacefully eat his or her porridge.

And like a good parent, a brewer must give the beer proper temperatures to evolve (a challenge in my Queens apartment that can often feel like a grungy, humid cantina in Cuba where you’ve been tied up in the back room over a poker game dispute and the one lone ceiling fan is moving so slow it only serves as a whirling, hypnotic tease above you—just me?), racking the beer off its leftover yeasts and trub is akin to changing diapers, and bottling and labeling is akin to sending that child off to college, hoping they return as upstanding citizens worthy of finally impressing your skeptical friends.

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I’ll tell you what, I was a hyperactive little demon child and it took me a bit longer to evolve…I guess that would be like a Belgian Saison that must be bottle-conditioned for 2-4 months, as opposed to the normal 2-4 weeks.  Okay, it’s official, if I was a beer, I’d be a wild Farmhouse Saison Ale.  Tempermental in its development, but once there, damn smooth and a perfect companion on a hot summer’s day…

It is with great pleasure that I announce two things:  one, the arrival of our latest beer, the Catcher in the Rye.  And secondly, that I announce Matt Rogers, the eccentric, big-hearted, master-of-the-pen from Chattanooga as the winner of our unofficial Name-That-Homebrew Contest.  His submission of Catcher in the Rye was seemingly simple at first, but began to grow on me to become something much deeper (just like the resulting beer, I hope…she’s still at college now, only on her second week of bottle conditioning, and hopefully not spending too much time at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon frat house).

Catcher in the Rye recipe:

2 lbs Rye Malt

½ lb Munich Malt

1½ lb 2-Row Malt

5 lbs Extract Pale Extract

2 oz Mt Hood Hops for bittering

1 oz Hallertau Hops for aroma

White Labs Dry English Ale 007 Yeast

And, for your enjoyment’s sake, a few of the runners-up in the Name-That-Homebrew competition:  “Rye-kers Island”, “Mad Rye-mes”, “Rye I Oughta”, “Rye of the Tiger”, “Rye-ke It Rong Time”, “This is What it Sounds Like When Doves Rye”, “Rye Me a River” and “Rye-nocerous”.

An open letter to Mr JD Salinger:  Dear Mr Salinger, I love your book.  And I also know you fiercely protect its image, and in fact will sue at the drop of a hat to protect its honor.  Please don’t sue me.  My beer child means you no harm, and I certainly won’t make a sheckle off of it.  That is unless of course you yourself would like to purchase a batch.  Let’s start the bidding at $500 a bottle.  This is my child we’re talking about, for God’s sake.

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2 Responses to “Here’s Looking at You Kid: The Catcher in the Rye”

  1. Leon says:

    Sounds like a solid rye. Good luck!

  2. Hey Leon,
    Much thanks for the note. We’re about to label these bad boys this weekend, and then its time to gear up for the next batch. That is assuming that JD Salinger doesn”t sue my ass and confiscate my carboy.

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