Countdown to ARToberfest: Thirsty Thursday

The 3rd Annual ARToberfest is coming up October 5, and we are already working on recruiting home brewers to participate in the event. This year the winner of the ARToberfest Brewmaster competition will earn some serious bragging rights and, of course, a $500 grand prize. The competition is going to be tough! We have been contacting participating home brewers and asking them about their craft. Whether brewing beer is just a hobby or a lifelong passion, we want to know why they do it!

This week we spoke to Jeremy Saye from the homebrew club called Malt Munching Mash Monsters (Mmmm) from the Shreveport/Bossier area and his personal homebrewery, Cathouse Brewery. Here are his responses to some questions about “Mmmm” and the craft.

Q: What inspired you to start homebrewing? Was it an interest of yours? I began brewing in 1996, I was a college student at LSU-BR and saw a novelty beer kit for sale at the mall. The beer wasn't that great but it was fun to do and I sought out a small homebrew shop in town. They sold me a book, The Joy of Homebrewing,  and my first real kit and fermenter, (which I still use). I was hooked.   When did you start homebrewing? And where do you brew? 1996, I have taken many long breaks but have brewed consistently for four years now. [I brew] outside, in my backyard on propane burners.

Q. So your brew club is called Malt Munching Mash Monsters (Mmmm). What was your inspiration for that name? It reminds me of that old song, "The Monster Mash."  I was not a founding member, but it is common to name brew clubs in a witty way, in our case the acronym is the sound you make when you drink beer MMMM......  I call my own personal homebrewery the Cathouse Brewery. I have a small herd of cats and it seemed like a fun name at the time.

Q. How large are your batches? Do you keg, bottle, or both? I brew mostly 5 or 10 gallon batches. I tend to wander about and experiment with unique ingredients and special yeasts, so I do smaller batches of those. Sometimes just small 2.5 gallon batches. I mostly keg, I hate bottling, but I do bottle my annual barley wine and other beers I want to age. I also bottle from the keg for parties, gifts and vacations.

Q. Have you participated in any homebrewing competitions? (If yes, did you win any awards? If no, do you plan on entering any competitions in the future?) I started competing two years ago, mostly in BJCP/AHA sanctioned events. (Brew Judge Certification Program / American Homebrewers Association). I mostly want the expert feedback to improve my brewing. I have won several awards.

Q. What has been your biggest challenge as a homebrewer? At the end of the day, I brew for two reasons, 1) To make good beer that I can not buy locally. 2) As a hobby, for pure enjoyment.   It is easy to get caught up in the process and find out your not making great beer or that it is to much work... It is supposed to be fun! I will every once in a while get stuck in a rut where I find I am making the same beer over and over. We are constantly trying new beers that we bring in from outside our local market looking for inspiration. The club [Malt Munching Mash Monsters] helps with this because we get to meet so many different kinds of people and see our hobby through another perspective.