The day begins around 10 or 11 in the morning as the six of us gather, as we often do, bleary-eyed and ready to share tales of the previous nights events. A big silver pot sits in the middle of the garage, atop a blazing flame, ready to heat gallons of water for the mash. It’s the usual scenario, Oz busy checking temperatures and equipment with Eric close by, eager to learn as much as he can. Meanwhile, JD and I joke and trade jabs with Ryan as we crack open the first beers of the day. This week we’re joined by Trish, normally a light beer drinker; we’re determined to get her drinking craft beer (and liking it) before the day is done. When the water is hot enough, it’s transferred to the mash tun, in our case a converted cooler whose insulated walls will help keep the proper temperature. Grain is added, creating the mash that will produce our wort. Steam rises from the mixture as the rich aroma, like warm oatmeal, fills the air.
CoWorker: Did you see that they’re doing growler fills at Sunoco now?
Me: Really? What kind of beer?
CoWorker: I don’t know, I didn’t have time to go in, I just saw the sign advertising craft beer as I was pumping gas the other day. Do you think they really have craft beer on tap in a gas station?
Me: Do you think?
The above exchange happened about two months ago between myself and a coworker, who happens to be a fellow beer enthusiast. A couple weeks later, I saw the same sign, outside of a Sunoco gas station on the other side of town. I was curious but didn’t make it in to see what the deal was… until tonight.