Homebrewer’s Journal: Can We Sell Cow Thieves?

It’s been a while since I’ve posted in the Homebrew Journal, in large part because there hasn’t been a ton to report. The previous two or three batches of beer have been really solid but that’s just it. They peaked at solid. Larry and I still loved making them, enjoying the process as much as the product but it was easy to tell we weren’t exactly blown away. In my mind, beer doesn’t require rating systems because if it’s great it will be gone pretty quickly. If it’s average, the bottles tend to stick around…

But something happened with this last batch of beer. In a means to bring back some of the greatness (I may be getting conceded but so be it), we decided to make another round of porter as one of our two 5 gallon brews. The last time we really impressed ourselves was with our coffee porter so it seemed reasonable to think we would have success again. For the second brew, we tapped into one of my favorite beers of the moment, the Uinta’s Baba Black Lager looking to make a dark but surprisingly light winter favorite. The outcome, two beers I can’t stop drinking and sharing and for the first time in our Cow Thieves history, a curiosity of commercial production. Could we sell Cow Thieves beer?

The spark in curiosity could just as easily be attributed to our recent holiday trip to Nicaragua. We stayed in the town of San Juan Del Sur on the South-western coast of the country for the Christmas holiday and as usual drank all of the local (PBRish) beer in sight. A few days in it was easy to get sick of the Toña…just like the team at San Juan Del Sur Cerveceria must have in the early days of inspiration.

San Juan Del Sur Cerveceria is a brand new operation (like opened Thanksgiving weekend brand new) bringing true craft beer to the Nicas and tourists alike. We had the pleasure of sitting down with Matt, one of the co-founders on our first day in town and their story and passion is contagious. Sitting at their beautiful bar sipping on their original commercial batches of IPA, Pale Ale, and Wheat Bear it was inspiring to hear how with the help of collaborators, Cisco Brewery up in Nantucket and the classic leap of faith “day job” departure, these guys are turning their passion into a reality. If you are visiting Nicaragua, make sure you plan a trip to SJDS Cerveceria and check in with the team. Tell them we sent you and definitely eat some tacos. (Side note: these guys have the best food in town).

But bringing it back to the question of Cow Thieves going commercial…

The good news: we made some great beer. This latest batch has re-stoked some fire in us to keep on producing and as opposed to trying a million styles with a million variables, we now know we may get the greatest return by focusing in a bit. The realist news: we love making beer and at least at this point well, selling it isn’t the point. So rest assured “day job”, I’ll be in this week. But I have to say, after a trip to Nicaragua and a fantastic porter and rye session in the fridge I’m curious to see if this curiosity builds.

What about the home brewers out there? Anyone else have a healthy dose of curiosity?

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