Scott Wood, a beer industry veteran from San Diego and a stay-at-home dad to 13-month-old son Jules, expects to open Courtyard Brewery (@courtyardbrew) by spring 2014, with the help of wife Lindsay Hellwig. He's hosted pop-up beer tastings at Graphite Gallery and comes from a long line of brewers, but only recently got into homebrewing.
What advice do you have for people interested in homebrewing?
Wood: Just do it. It's three things: sanitation, patience and the ability to boil water. Can you boil water and cool it? Yes. Can you clean up after yourself? Yes. Can you wait a week or a couple weeks? Yes. OK, then brew beer. It's not hard to make something drinkable with extract kits. You're not mashing grains and trying to extract sugars at a certain temperature.
˜˜I get everything from Brewstock (3800 Dryades St., 504-208-2788; www.brewstock.com, @brewstock). We wouldn't be opening a brewery now if it weren't for Brewstock, because Aaron [Hyde] was such a helpful person for so long, and we just wouldn't have thought it was possible otherwise.
How can homebrewers get people who are loyal to Budweiser, Miller and Coors interested in craft beer?
W: I think there are beers for everyone and everyone's palates. It's just a matter of experimentation and willingness. In this market, there's so much good beer available now. Lambics, fruit beers and wits (made with aged hops) are easy to try. If you like red wine, you'll probably like darker, thicker beers with stone fruit flavors. If you like white wine, you'll probably enjoy tripels, Belgians and witbiers.
Are there any upcoming events beer lovers should attend?
W: Zwanze Day is coming up. There's a brewery called Cantillon in Belgium and they're world-renowned — they're probably one of the most sought-after breweries in the world and they make a lot of sour beers like lambics and gueuzes, but they make them extremely well and they are very hard to get — very limited. But Polly Watts of Avenue Pub (1732 St. Charles Ave., 504-586-9243; www.theavenuepub.com, @avenuepubnola) has a really close connection to the owner and she gets Zwanze, a beer they brew once a year and serve in a handful of bars around the world on Yom Kippur. This year, that's Sept. 14. It's amazing that Avenue Pub is one of the bars, since our beer culture's still relatively small. People have driven in from Houston to participate.