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|Grabbing life by the malts|
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|Jay Theriot|| |
| American-Style Lager Specialist |
Registered Member #113Joined: Thu Jun 18 2009, 04:42PM
City & State: Laplace, Louisiana
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Standing in broad daylight at Sanford's Magnolia Square Market, I'm looking down at the beige, doughy malt extract in my hand. Under some different circumstance – say, loitering at a decrepit street corner around midnight – and in possession of this powdery-looking package, a policeofficer might insist I had some explaining to do. But Aaron Libera, co-owner of the Sanford Homebrew Shop in Magnolia Square Market, looks thoroughly nonchalant as he alphabetizes fresh green hops into a deli cooler a few yards away. Same goes for the shoppers hefting brew kettles and glass carboys and bushels of plastic tubing toward the register. They must pass barleys heaped in food-grade buckets to find the front door.
This isn't a clandestine black-market operation. This is beer, some assembly required, and everything one needs to brew it. And as many have come to discover, there can be as much fun in the making as the drinking.
Gary Holmes, co-owner of Sanford Homebrew (aka the Fermented Brew Shop), keeps his blond mohawk tall and his goatee twisted in an elastic band. He looks more like a soccer hooligan than a successful entrepreneur. But his and Libera's young enterprise fits perfectly beneath the banana-yellow awnings of Magnolia Square Market, couched in the historic district with other small shops and restaurants.
“Downtown Sanford just felt right for us,” Holmes says. “That small-town, do-it-yourself charm meshes so well with homebrewing.”
“And that's a direction people are taking in general these days,” Libera adds, “learning to bake their own bread, sew their own clothes. American families brewed their own beer for centuries. I think people are coming back to that now, looking at their favorite brands and thinking, ‘Why can't I make this myself? What's stopping me?'”
[ Edited Sat Apr 28 2012, 09:21AM ]
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