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What a father dreams of

My son, J.P., and a former classmate, Micah Gates, embarked some weeks ago on a project of brewing their own beer.

As a father, and householder, I of course had misgivings. We experienced ominous yeasty smells in the basement and paraphernalia took up a good deal of space, but my fears that the bottles* would explode prove unfounded.

Today, after keeping the brew about three weeks in bottle, they uncapped their first India pale ale, and it was good. It was better than good; it was creditable. And I am informed that another few weeks in bottle might make it even better.

Next project: lager.

This summer is turning out better than expected.


*To get bottles, we first had to empty bottles of commercial product, a task in which I performed my part.



Posted by John McIntyre at 1:07 AM | | Comments (2)


My brother took his turn at brewing his own in his basement, to the concern of his wife and neighbors. It turned out to be not bad, and the fire department's response time was not tested.

One of my friends has an uncle who makes his own wine. She was talking to him about it and suggested that he must spend a lot of time sterilizing bottles and equipment. He said "Sterilize?" Then she realized that must be why his wine tastes so terrible. We call it "vin d'oncle."

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About John McIntyre
John McIntyre, mild-mannered editor for a great metropolitan newspaper, has fussed over writers’ work, to sporadic expressions of gratitude, for thirty years. He is The Sun’s night content production manager and former head of its copy desk. He also teaches editing at Loyola University Maryland. A former president of the American Copy Editors Society, a native of Kentucky, a graduate of Michigan State and Syracuse, and a moderate prescriptivist, he writes about language, journalism, and arbitrarily chosen topics. If you are inspired by a spirit of contradiction, comment on the posts or write to him at
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