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Howdy all!

I just found your club among the several club sites listed at the bottom of the Dry Dock website and clicked on it because I like the name. You see, my last name is St. Amand and the original St. Amand (584-675 AD) lived the majority of his life as a monk. In fact, because he preached in France, Germany and Belgium, he is the Patron Saint of brewers and vintners (among others - bartenders, bar staff, innkeepers,...). Needless to say, I've always been a big fan of beer and later, wine.

My Dad likes to tell a story where he was working on the garden while he was watching me play around in the dirt. Think he said I was five or so. At one point, he asked me to go get him a beer. Upon returning with the can, he asked me why it was empty. Apparently I simply said, "I drank it." A tad irritated, he then told me to go get another one and "don't open it"!

I got drunk for the first time at the age of 11. My brother-in-law was in the Army and he and my sister were stationed in Nuremberg, Germany. So, when my niece was born, I went with my parents to visit and we stayed for the entire month of August! It wasn't quite Oktoberfest, but there were still plenty of local beer tents on the weekends. Upon seeing other kids my age drinking (and smoking), I convinced my folks to get me a stein of beer. And that stein was all it took!

I grew up in a suburb of Detroit and took full advantage of being so close to Canada - frequently crossing the border for beer runs. It was common to bring back cases of Brador and the Canadian versions of various Molson and Labatt’s products.

Though, it wasn't until I moved to Colorado in 1994 that I was exposed to these cool places called Microbreweries! I started out in Boulder and between the likes of Walnut, Oasis, Boulder, Avery and places like The Catacombs, Old Chicago, and LiquorMart, my palate was in craft beer heaven. I soon started packing various bombers whenever I returned to Michigan and sharing these great brews with friends and family. Of course, I've been a World Beer Tour member for about 15 years. But I pretty much only go to OC's when they have their mini-tours, so I've only just started my 5th main tour.

In the late 90's, I joined a couple of co-workers and made the trek to a home brew business up in Westminster. I'm sure some of you may remember the place, but for those who don't,....a paid batch included; choosing a recipe, scooping all the ingredients from their respective bins, and brewing the batch right there with the help of a staff member. After that, they'd take care of everything and three weeks later we'd return to bottle our beer or wine. We probably brewed five or six batches before the place went under.

I've wanted to do my own home brewing ever since. Sadly, it wasn't until this time last year that I received a coupon via e-mail from LivingSocial for a brew kit from The Brew Hut. Knowing I was long overdue to start brewing, I bought the coupon. When I went to pick up the kit, I also purchased a boxed recipe and a copper wort chiller. For a variety of reasons (uh, excuses - including a lack of confidence that I can do it without screwing it up), all that equipment still sits unused in my garage.

SOOO, I'm joining your club to gain the confidence I need to try it on my own. I look forward to attending the meetings and I can't wait to meet and learn from all of you! Eventually, I intend to host a meeting and return the favor of helping other newbies.

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  1. Brewster's Avatar
    Welcome to the Club. We are happy to share our knowledge and Home Brew.
  2. kingof14ers's Avatar
    Hey Ron welcome!

    You've had quite the journey and now you can relax at our meetings. I made the all grain jump a mere 3.5 years ago after a year of extract with grain experience. You just make that leap of faith and just go for it. The guys AND GALS here have helped me immensely over the past year. Everyone is very welcoming and we look forward to meeting you in person soon! Check out our event calendar/ meeting forum as I believe we have one coming up. Enjoy tasting some of our handy work and feel free to bring some of yours when your ready.