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Finding Inspiration to Brew

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Let me start from the beginning. Don't worry it won't take long. My journey into beer began my sophomore year in high school during my Marine Corps brat days in North Carolina. A buddy of mine wanted to get drunk so we took a trip to the 7 Day Store there on base and had a Marine buy us beers. There were four of us and he came out with 4 Schlitz malt liquor 40oz. I don't remember if that is what we requested but that is what we got.

Thank you Billy D!
Like most youngsters my drinking consisted of whatever cheap lagers we could get someone else to buy for us and we were perfectly fine with that. When I turned 21 though I decided that I wanted to branch out and start drinking "better beer". I still remember that day; looking at all the different labels and being fixated on one with a skeleton sitting on a barrel. If you're a beer drinker you know what beer it is and that Rogue Dead Guy started me on a beer journey. I needed to try every beer I could get my hands on.

Yooper's Dead Guy Clone
So how did I start writing about beer? Originally I had gone to school to be a cop or a Marine like my father. Well, the New Orleans PD and Marine Corps aren't big fans of people with serious back issues so I was disqualified from both. Well hell, after that news I wasn't sure what to do with my life. My wife, the awesome lady that she is asked me what I was passionate about so I told her. Beer. She then suggested I look for something that allowed me to do that.
I ended up working for a beer distributor briefly which at the time was horrible because there was no focus on craft beer at all but then ended up working at a local wine store that had a great beer selection. At the time Martin Wine Cellar had one of the best beer selections in the city. Dan Stein of Steins Deli used to be their beer buyer so that's probably why! I was hired as an assistant manager but also as a "beer guy". My years of drinking as many beers as I could get my hands had finally paid off! Drinking lots of beers certainly helped but I wanted to learn more so I found websites like Beeradvocate.com and also decided to start at blog writing about the beer scene in New Orleans called The Beer Buddha.
Brewing beer only crossed my mind occasionally. The old man and I's first foray into brewing was with a Mr. Beer Kit and that failure turned me off a little bit. Not sure why but it did. I would always come up with excuses as to why I didn't brew. It never made sense. If I were going to write about it I needed to brew it but it was always: never enough time, not enough room, etc. Hell, I even WORKED at a brewery having never homebrewed. Now that I think about it maybe that's why I got laid off. Nah!
Eventually I broke and purchased a homebrew kit from our local New Orleans homebrew shop Brewstock. Aaron Hyde the original owner was always very helpful and very non-judgmental about what I was doing. My first batch sucked and I felt like I wasted a hell of a lot of beer and time but I didn't want to give up. Then I saw a new homebrew kit from a company called Craft A Brew (FULL DISCLOSURE: Craft A Brew advertises on my website BUT this is a true story!).
It was a 1 gallon craft beer kit. It was perfect. If I screwed it up it was only 1 gallon of beer and it was a perfect starter kit for me. My first batch of milk stout actually came out pretty nice so I brewed a couple more of the 1 gallon batches. All of them came out pretty good which helped build my confidence. I started to research homebrew websites and came across HomeBrewTalk.com and I loved it. I am more of a lurker but I truly plan on really throwing myself into homebrewing and the site.
Watching y'all and seeing all the amazing pictures have truly been an inspiration to me to get me off my ass and really getting into this. I want to thank all of you for that. I need a hobby and this one is perfect. I can't wait to start sharing posts and sharing pics of my homebrew or home built bars with you! In fact I'm working on a key lime pie mead this weekend to celebrate my move to sunny Florida! Perhaps I should post some pics!
Cheers!
Jeremy Labadie
aka The Beer Buddha
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Jeremy Labadie is the Beer Buddha, and the latest writer to join the HomeBrewTalk team. For more from Jeremy catch him Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and his blog. Also, if you're interested in the history of brewing in New Orleans, check out his book, New Orleans Beer on Amazon.

 
Jeremy, thank you for sharing a well written story about your journey into home brewing. I enjoyed reading it! I also home brew in Florida. Enjoy - Worticia
 
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