There is a large built-in cupboard in our bedroom, of which the real estate agent said at the time of purchase, “That could make a nice ensuite one day.”
EXCELLENT, I thought. Though in reality you might squeeze in a loo and a small sink if you were lucky. The micro-ensuite budget never seemed to eventuate, but I enjoyed the possibility of an upstairs loo, every time I trudged downstairs at 2am, cursing that 10pm cuppa.
But then Gareth discovered brewing.
Then he took over the garage and built an elaborate brewery with catering-size tea urns, a big Esky/cooler box and a shitload of pipes for all-grain brewing.
Then he turned an old bar fridge into a temperature-controlled conditioning thing, then another old bar fridge into a beer dispenser complete with taps on the front for that at-home pub experience.
He started entering competitions and the freezer was full of hops and the fridge was full of yeast experiments and the bookshelves were stuffed with brewing bibles. The micro-ensuite had become a cellar and 90% of our conversations went like this:
“Taste this beer.”
“I told you a million times, I don’t like beer!”
“You have to like beer, I have 40 bottles of it in the cupboard.”
“Well can you at least smell it. Do you get blackcurrant?” (or coffee or citrus or some random aroma)
“I get… BEER!”
“You are a shite assistant brewer!”
“Dude… have you ever wondered if this moving slightly beyond a hobby?”
Then came many long months of pondering, calculating, soul-search and research. Finally last September he went back to university to start a Masters in Brewing & Distilling. A year on, he’s finished the course, wound up his engineering life and has just this week started his first job at a real live brewery!
It’s not in Gareth’s nature to jump up and down and allow himself a moment to actually celebrate doing something cool, so I will do it here on his behalf, darnit. I’m so freaking happy that he made this happen. It’s scary and new and crazy but it feels so right.
He really loves this brewing malarkey. The blend of geekery, creativity and graft suits him so well. He can’t stop talking about it and I have no idea what he’s on about but I love how his face lights up. I feel a wee bit teary just typing this.
Best of all, he now gets to wear a hoodie to work. “I’ve finally fulfilled my ultimate career ambition!” he declared.
So, I’d mentioned moving the other day and this is the long winded explanation of why! The brewery is near Inverness and I am on-the-verge-of-spewnami excited for a Highland adventure. I’ll be heading up at the end of the month, just as soon as I clear out the bloody cellar.