At Skookum, we like to write some serious code... but we also like to let loose once in a while (OK, maybe more than once in a while). When I was approached to make a special beer for our company Christmas party this year, I jumped at the chance!

I've been a pretty serious homebrewer for almost 2 years now. I've got plenty of batches under my belt and I just recently started putting my homebrew into 5 gallon soda kegs.

I decided on a few different styles I would enjoy making and then put it to a vote. Here were the choices:

  1. Nut Brown Ale

  2. Amber Ale

  3. Honey Amber Ale

  4. California Common

  5. Irish Red Ale

  6. Doppelbock

After a few days of deliberation, the Amber Ale had almost won. Then Justin pointed out that-of all the choices-the Doppelbock had the highest ABV. For some reason, after that comment, people started changing their votes! In the end, the Doppelbock won.

So after work I headed down to Alternative Beverage and got the materials I needed to brew this beer. After entering all the ingredients into my brewing software, we were looking at about 8.3% ABV on this one - pretty dead on the target where I was shooting for.

I think I'll be pleased with how this beer turns out. This is my first attempt at making a Doppelbock, so everyone at the party will be guinea pigs for this batch!

I took some photos and video of my brewday.

video#//player.vimeo.com/video/17088260

It's amazing how scientific and precise beer making is, while at the same time allowing for interpretation and creativity. Those are some of the main reasons I enjoy it as a hobby.

If you'd like to learn more about homebrewing, I'd highly recommend basicbrewing.com as a place to start, but there are so many resources out there on the web. You can get started with a minimal investment in equipment and ingredients and you can brew some great beer (sometimes better than commercial store-bought beers I've had) with a little time, patience, and know-how.

This post was not meant as an overview of homebrewing, but if you have questions, I'll gladly answer them for you (if I can) in the comments, or point you in the right direction for an online resource.

We take our beer seriously!