Brew Your Story
Rummage Sale Brewing
When I started the journey of creating the Brew Your Story series, I probably would have told you that the thing I was looking forward to the most was drinking a lot of delicious beer and having a good excuse to do so. But what I’ve quickly learned is that the best part about the craft beer community is the cool people also love to drink good beer and talk about it. This has given me a platform to talk to countless people throughout the state of Georgia, the United States, and the world that I never would have had the chance to meet. One of those people is Alex from Rummage Sale Brewing. Alex and I randomly met on Instagram by commenting on the same post. Next thing you know we realized we were two dudes with common interests and started a conversation. Remember when your parents told you not to talk to strangers on the internet? I guess I didn’t listen to that bit of advice.
Alex is 30 years old, lives in Wisconsin, and has 3 kids. He works for the world’s largest used motorcycle dealership, selling motorcycles, ATVs, UTVs, snowmobiles, and golf carts. During his free time, he enjoys smoking meats and brewing beer. Now, when it comes to home brewing, Alex is the man. And it’s kind of funny that he’s so big in the home brewing industry because he didn’t even like beer until about 9 years ago.
What initially drew Alex to beer was the process that went into it. He found it interesting and wanted to learn more. Once he learned about the process, he had a better appreciation for it and a switch was flipped, allowing him to start enjoying the deliciousness of beer. His first craft beer was from New Glarus Brewing Company. At first, he eased into it. He didn’t venture too far, being cautious about branching out and trying new styles. As time went on, he branched out, getting comfortable with more styles of beer. Fast Forward to around 2015, and Alex was trying anything out there and enjoying them all.
Around 2016, Alex started to get intrigued by home brewing. He was drinking all this delicious beer, and thought the process of making it was cool, so why not try to make some of his own beer? He spent the next two years doing research. Figuring out what was involved, what the different pieces of equipment were for, what the time commitment would be, what others were doing, and so on. Then, in November of 2018, he decided it was time and bought all the equipment. He got his first extract kit to make a Porter and brewed it with a friend, Stanley (@b1gez_dg on IG).
He quickly learned the tricks of the trade and improved his craft. Soon, he grew discontent with brewing basic beers. He started to experiment and his own little touches. His porter turned into a rich Coffee Porter. Since then, he has brewed a Belgian Dubbel, a Coconut Chocolate Milk Stout, and a Double IPA. His next beer will be an attempt at a BIAB (Brew in a bag) style where he can really tweak the flavors. In case you don’t know, brew in a bag is a form of all grain brewing that can take place entirely within your boil kettle. The grains are placed in a bag which is submerged into the kettle for a mashing process, giving it the name brew in a bag.
Orange Peel Infused Belgian Dubbel
In the future, Alex plans to brew a Blueberry IPA (yum), a Hot Toddy Barrel Aged Strong Ale, Barrel Aged Coffee Stout with Cherries, and a cider. He’s currently not kegging, so the cider will be more difficult. I can’t wait to try some of these!
Brunch Pressed Porter
Alex doesn’t do this for profit, he does it because he loves to do it. He brews for himself and to share with his friends. He met one of his neighbors through Instagram and has been doing beer shares with him through mailbox deliveries. Alex will toss some homebrews in his mailbox and the neighbor picks them up and leaves treats of his own. I’m moving to that neighborhood!
When asked about what the future holds for his brewing plans, Alex says he doesn’t see himself moving into anything more than garage operation brewing. Which is fitting, given that the name of his operation is Rummage Sale Brewing. For those of you that don’t know, in the Midwest a garage sale is called a rummage sale. But he doesn’t want to cater to anyone else’s taste buds. He makes beer that he likes and he drinks it himself. I like his style! Give him a follow on Instagram, his handle is @beardhopsandbarley, and keep up to date with what he’s working on. At the very least, you’ll be entertained.
Like I said earlier, Alex is the man when it comes to home brewing. He’s a good dude, that makes good beer and loves to talk about it. Start a conversation with him some time, you’ll come out smarter on the other side and you won’t regret it.