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In Which John Says "Hello"


Hello, my name’s John and this is my story (Wow! That sounds dangerously close to the beginning of a different meeting).

I figured, as the new guy, this might be a good way to help others with brewing beer and mead. So, I’m going to attempt to “blog” about my experiences with my own beer and wine making.

Well, as the cliché goes, let’s start at the beginning…………

I’m part of that generation that had to walk up hill both ways to school, was the family’s T.V. remote ( “John, get up and change the channel to 6”), drank from the hose, rode a bike without a helmet, and been in a car without a seatbelt (all of which might explain a few things in my life). But the biggest thing about that time was there were only 3 beers, really. You had the big 3 and I hated them, but had them working nights just the same.

When I got old enough for my father to think I was no longer “wet behind the ears” and the subject of beer came up we talked about homebrew. The issue was, that anyone you talked to in those days made homebrewing seem like you needed a Doctorate to do it. The words “bottle bombs”, “exploding bottles” and the like always cropped up. So, we never did it.

Fast forward a few years and I’m in the Marine Corps, and travel to Long Island, New York with my Good Brother, Chris. He takes me to a local German restaurant called “Faylies”.  My first real beer was a Warsteiner Dunkel. I was so blown away by the flavor and aroma it’s been ingrained in me ever since.

Okay, a whole lot of water flows under the bridge after that, the craft beer industry takes off and John is a very happy camper! I retire, move to southwest Virginia, and it’s like a kid in a candy shop with all the local breweries! But I still have the itch to brew.

While in one of those breweries, I mention how I always wanted to make my own beer. The barman states; “Go see Robb”. I reply, “Who’s Robb?”.

That was October of 2020, 7 months later and I’m part-timing at Southern Hills Homebrew Supply and as of this writing I have 25 brews under my belt!

So, like Foghorn Leghorn, you might be saying; “Get to the point, boy. Don’t keep jabbering, get to the point.”

I figured what I would do with this blog, is write about my experiences. We get many people who come in and they aren’t sure if they can brew, or they don’t know if “All Grain” is for them. Maybe they are curious about a piece of equipment and if I may have used it, why not post my thoughts on them. How about recipes? I’m all about trying just about anything (haven’t found a hoppy beer I like yet. Challenge anyone?). Posting my recipes may get someone to try a new beer.


Let’s just see where this takes us.



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  • John Thompson
Comments 2
  • Mike Hunt
    Mike Hunt

    You know me well enough to know that I also am a man who hates hoppy beers, my mind was blown here in Guatemala City of all places. New brewery down the street opened up, so naturally we found ourselves there and I must say, there ipa was hoppy, with no bitter, full mouth feel, and packed with flavor. Super surprised to have had that experience at all let alone here in Guatemala of all places.

  • Thom

    Nice, I’m looking forward to reading this.
    BTW, I was also a remote control and I don’t ever remember seeing a bicycle helmet except for the bike racers at the Olympics.

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