Parents of teenagers: Your precocious little scamps are going to imbibe Mötley Crüe-levels of beer at many points throughout their formative years. If teens don’t exorcise that lust for sensation out of their developing little systems, they’re going to be terribly boring adults. As parents, you can’t stop their years-long booze-quest, but maybe you can prevent alcohol poisoning or, at the very least, de-stigmatize hooch so your brats don’t find themselves living off the free cookies and coffee from AA meetings at age 42.
When I was a teenager, I used to brew beer at a friend’s house under his folks’ supervision. Before you repressed fuddy-duddies pull a muscle furrowing your brows and tutting, think about all the trouble I could have found in a never-ending hunt for a weekend buzz – the sketchy search for a fake I.D., seedy gas stations, strange men who agree to buy booze for a price. I would no doubt be wandering the streets, doing who knows what for a taste of The Creature, if not for the forward thinking of a few conscientious parents who got together and decided to turn something we were going to do anyway into a neat science project.
My friends and I transformed into chemists with every stout and ale we brewed and imbibed. We started by using kits that required very little expertise other than the ability to follow a recipe. From there, we developed strong opinions about various hops and other grains, styles of porter, and types of filtration systems. We made Walter White look like a paint-by-numbers hack. Not only did we achieve underage drinking, but we proudly hoisted pints with our parents instead of sneaking behind their backs – except when we didn’t.
Precious few local resources exist for the plucky homebrewer. There is, of course, the vastness of the internet, whose resources are unlimited, albeit impersonal and wrought with bad info. If you or your burgeoning teen Bacchus feels the home-brewing itch, the area does house a couple of ringers.
Brewhound (8808 Camp Bowie West, Ste 160, 817-615-9551) carries all the supplies you need for home-making beer, wine, cheese, and, by correlation, babies. But since we’re publishing yet another *expletive* special issue, I’m here to tell you about beer. This Camp Bowie-area boutique carries easy-to-make kits for the novice, fancy-ass grains for the highfalutin, and classes for those whose thirst for knowledge rivals their longing for beer. Seriously, this place is kind of a hangout for beer nerds who sniff their pint glasses like it’s a key bump and make bizarre slurping noises every sip. So if you’re of that bent, you can’t do better.
The Hound’s only local rival has to be Texas Brewing Inc. (5204 Airport Fwy, Haltom City, 682-647-1267). The Haltom City retailer also stocks everything you need for beer-making at every skill level. This shop comes with its own support group and hosts “social events,” which sounds like a way of saying “keggers” but without the looming threat of being busted by the cops.
Happy North Texas Beer Week, everyone! And remember: Let your kids drink, or they’ll suck.