Craft Beer Pays My Bills: The Homebrew Guru
Randy Baril, Modern Homebrew Emporium. (Photo by Mark Fleming)
FOR CITY-DWELLING HOBBY BREWERS, thereâ€™s only one place you need to go to get started on a homemade lager or ale: Modern Homebrew Emporium in Cambridge. The shop, stacked high with malt, hops, bottles, and more, is managed by Randy Baril, a former Harpoon employee whoâ€™s been a fan of the â€śfermentation sciencesâ€ť since he was 16 (his first experiment involved a strawberry-rhubarb mead).
When heâ€™s not advising novice beer makers on the differences between Munich and KĂ¶lsch ale yeasts (the shop carries more than 100 kinds), Baril is minding his own small-batch projects at home. He built a 10-gallon all-grain brewing system, but he likes the craft of stovetop, amateur-style brewing as well. â€śIt allows me to play with new flavors and recipes. Plus, thereâ€™s only so much beer you can drink,â€ť he says of his five-gallon attempts. His current at-home favorite is an Ordinary Amber, based on a low-alcohol British style that has a bold, malty character.
While he tries not to drink too much on the job, he does spend plenty of time tasting his customersâ€™ creations and offering feedback. Baril is also an organizer of the New England Real Ale Exhibition, held each spring.
The shopkeeper has proudly watched many a patron go from hobbyist to full-scale brewer. â€śA lot of guys who have recently created startups have come through the shop,â€ť he says. â€śItâ€™s really a privilege to meet people with so much enthusiasm.â€ť
Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/2012/05/new-england-craft-beer-guide-homebrew-guru/