Volume 12 Week 5

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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

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Tim Tierney



 

 

 


(Posted 7:30 a.m., Sept. 10)
Area home-based craft brewers produce award-winning beer
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Orléans home-based craft brewer Chad Edmunds shows off his latest batch of suds he brewed in his garage. Fred Sherwin/Photo

In the brotherhood of home-based craft brewers, a group of local braumeisters are quickly gaining a reputation for brewing some of the best beer in Canada, and they have the hardware to prove it.

The DwEEBs, as they affectionately call themselves, are a close knit group of about 40 Orléans residents who recently won five gold medals at the National Capital Craft Beer Festival competing against craft brewers from across the country. One of their brews, a collaboration brew between Marc Plante and Justin MacNeill. also finished second for Best in Show.

DwEEBs is short for Drinking with East End Brewers, a clever acronym for a group that takes their craft extremely seriously.

Chad Edmunds, joined the DwEEBS 10 months ago. He found out about the group totally by chance.

"It was cold as hell and I got on my bus just down the road from another guy. I usually keep to myself when I'm on the bus but this guy had a book on the seat beside him about making steam beer. So I struck up a conversation with him and he told me about this larger group in Ottawa that gets together every once in awhile, and I could find them on the Internet," recalls Edmunds. "I found out about the larger group and then I found out about the DwEEBS and so I joined up with them."

While the DwEEBS common bound is brewing delicious craft beer, they have become close friends aside from brewing beer.

"We meet at each others' houses all the time. If I ever need anything I just call them up, or post a question on our blog and I'll get an answer. And when we do get together to discuss brewing everyone is really open to giving and taking advice. People who brew their own beer are the best people in the world," says Edmunds, who grabbed a third place medal for a Belgian Golden Strong Ale

It only takes two or three hundred dollars to get started making craft beer. You can buy the equipment at most brew your own stores like Defalco and you can brew in either five or 10 gallon batches which makes 40 or 80 pints of beer.

While wine-making is more about the grape, beer-making is more about the process. The craft brewer has far more influence on the end product where as a wine-maker cannot change the grape. The better a brewer is at controlling temperature, volume, freshness and time, the more control the brewer has over the finished product and the more the brewer's personality shows up in the end product.

Edmunds still considers his first brew to be his best and he's been on a personal quest to try and match it.

"The best beer I ever made was the first beer I ever made and I've been trying to match it ever since. I've tried five times so far and I've come close, but I haven't matched it yet," says Edmunds. "It's a real craft. It's not an art, although there's some art to it, and it's not a pure science although there's some science to it. Brewing great tasting beer is a craft."

The DwEEBS are all about encouraging more people to brew beer, because as Edmunds says, the more people brew their own beer, the better beer will be in the world.

"This is the greatest hobby in the world. You get to brew beer from scratch and you get to drink it too. What's better than that?"

What's better than that, indeed.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

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