Bootleggers 2nd Anniversary Party – Homebrewing in Brandon
In the hinterlands of far-off Brandon, tucked behind the giant auto-malls, and hidden among the strip stores, is a delightful place doing wonderful things. Friends and co-owners Darcy Hermida and Carol Faessler have combined their passion and love for homebrewing and winemaking with their retail savvy to create Bootleggers Beer & Wine Homebrewing Supply, and they celebrated their second anniversary on January 22nd. Complete with food, music, and a raffle, Bootleggers celebrated with lost of tasting options from their loyal customers. Both wine and beer (and even a homemade sake!) were freely – and generously – poured. At the same time, there were several people brewing up batches outside.
I got to spend a good amount of time talking to Bob Appleyard, a member of the Bootleggers Brandon Homebrew Club, and quite a prolific homebrewer. He brought a wide range of his creations, from his “Pliny the Toddler” (a 4.9% IPA), to his “Wrong End of the Coyote”. Both were delicious. Their club is very active, has around 40 members now, and is growing at an impressive rate (4-5 new members a month).
The store itself is very nice. Neat and clean with high, well-stocked shelves for both beer and winemaking. They also offer on-premise winemaking (can’t do beer because of the cooking aspect), and the back of the shop is lined with buckets, bubbling away with fermenting soon-to-be wines made by customers. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly, and the whole *feel* of the store is welcoming and comfortable.
It was a great day, and I was very happy to meet more people in the beer community. A growing enthusiasm for homebrewing is good for the community (not to mention the economy!), and I look forward to more events with the Bootleggers!