Maker Faire, Steampunk, and Beer…

One of the perks of being married to someone who builds robots is getting to travel and visit cool events from time to time. The USA Science and Engineering Festival in DC, the International Underwater ROV Competition in numerous cities (notably St. John’s, Newfoundland and Hilo, Hawaii), and most recently, the World Maker Faire in New York City.

The World Maker Faire bills itself as the “world’s largest show and tell” and “a two-day, family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement.” And it delivers all of that and much more. It is a tinker’s paradise, a geek’s gathering, and an engineer’s playground. Everything from robots to artwork to 3-D printers to musical performances to sustainable-living products… and yes, brewing.

I discovered Brewing As Art quite by accident when I was perusing the Faire website before leaving for New York. I wanted to check out the “can’t miss” things so I.. well.. didn’t miss them. And right there on the front page was the Steampunk-inspired creation that caught my eye. As luck would have it, they were set up about 100 feet away from the booth I was at! I had the opportunity to talk with Mark Zappasodi (the brewer) and Scott Van Campen (the welder/artist) about their creation. Mark and I discussed homebrewing at length, beer in general, and some of his plans regarding farming in north-eastern Massachusetts.

The gravity-fed brewing rig is most impressive, using converted kegs, three burners, and a pulley system on the boil kettle, and a gorgeous glass fermenting vessel. The aesthetic is all Steampunk, replete with Victorian/Industrial-looking wheels, levers, and handles. Sadly, by the time I was able to get over there, there was no more of their beer to sample. They were not given enough heads-up to have a good supply on hand – just enough for the pre-event party (that I was unaware of until too late).

In addition to being one of the more popular spots to stop by, the duo was awarded the Editor’s Choice Award! I am very excited to follow these guys, and see what else they do… not to mention hopefully someday taste some of Mark’s beer!


~ by Sean Nordquist on October 8, 2012.

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