When Brandon McAllister’s hatred of Comcast prompted him to cancel his cable subscription, he did what many bored, local 20-somethings are doing these days—besides subscribing to Netflix. He took up craft beer brewing, a foodie art that has grown to accommodate the Philly area’s beer-snobs as well as its more casual participants. Like many homebrewers, McAllister started out with malt extract brewing before diving into all grain brewing, a less consistent but more customizable brewing method. And Brandon has done pretty well in his brewing endeavors; earlier this year, he and accomplice Ben Foley managed to take 2nd place in Philly Beer Scene‘s first annual Battle of the Homebrew Shops.
I met with McAllister to discuss beer history, technique and all the crazy requirements that beer contests force upon participating beers. Here, McAllister explains how he and Foley creatively navigated through the hurdles of the Battle of the Homebrew Shops: