30 Days: I

I came across one of these “Zero to Hero: 30 Days to a Better Blog” posts and thought it would be fun to do it, as an exercise in disciplined writing, if nothing else. I’m five days late to it, but I’ll have a go nonetheless.

The first task is to provide a little background and context. I am a North American recently arrived to my late 20s, I’m married, I work for a relatively mid-sized NGO in Bolivia and I sit at a computer most of the day, hence my availability to this space to fill with tidbits in between various administrative tasks. I grew up in more countries than you can count on one hand, my parents still live outside the Western Hemisphere, and I grew up a teetotaler who flirted with straight edge convictions; although that mostly had to do with cultivating an enduring love for hardcore music and its many associated (sub-)genres. Just this week, I was taking in xLooking Forwardx‘s recent “Down with the Ship” and it’s up to their usual snuff.

Of course, somehow I arrive late at many things, and while all my college buddies and roommates were already homebrewing, it took me until I was 24 to actually try my hand at it. I started with some kits from the Brooklyn Brew Shop, and then all went awry as I did not listen to John Palmer’s sage advice that “discretion is the better part of flavor,” and the instinct to keep throwing things in is one I still have to supress. When I moved down her to Bolivia, I came with a box stuffed with a pound of Cluster and Palisade hops, four yeasts, caps, my capper, bottling wand, a hydrometer, and some other basic equipments. The earliest posts on this blog chronicle my utter failure to malt my own barley and then stumble around looking for alternatives until I found a maltster up in the city of Sucre who’d send me pilsner, 50 kgs at a time.

So, this started as a homebrewing blog to try and help the pitifully few others in Bolivia who perhaps want to try their hand at the craft. Increasingly I doubt anyone cares about my recipes for the beers I brew or the tasting notes (I rarely pay attention anymore the handful of bloggers who publish their recipes), so why not actually do the interwebs a favor and write about what Bolivia has to offer in terms of good cerveza artesenal? Because, while there is only a little, it’s available if you know where to look, and this is the sweet spot of South America if you have a hint of gastronomical interests. And, when work is slow, it’s a good way to feel productive.

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