Moody Brews, brew #1

Yesterday, I left Little Rock and met with the Choc Brewery boys in Krebs, Oklahoma to finalize my and their concerns and suggestions on Half Seas Over, my first brew.  After coming to mutual agreements, I was off to Tulsa for a bit of time with my Grandmother. Time with her was as it always is–home. My childhood home, my Grandmother’s cooking, and staying up too late watching old British comedies made for those moments that you cherish, moments that make you feel like you should work harder to have more of them.

5 AM came early, but I had about 100 miles between me and my first Moody Brew, so I was excited nonetheless.

Sunrise leaving Tulsa

Sunrise leaving Tulsa

Once at the Choc brewery, it was time to mill and mash in. Unfortunately, their silo was out of base malt, so we had to load the mill by 55-lb sacks, one sack at a time, all 60 or so of them. From there it was on to work on the largest brewhouse I have ever worked on, which is to say I did a lot of standing over the shoulders of the brewers, running up and down brewery stairs to fetch this or that.


empty silos make for strong backs

empty silos make for strong backs



mash mixing hearts beating


big hops for a big beer


There was no time for reflection during the brew day, as on the fly adjustments and decisions had to be made. And that’s as it should be I think. I’ve spent plenty of time in my head, second and third guessing the fine details of this brew in the weeks leading up to it. It was time to move now, and brew, no time for reflection…until we “knocked out” (transferred wort to the fermenter).

And then, gazing at this 30-barrel fermenter, it hit me. This was 10 times the largest brew I had ever made, a recipe I haven’t brewed exactly, a hop I hadn’t used. The deed is done. All the meetings that led to this partnership, all the financial work of making Moody Brews, L.L.C., all the hours and consultations spent making a label, securing and then having to find a new distributor–done. done. done. No more planning, no more theoreticals, no more abstractions. This brew, this company, this career is happening NOW.


meet Half Seas Over, living and breathing.