Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Call of Duty: Black Hops

Did you ever play Dungeon Master on Atari or Amiga, with its crappy graphics, naff sound, but awesome gameplay and characters like Gothmog, Sonya, Linflas and Wuuf? Remember how you felt when the dungeon's gate opened for the first time and it was just you on the edge of 14 levels of darkness and days of gamer angst? That's exactly where I am right now.

Apologies to FTL Games & Nintendo.
I'm about to start home-brewing. I've spent much of the past year prattling on about hops and malts, citrus and caramel, it's time I got to grips with the process of packing these flavours into a glass bottle. It's like I'm in the Hall of Champions about to choose my four adventurers. 

After months of negotiations, and even agreeing to move house, I have managed to secure a small cube of cupboard space just the right size for a 40-pint fermentation barrel. But winning agreement from my end-of-level bosslady was just the first stage; I also had to choose whether to go for a kit, and if so, which one.

First part was as easy as decking Dhalsim in Street Fighter: Noobs start with a kit. And seeing as I was too busy playing games in my teens and twenties to brew my own beer, solving that puzzle was easy. So I moved promptly on to: which kit.

Oh dear, there are many.

Fortunately, I have a crack.

It's the home-brew haven on Dumbarton Road. Inn House Brewery is like a real-world PokeMart. But instead of PokeBalls, potions or antidotes, it's stacked floor to ceiling with tins, tubs, barrels, flasks, bottles, and packets of yeast and hops. (For those of you sick of my shoddy videogaming metaphors, it's like an old-fashioned ironmongers, but beer and wine stuff instead of tools, screws and fuses.) 

And thankfully the vendor's more like Beedle than the Happy Mask Salesman (one hopes).  After a series of dumb questions that really did play out like a scene from Zelda, I think I'm going to accept the Cooper's Starter Kit quest. That I can swap their starter lager for a Brewmaster IPA is like an in-game special bonus. And you know what, if I muck it up and brew a bad batch I can always respawn.

(Fans of Xenon 2, and Assault on Precinct 13, this song's for you. Cx)


Anonymous said...

Great post - made homebrew years ago. It tasted great, and was oh so cheap to make. Unfortunately so good my, bus driver, friend was off for four days after a session. Have fun and take care with the exploding bottles! (watch the yeast) Have fun.

Colin Campbell said...

Hey, thanks Anonymous. Having lots of fun and no dodgy bus journeys yet ...