The first beer we made that we were proud to give to other people was only ever intended as a test subject.
We were trying out our new all-grain brewing kit and were also trying to start from scratch designing recipes, and so brewed with only pale malt (Maris Otter) and Fuggles, fermenting with dried Nottingham yeast. (We think. This was years ago, and we weren’t keeping notes.)
We were staggered when the finished product was bright and aromatic and flavoursome. Our flatmate/landlord/friend, Ed, described it as “immense” and refused to believe we’d made it. Perhaps he was being polite, or perhaps he meant “compared to that shite you forced me to drink from the first kit”, but we didn’t care.
Of course, the next two brews failed, but the memory of this early success kept us going through the hard times, and convinced us it was possible — that the idea of drinkable homebrew wasn’t just a cruel lie promoted by the vast and sinister plastic bucket industry.