Last post, Dear Reader, we promised another kind of brew coming to a blog spot near you, and we’re not letting you down. We left Michelle at Mudd Puddle slinging eggs and roasting beans, and now we head down to a quiet country neighborhood. If you wind through the hills onto the property, you’ll find children’s bikes and a swing set amidst meadows of wild flowers. Once a week, you’ll also find James and Kristop creating master brews amongst a throng of children.In order to get their brew on, the guys balance meticulously measuring ingredients, mitigating the occasional shouting match or crying fit (between the children, not themselves—though that might happen on occasion as well), ordering take-out and adding dextrose and yeast at the optimum times. James and Kristop must negotiate each component with the utmost care and focus so that no one nor bottle suffers. You’ll recall that Michelle dreamed of opening Mudd Puddle in college, and when James decided to take a brew class, she was fully supportive; as James puts it, Michelle acknowledged that “[He’d] been living her dream for ten years; now it’s time for her to live [his].” We have a theme here, folks; for as long as he can recall, James had been fascinated by beer. He studied beer’s culture and history, considered becoming a beer judge and even opening a beer store. But when he thought of brewing his own, he knew “that sounded right.” Then, he looked to his long-time friend and wine expert, Kristop, as the perfect partner. Kristop had the science background and understood fermentation. James just “had to get him off that wine stuff” and they’d make an excellent pair. Now, a few years later, they hover over refractometer readings, discuss sugar percentages and insist on traditional ingredients—preferring hops from Germany and the Czech Republic. They have no interest in fruity fillers or fancy ingredients; for them, wheat, barley, hops, yeast and sugar makes for “simple, rustic” brew. And there’s a need for small brewed batches in New Paltz. James was inspired to pursue high quality brewing while on a trip to California’s Russian River Brewing Co. where, after tasting, he realized, “We need to do this on the East coast, of course in our own way, but we need to bring this kind of quality and atmosphere [to New Paltz].” These guys are certainly doing what they love even though, as Kristop puts it, “Seventy percent of beer making is cleaning shit.” Because they turned interest into action, they create simple, tasty beer and don’t sweat the challenges of exacting the science or cleaning minuscule parts. Instead, they take the kids to a nearby farm where they toss the boiled malt and barley to the pigs and cows and pet goats and calfs all while a braided dog monitors the process. This way, James and Kristop ensure limited waste results from their process. After boiling, feeding and yeasting, the guys wait two to three months while bottles of beer condition in James‘ closet. In the meantime, they continue building a small brew house in James’ back yard, a man-cave with a tap. They do all of this with regular interruptions like, “Daddy, I want another ice pop!” But no distraction can pull these guys off the bottle; it’s their passion and they’re drinkin’ to it.