Session 14: Beer People

Posted on 04.04.08 5:11PM under The Session, Zok

Session Logo - SmallToday is the first Friday of the month, so it’s time for the Session once again. This month is hosted by British beer blogger Stonch. His selection for a theme reflects his approach to beer. Stonch is a dedicated pub drinker, and people are a big part of a pub experience. Thus beer people.

Regular readers will know that for the most part, my beer people are my kids and now my wife is back in the game. But it just doesn’t seem right to talk about kids as beer people. Fortunately, I do make it out of the house on beer-related items now and then. Today I went to the local homebrew shop to pick up ingredients for my next few months of brewing. Grain’s cheaper in bulk.

I tried a lot of homebrew shops near me. The closest one is a half hour away, and then there are a few an hour away. But I have finally found a shop that I really like. It is not the closest shop. The prices there aren’t that great – they’re actually pretty bad – I could get stuff online a lot cheaper, even with shipping included. It’s not in a great beautiful area of the state. It doesn’t have an astounding selection of every hard-to-find hops variety and all the most exotic yeasts and grains. There’s one thing that makes this shop the best. It’s the owner.

Paul Zocco is the owner of Zok’s Homebrew. If you read a lot of beery publications, especially the Brewspapers, you might have seen an article or column from Zok. He’s in Yankee Brew News every issue. He’s in Ale Street News. He has had an article in BYO Magazine. He’s even got a bit in Sam Calagione’s book Extreme Brewing. He hosts trips across the world to visit famous beer regions like Belgium and Ireland and New York. And he runs his homebrew shop in Willimantic, Connecticut.

Even though Zok has met some of the greats of the beer world, from Michael Jackson to Charlie Papazian to that guy from Cantillon and more, he’s really welcoming to new people. He has been brewing forever, and has more brewing knowledge and experience in his pinkie finger than I probably have in my whole body. Yet he welcomed me and all my questions and troubled beers with a smile and plenty of helpful advice.

Now it’s more than just a shopping trip when I go to pick up homebrew supplies. It’s a fun adventure to visit my buddy Zok. There’s normally at least one other homebrewing afficionado there, and usually a beer or two to share and discuss while we’re there. Zok is a fun beer person and he attracts fun beer people. It’s never boring to visit his shop. I think that Zok and his shop are a perfect example of the importance of people not only in beery adventures, but also in business and even in all of life.

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  1. Posted by Results from the Beer People Group Writing Project } Group Writing Projects on 04.09.08 2:06 AM

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