There it was, the corroboration, towards the end of a report in this paper this week about Lake Macquarie's Lyle Brown celebrating his 100th birthday with his 98-year-old wife, Elva.
After decades of reading that we shouldn't drink more than two and a half thimblefuls of beer a week, of my wife questioning whether I need that second glass of beer, of my mother wishing aloud that I wouldn't make beer, as I seem to be doing whenever she visits, there it was in black and white.
Lyle Brown, wrote reporter Phoebe Moloney, says he owes his remarkable longevity to home brew and luck. It will be known forevermore in the Corbett household as The Great Corroboration.
Every few years we are assailed by a new concoction that guarantees long life, from green tea to apple cider vinegar to probotics to the current kombucha, and here in our midst blowing them all away is a centenarian who lives in his own house.
Yes, it's time home brew had its time in the sun. Figuratively speaking, if you don't mind me pointing out, because bottles of home brew left in the sun might, without putting too fine a point on it, blow up.
I've been home brewing since I was 28 years old, continuously for 38 years bar a few timely rest stops, and if I'm interviewed at 100 I will be delighted to point to home brew as the elixir of my life.
If I'm interviewed at 100 I will be delighted to point to home brew as the elixir of my life.
In fact I'm brewing as I write this, doing two things at once which helps me feel clever for a day, and please excuse me for a few minutes while I tip a bag of malted barley into a tank of water that has just reached 68 degrees. There it will mash for an hour, a process that converts the grains' starch to sugar.
In those days of the early 1980s when I was in my late 20s home brew was disgusting, and I used to marvel that a bubbly amber liquid that looked like beer could harbour a flavour so uniquely revolting. I've come to know since that these horrid brews were infected with bacteria or unwelcome yeasts or both.
It was commonly believed that home brewers were alcoholics, and for good reason. Only alcoholics would be under enough pressure to drink the stuff. Except for my mate's father, Mr Corrigan. His brew was astoundingly good, and just as astounding was that he drank only one bottle of it a day.
The difference, he told me, was his yeast. Other home brewers used baker's yeast whereas his yeast had been snaffled from a commercial brewery, which would have described the yeast as stolen, and soon enough heaving and frothing in a big bucket under a tea towel in our kitchen was the most magical thing I'd ever seen.
I was enthralled that a tin of Saunders Malt Extract, a handful of charred barley, a dash of hop essence, a kilogram of white sugar and a spoonful of Mr Corrigan's brown sediment called yeast could produce such an animal, and there could be no doubt it was alive.
Then the bottling, and that I had 26 big bottles of beer was a thrill itself, then two weeks later the cracking of the first bottle. Nothing has ever been as keenly anticipated. My father-in-law, who was still trying to forget the taste of the surf club brews after World War II, and I were wide eyed. It was bloody beautiful. He was brewing within a week.
Excuse me again please. Mashing has finished, so I'm removing the grain and setting the liquid to boil, when I'll add what are called bittering hops.
A few years later the tins of hopped malt extract arrived and suddenly it seemed that a nation of men had what was called wort bubbling away in the shed. And a few years later we began to realise there was a problem.
The problem was the alcoholic strength of the brew. The tins' instructions used to, and may still, tell us that adding 1kg of sugar would produce a beer of 5% ABV, which was about the strength then of Australia's mainstream commercial beers.
But something wasn't right. Drinking two big bottles of commercial beer at 5% would have no apparent impact on me, but drinking two big bottles of home brew at supposedly 5% would have an impact on me that could be described most kindly as deleterious.
Oops, my phone is telling me the boiling is done, so I'm needed out the back briefly to add a heap of flavour hops to the liquid before I cool it to fermenting temperature.
Back again. Many home brewers gave up brewing because of the impact of the brew but I wasn't so easily deterred. I reduced the sugar load from 1000g to 200g, which by my calculations produced beer at 3.2%, and to this day most of my beer has an alcohol level of between the light 3% and the mid-strength 3.5%. I like to tell people it means I can drink more before I fall over, and there'll be more than the usual tut-tutting on my mother's next visit.
For many years I have been what is called an all-grain brewer, which means I make beer with malted grain and real hops. At first I did it in saucepans on the kitchen stove, then a big tea urn and in recent years with a fancy computer-controlled brewing system.
Tomorrow I'll add yeast and ferment the wort at a specific temperature in a fridge for a couple of weeks before I transfer it to a keg. A month or so later I'll drink it. Over, ahem, some time.
And at beer o'clock today, which in my case is 5 o'clock and never long after, I'll raise a glass of my best to help celebrate fellow home brewer Lyle Brown's 100th. Happy birthday Mr Brown, and thank you.
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