Waters Brewer - #17 - Special Article: Brulosophy

On this Special Article of my blog I had the pleasure of talking with Marshall from Brulosophy about some useful information regarding homebrewing, starting a brewery, and how Brulosophy started.




Whattttssssss going on Homebrewers!

My name's Ty Stevenson.

I'm a homebrewing, Waters Brewer owning, Marine Corps veteran, college grad, wolfdog owning, full time job having, ordinary dude who is writing these grammatically incorrect sentences in hopes of helping YOU, the homebrewer, when it comes to your brew. From your very first beer, to owing your own brewery.

About Me:

I wake up between 4-6 AM every day, work on my business for a couple hours, take my dog on an hour walk, make my lunch, go to work at a winery (wish it was a brewery), come home, walk my dog again, watch some sports, work on more business, cook dinner, and spend the rest of my night with my loving girlfriend. Put that routine on repeat and that's the jist of my life. I also homebrew about every 3 weeks and I listen to a lot of podcasts revolving around brewing, business, and how to succeed at life.

I grew up living in apartments, motels, with family friends, and was eventually taken in by my grandparents at the young age of 13 after my mom could no longer support me. Pops was in and out of my life for the better or worse, but we are friends now, drink beer, play darts, and golf from time-to-time. My grandparents are the ones who really made me the man I am today. From disciplining me when I was being a stubborn teenager, to being there for every one of my baseball games for 13 years, they are my true heroes. They really taught me how to work hard, fight for what I believe is right, and always be kind to others.

I became a Marine before the age of 18 and was in the reserves until the age of 23. Went to college at 18 and graduated at 23 with a management degree, all while being in the Marines. I have a background in construction and started working 2 days after graduating college and will continue to work towards becoming a brewer, owning my own brewery, and running a successful business.

I had this idea in my mind about starting my own company for a while, after quitting my job as an assistant project manager for a construction where my boss was the worst boss you could ever imagine, where nothing I ever did was good enough, not getting training in my job, and commuting an hour plus there and back in traffic every day, I quit my job and took a month of work. During that month I just drank, played video games, and watched lots of TV, until something clicked in my head, I got to asking myself, "what the hell am I doing with my life". I still had to pay the bills, so I got a job at a winery in Sonoma County, wasn't very satisfied with this job, but because I had gone through these times of failure and defeat, I decided I can do more with my life, so I started a company. I woke up at 3:15 AM on the morning of April 26th, 2016 (not kidding) and decided I was going to start a business, and thus Waters Brewer was founded...



When I first started homebrewing, I spent so long looking for information online about how to better my beer, learn more about the ingredients and the process, and find out what really gets the homebrewing community going. One of the websites that I couldn't seem to escape (for a good reason) was Brulosophy.com.

Marshall, the founder of Brulosophy, emailed me back the same day I emailed him, asking him if he had some time to answer a few questions that I had for him and he said he was a busy man, which I could totally see why, but said he would answer some questions for me. The next day I drafted up 5 questions I thought might intrigue homebrewers, and be useful for conversation. 

Without further ado, here are the answers from Marshall:

1.) How long have you been homebrewing for and how did you first get in to it?

I started homebrewing in January of 2003 after a dude I worked with at a group home in Bellingham, WA mentioned he was making his own beer. I'd recently turned 21 and had started frequenting the only local brewpub at the time, Boundary Bay, whose beer I couldn't get enough of. Having recently graduated college with a year to go before my fiance was finished, I figured homebrewing would be a fun way to kill the time. It certainly was and has continued to be for over 13 years now.

2.) What are some of the main challenges you found as a beginning homebrewer?

From my very first batch, I hated the whole process of bottling. Besides taking too much time, it always seemed to me the most vulnerable part of the brewing process in terms of potential for contamination. Still, it took many more batches before I was able to afford a kegging system, which entirely changed my perspective on the hobby. Besides that, I was fairly quickly struck with just how simple making beer is, and couldn't help but wonder why it seemed so many people made it sound more difficult than it is. Looking back, I realize it was likely this line of reasoning that ultimately inspired me to start Brülosophy, at least on some level.

3.) What prompted you to start doing Brulospohy and how/when did Brulosophy really take off? 

As I started to dig into all of the homebrewing literature, I often found myself questioning how the "rules" so many espoused were developed. As a skeptic who has a hard time accepting as fact anything without evidence to back it up, I decided testing some of these theories out, usually sharing the results in various online forums. While I hadn't really considered compiling them all on a single website, I kept being encouraged to do by readers interested in the stuff I was doing. In February of 2014, I started Brülosophy with no real goal in mind and it drifted along mostly unnoticed for a few months, as I imagine most blogs do. Then I published a silly video of me testing out the theory that eating bread yeast and yogurt prior to drinking can help stave off drunkenness. It didn't, which some people thought was funny, and the article with video ended up being shared on Thrillist.com, which I believe had a noticeable impact on our exposure. I started having a lot of fun with the site, committed to publishing more regularly, added some cool contributors to the crew, and here we are today. I'm still pretty surprised with the generally positive response we've gotten for what was ultimately a time-killer.

4.) What is one of the most exciting/memorable XBMTS that you have completed and why?

To this day, the xBmt that most shocked me was the first one focused on fermentation temperature. I was so incredibly convinced that the participants and I would be able to taste a difference that I would have put money on it, yet as has now occurred multiple times, the beers ended up being statistically indistinguishable. While I refuse to give up the idea that fermentation temperature is vital to making good beer, I'd be lying if I said I no longer worry nearly as much about ensuring my fermenting beer stays within such a tight temp range.

5.) If you can give one word of advice to homebrewers who want to go professional, what would it be?

Do your work before jumping in. I've met many homebrewers who have no inkling what it means to run a business, no experience in marketing and selling a product, and think running a brewery is as easy as making a 5 gallon batch in the garage. This couldn't be further from the truth! Running a brewery is hard work, something I personally have absolutely no interest in ever doing myself, not just because it's painstaking, but because it costs a lot and the return often isn't terribly great. So yeah, know what you're getting into.





Brolosophy has some of the most interesting, beneficial, and intriguing articles about brewing out there and if you haven't had the opportunity to check out Brulosophy.com yet, you are wrong and should head over there right now to gain some knowledge. 

Shout out to Marshall for answering these questions I had for him, being awesome, and putting out some of the best brewing content on the internet!



Thanks for reading this article guys! I hope you learned something you otherwise wouldn't have learned today and that you share/like if you think other homebrewers should should read this article as well.


As always, comments and feedback are appreciated!


Stay True To Your Brew!

-Ty Stevenson

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