Oh what a crazy couple weeks it’s been since we last hung out with Finn McSpool. First, he recently got a huge mention on his creator’s blog over at Crawcrafts Beasties which began a whole weekend of ego-mania.

Then, just as I had his ego tamed, the report that Finns were the happiest people sent him into another round of “I’m Number One! I’m Number One!” I still haven’t gotten through to him that “Finn” refers to people from Finland, but I’m also worried this revelation might make him think he has a whole country named after him.

But ego-taming is not what today’s post is about because today is St. Patrick’s Day and, being from Ireland himself, Finn is ready for a celebration. And his celebratory drink? A home brewed batch of pseudo-Guinness!


Beer as a Reward System

When I hit Save on my (almost) final draft of The Bonds of Osteria, I thought I deserved a little reward. After my wine-making experiments, I’d been contemplating trying to brew my own beer. I’ve tried home brewing once before many many many years ago with a Mr. Beer Kit only to end up with rather bland results.

This time around, I wanted to try my hand at the real thing: an all grain beer. As luck would have it, the site I was browsing for info had a kit with all the ingredients and tools. As luck (of the Irish?) would have it, the kit was heavily discounted. Talk about some hoppy fate!

And, since my first batch would be ready right around St. Patrick’s Day, and since I’d be celebrating the day with an Irish monster, I had to opt for the Pride of Dublin Stout (aka “pseudo-Guinness”). I think Finn approved of my choice.

Finn Puts on His Brewer’s Hat

Along with hops, yeast, a bottle capper, caps, and more, the kit included a big bag of grains and a mesh bag to put them while they boiled. Well, at least I thought a mesh bag was included. I thought it was just here. Where is it? Oh lord, Finn. It’s St. Patrick’s Day, not Halloween!!

Once I untangled Finn from the confines of the bag, I managed to pour the grains in without spilling them all over the kitchen (an amazing feat, if I do say so myself). Unfortunately, after waiting for me to read the instructions and get everything sanitized and organized, Finn was ready for a break and thought the grain bag made the perfect Beastie-sized bean bag chair.

Finally, I got the grains in the pot and heated the water to coax those lovely fermentable sugars out of the mix. As you might expect, Finn was a big help even if he was doubtful about the quality of a beer that started out looking like a pot of muddy laundry.

Still, as the tasty scent of the grains (and eventually hops) filled the kitchen, Finn was getting a little eager for some beer and brought over a bottle. Sorry, Finn, it’s going to be a few weeks.

Finn went off to sulk and I (while contemplating where he got that beer bottle and why he hadn’t shared its contents) cooled everything down before transferring the yummy brown concoction into a jug and adding some yeast. Then it was time to let the beer ferment. I told Finn we needed to keep an eye on everything to make sure it didn’t bubble over. He took this instruction literally.

The Results…Hey, Where’d They Go?

Bottling day went so fast that I forgot to take pictures (and let me say that capping beer bottles just doesn’t have the same frustration-relief as corking wine bottles). Finally, tasting day was upon us and although this picture doesn’t show off the magically creamy head the beer had, you’ll just have to take my and Finn’s word for it that our creation Β tasted remarkably like Guinness.

The only problem? Well, besides now wanting to brew more batches of all kinds of beer? We ended up drinking it all before St. Patrick’s Day. Oops.

Are you celebrating all things Irish today? Have you tried brewing your own beer? Have you had to tame any egos this week? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!!!


Curious About Making Your Own Beer? Here’s Some Books I’m Finding Helpful….

How To Brew: Everything You Need to Know to Brew Great Beer Every Time

The Complete Joy of Homebrewing Fourth Edition: Fully Revised and Updated

Brew Better Beer: Learn (and Break) the Rules for Making IPAs, Sours, Pilsners, Stouts, and More

Beer Craft: A Simple Guide to Making Great Beer

Homebrew Beyond the Basics: All-Grain Brewing and Other Next Steps

20 thoughts on “Finn Brews Up Some St. Patrick’s Day Spirit

  1. Happy St Patrick’s Day to y’all! I love how Finn always manages to time his sulks so that he misses out on the majority of the manual labour. Even though your pseudo-Guinness is all gone, I hope you manage to get your paws on some of the real stuff for today! Sinead is still pretty hung over from Amsterdam, so she might have to sit this one out… we’ll see. Cheers!

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    1. .I’m not going to feel sorry for your Amsterdam-induced woes! From my limited studies of Beastie physiology, I’m betting she can handle it! And yes, I have noticed Finn takes a “supervisory” role in many of these efforts, but is more than willing to indulge in the rewards. Have a great St Patrick’s Day! πŸ€πŸ€πŸ€

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      1. Look, I’m fine – it’s just Sinead who seems to have no trouble downing beers that are as tall as she is…. until the next day! I hope Finn doesn’t cause too much trouble this evening… πŸ™‚


      2. Bah, unfortunately tomorrow’s a workday so no fun for me tonight. Stupid books are so much harder to write with a hangover…not that I haven’t tried…many times. Finn, however, he can do what he likes since he just lounges at my desk all day.

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      3. Ugh samesies… I’m suppose to meet a lady about some Shakespeare in the morning. Ah well, I suppose we must make sacrifices for our art! *glares at Finn and Sinead living it up*


  2. Ooooh, yum! I do love me a nice stout, and that one looks (looked) delicious! Did it have notes of small woolly monster in the flavour profile, thanks to Finn’s very special brand of “help”? πŸ˜‚ I’d love to give grain-based brewing a go… I made a couple of batches of beer using cans of syrupy goo a few years back, but I’m sure yours had waaaaay more flavour! Hope you had a fun St Patrick’s Day, and that you managed to procure more beer for your celebrations! πŸ˜€

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    1. I tried the syrupy goo route once too and quickly abandoned beer making for several years. I have one more grain kit to try (an IPA), then I’ll be eager to test out some recipes on my own. And, no, I missed the fine hint of Beastie in the stout…although my mom and I were drinking it so fast we probably missed the subtler nuances of the brew 😜


      1. Yeah, it feels like you’re just making beer cordial! I remember thinking that my second batch wasn’t too bad, but I might have been going easy on it because I made it. If I’d been served it in a pub, I probably would have sent it back πŸ˜‚ Sounds like your stout was a roaring success though! Yum! You’ll have to make more…

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      2. I may try this weekend. I’ll have to see if it will be ready well before I leave so I can sample it (since I know with my mom house sitting, none of the beer will be left when I get back). πŸ˜‚πŸ»πŸ˜‚


      3. “Oh, and they washed and returned all your bottles so you can start another batch.” I see you understand my family quite well!


      4. It’s usually that way here. Mr Husband doesn’t like the taste of beer or wine or anything that’s not a froufrou drink, so my concoctions are safe as long as Mom doesn’t show up thirsty! :))


      5. Oh, there’s no sneaking required! Last time I was in IKEA, they had just started serving beer in the restaurant, and it was… Totally adequate. (I checked. You know, for science!) Welcome to Europe! πŸ˜€


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