When I went to the homebrew store yesterday, Just Brew It! in Fayetteville, I heard some of the most depressing news I’ve heard in awhile. Due to many factors, some personal and some business, Doug (the proprietor and friendly operator of the store) will likely be selling the business. I can only hope that someone will come along that is as friendly to customers and as dedicated to maintaining a great store as Doug is. If this does come to pass, I will certainly miss chatting with him when I go in. The worst part is that the place may simply close outright. If that happens, I may have to acquire ingredients online. And two of my favorite homebrew stores in Atlanta will have closed (my other favorite was Marietta Homebrew, which closed several years ago).

The story about Marietta Homebrew was even sadder: the proprietor and very friendly operator, Dennis, died of cancer in 2002. That was a very sad day. He was an awesome homebrew shop owner. He was very friendly, was great to talk to, liked to talk about beer, frequently had some of his homebrew on tap for a taste while shopping, and was knowledgeable and helpful. After he passed away, the store wasn’t the same – the folks that ran the place after that were not nearly as friendly or helpful. Apparently other customers felt the same way because the place eventually closed.

Doug is also an awesome homebrew shop owner. It will be sad to see him move on to other things. He has transformed Just Brew It! from a ‘usually adequate’ homebrew shop to a great homebrew shop. He is friendly, great to talk to, and the most knowledgeable homebrewer I’ve ever had the pleasure of talking to. I could ask him pretty much anything about homebrew – issues or concerns I might have about a batch, questions about upgrading equipment, or anything else. And he could invariably answer.

On top of hearing that news about Just Brew It!, my son was sick this weekend, too. So I didn’t get a chance to brew on St. Patrick’s Day. Instead, today was beer day. I kegged the Humble Hop Juice: it tastes good, so I’m eagerly awaiting it to be carbonated. I also brewed the dry stout. After brewing, I ate a lovely dinner of fish and chips (one day later than planned).

Unfortunately, the sanitizing formula I prepared for my equipment was too hot (likely > 120 degrees Fahrenheit), and I may have left the yeast package in there too long. So now I’m anxiously waiting to see if I killed the yeast. Hopefully not… But only time will tell. If I see no fermentation activity after 48 hours then I’ll have to return to the brew store to get more yeast :(