Walking into the brewery this morning I was greeted by the sweet, malty smell of a batch of Stump Cross in the fermenter. It reminds me of sitting on hay bails on farms as a boy. A couple just wandered in entranced by the same smell, had a look around and tasted some beer - that made them happy. A couple of years ago I'd walk into work to the whir of computers; working for a bank on floor x, I didn't meet any customers, see if they were happy or take huge pride in what I was producing. So making beer is healthy as well as fun - everyone should do this.
They used to - I've been reading a book on the history of beer in the UK, and apparently in the 1800s the average adult drank 6 to 8 pints of beer a day, people would brew in their house, or buy it off the street from pot boys to have with dinner. Then tea and coffee came along. I could do without the large daily intake of our Victorian predecessors, but its interesting to think about how beer was such a part of daily life and there must have been so much variety. It'll be a few years until I can send my daughter out onto the streets of Richmond selling beer, but in the meantime at least I can contribute to the variety on offer - but first perhaps I'll have a cup of tea.