Customer of the Month – Eric Shepard

Eric Shepard

Brewer’s Names: Eric Shepard

How long have you been homebrewing/winemaking? I started homebrewing with a Mr. Beet kit almost 12 years ago (January of 2009).

What are your favorite styles to make? I enjoy making and drinking pretty much every beer style, but Saisons are probably my favorite. Wyeast 3711 French Saison gets a lot of use in my “brewery”.

Are you a member of any brew clubs or organizations? No official club, although I will brew (and drink) with a couple of friends a few times a year – sometimes we talk about forming a more formal club, but have not actually done it. 

Have you won any medals or awards? I won first place for an Altbier in the first round of 2013 NHC (Denver). I also got a blue ribbon in my category and 2nd in Best of Show in the 2013 Arapahoe County Fair for a Maibock. I have not entered a competition since 2013. I guess you could say I retired on top. 

Describe your brewing system or equipment (Provide a picture if possible) I recently purchased an Anvil 10.5 Gallon Foundry, and have brewed a few time on it. Before the foundry, for years, I used the standard Orange Gott Cooler / false bottom to mash and a propane burner fueled kettle for the boil. I currently ferment in either an Anvil 7.5 Gallon Stainless or a 7 gallon PET FermMonster Carboy.

What piece of equipment or brewing process has made the most difference in your beer and/or wine? I think the one thing that made the most difference was moving from bottles to kegs. I can’t imagine I would brew very much now if I had made that move. 

What other fermented beverages have you made? I make a bunch of kombucha. I’ve made hard cider and tried mead, but don’t really do those anymore. I also make a bunch of fermented food, such as sauerkraut and yogurt. 

 List of any other hobbies or interests. I love smoking, barbecuing, and grilling every weekend. I also bicycle quite a lot (almost 6000 miles in 2020)! I enjoy family hikes/snowshoeing, camping, and kayaking. And watching sports. Go Chicago Bears and Blackhawks!

Is there anything else that you would like to share about yourself? Generally speaking, brewing is sort of like meditation to me. It helps me relax and forget the stresses of the “real” world. Throw in some barbequing and maybe a bike ride, and a brew day is a perfect Sunday. I usually brew around 90 gallons per year, but shelter-in-place and other 2020 pressure have caused me to really step-up my brewing. I am on pace to break 150 gallons this year.