Beer in the Closet


Beer in the coat closet? Why not? The closet shares a wall with the garage. It has always been a typical “cooler” for the boys’ beer stash. But, this was different. This was home brewed, home bottled beer. It sat on the floor in the dark while it munched sugar to promote carbonation. Bottle conditioning, the brew master daughter-in-law, Leah, explained.

In that fact lay the problem. Beverages in the process of carbonation are subject to explosion. We have experienced it firsthand. Back when we trailed two of the nine children to come, we made root beer. Bottled and left to bottle condition on top of the refrigerator. One evening at supper, we were startled from our usual mealtime circus (already with only two children, most meal degenerated quickly to various stages of chaos). This evening chaos erupted with the sound of a gunshot, followed by a torrent of sticky brown, well carbonated root beer spraying across the kitchen. I can still visualize my visiting brother-in-law’s face as bottle caps whizzed menacingly close to his head. The emancipated root beer did not discriminate. The ceiling, the floor, the far wall, and everything in between were  equally splattered .

I opted not to take a chance of a repeat in the coat closet. Winter coats, my husband’s clergy robe, and a number of quilted wall hangings would be in the direct line of any explosion. How would you explain a beer, soaked, minister’s robe to the dry cleaner? A woven rug topped with a plastic tablecloth should prevent an escape of beer from dousing the closet’s contents.

A second batch is being brewed today, October 31. Some might call it a Halloween trick.  We prefer to view it as tribute to the German tradition and the sainted Reformer, Martin Luther, who openly enjoyed Katie’s home brew.


Here we have brew masters, son Jesse and his wife, Leah. Daughter Etta wanted to help too. Leah was careful not to let her add drool to the brew. Pumpkin spice was flavor enough.

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