Ryan Boddy’s beer brewing hobby began as a holiday experiment.
His first Christmas spent in Baltimore after relocating from Phoenix back in 2002, Boddy said he found himself too broke to buy presents for friends. The solution? Homemade cider.
“It was terrible,” he said, “but I gave it out anyway and people seemed to like it. Or, they told me they liked it, anyway.”
The Christmas project sparked Boddy’s inner brewer, inspiring him to make beer, hone his craft and later help start a local beer and brewing club called Baltibrew.
On a sunny Friday afternoon, Boddy set up a mini brewery along his friend Caitlin Manleigh’s home driveway in Pikesville. The pair buzzed about, pouring, mixing, stirring and carefully monitoring the concoction they hope to present at the National Homebrewer’s Convention in June. It was Boddy's first time brewing in six months, he said, a frequency that often fluctuates based on time, money for supplies and interest.
“I tend to be more inclined to brew in the spring and in the fall,” he said. “I wish I could brew more often. When I’m doing it as much as I’d like to, it’d probably be around twice a month.”
Boddy currently works as a freelance content marketer for local favorite Union Craft Brewing. He’s a certified beer judge and is studying to become a cicerone, the beer world’s version of a sommelier.
“It’s a fulfilling hobby in the sense that you learn a trade and then you also get to have the product and taste it and give it to your friends” he said. “It’s a neat experience to get together as a community as well as share things that you like, and things that you made, with other folks.”
Watch the video above for more.