A New Brew & Brewery

Recently I saw my very first beer through to completion, and I must say, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.  I have to be honest, if I hadn’t produced 45 bottles of the stuff myself, I doubt I would be looking to go back to it a ton.  However, I wanted to brew something I could mess up the first time.  Thankfully, it seems to have turned out pretty well.  If you didn’t read my friend John’s review of my beer, you need to do that now!

John stated at the end of his post that I needed to figure out a name for my brewery.  He is a far more active homebrewer than I am, and he has named his brewery Revere Brewing Company.  Spurred on by his comment, and the opinion of a few other readers, I decided to invest some time and mental energy to figuring out my brewery name.  I had a few different ideas for coming up with the basis of the name.  I could go the teacher route, and I did enjoy one reader’s idea to for Demerit Brewing Co.  In fact, I would say that was a close second.  I also thought I could combine something with beer and music like I do on this blog, but I really couldn’t think of something that had a good ring to it.   While still mulling it over my wife and I took the dog for a walk.  Finally the name came to me on a sign I saw on the walk.  I’m not sure what the sign was advertising, but Vigilante Brewing Co was born as a result of it.  I’ve already had some people ask me if it has anything to do with Batman.  I do have a little Batman obsession too, but I just thought the name had a good ring too it.  So even though Vigilante only makes 5 gallons at a time, and we (me) only brews extract at the moment, Vigilante Brewing Co has begun.

Saturday morning I got up early to brew Vigilante Brewing Co’s second ever beer.  This was the first time I actually set about finding a recipe, buying all of the ingredients, and having some clue how to do this.  When I first got into brewing I bought a clone book, so I figured I would put one of those recipes to use here.  John’s review made one really good point about me, I don’t like to drink bland beer.  Even though I’m proud of brewing the amber, and I like drinking it, I wanted to brew something that was right up my alley.  Therefore, I decided to go with an imperial IPA.  I know it’s a big jump, but I have been super excited about brewing it for weeks now.

The brewing process went really well; although, I did find one really interesting thing out while getting this brew done.  The previous brew only used liquid malt.  This one on the other hand used both 4 lbs of liquid malt, but also 6.8 lbs of DME (dry malt extract) as well.  Having never used it, I started by putting the .8 into the brew pot first.  It hadn’t even crossed my mind how much it would clump when it hit the water.  I immediately had to go grab a whisk instead of the spoon I had been using.  Even though it took a little longer to get all that DME into the mix.  I eventually got it in and got it boiling.  If anyone has a tip for working with DME, I’ll be happy to heed your advice.

The wort is now in the primary fermenter, and it has been bubbling away for days now.  I am really excited to see how this one turns out.  I plan to have it spend one week in the primary, two in the secondary, and 4 (minimal) in the bottle.  I’ll also be dry hopping this one in the secondary for sure.

This beer is a clone, so I’ll be revealing the beer it is a clone of later when my beer gets closer to being ready.  I actually saw a bottle of it at the store this weekend and picked it up for comparison when my version is ready.  Since I’m sure mine will be a little different, I want to name my beer something that I can call my own.  Once again, I debated a few different ideas, but I ultimately fell on an idea that combine both beer and music.  I love how Stone’s Arrogant Bastard is a beer that really doesn’t need a style associated with it.  Therefore, I decided to do a little play off their name.  Thus, my imperial IPA will be known as Pretentious Hopster.

If you live in the DC area, look for updates for the release of Pretentious Hopster from Vigilante Brewing Co!



  1. Vigilante Brewing is pretty badass. That’s way better than Demerit. Solid. I will have to keep an eye on Rick’s FB page to secure a bottle of this limited release.

  2. Vigilante is great. I seem to remember DME being slow to wet in as well. The whisk I think was a good solution. Has something changed since I homebrewed? One day in the primary and two in the secondary is fast compared to what I remember.

  3. Hi, good name, I homebrew under the name vigilante brewing in the uk. We do our first commercial brew on Tuesday.

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