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Friday August 22, 2014
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Barrels of Fun



levels of iron in the water the hard way: his home brew had a metallic, almost bloody, taste.

The city has since taken steps to reduce iron in the water, so Frey says he intends to give it another try. For Frey, it was one of many lessons in the art and science of brewing beer.

Craft beer, marked by its unique flavors, quality ingredients, and small-scale production, has experienced a renaissance in the last twenty years. There is a growing commercial market, but Frey is happy to keep brewing a hobby. He's got beer in his blood--his great-grandfather owned a brewery in Grand Rapids--and, as a glance around his basement confirms, an unabashed passion for making it.

Frey, who works at Ford as a process effectiveness manager, got into brewing via the loosely affiliated Fermental Order of Renaissance Draughtsmen, a brew club composed mostly of Ford workers. "I didn't have a creative outlet," he explains. That was fifteen years ago. Now his basement is filled with old bottles, containers of wheat and barley, stacks of recipes, and a fifty-six-gallon barrel currently filled with a Flanders Red, a sour Belgian-style beer.

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