Admittedly I’m not the best do-it-yourselfer at home, but perhaps I just lack the right kind of motivation. If the end result of my effort was, say, a tasty beer? Well, maybe that would change my aptitude! It was with this mindset that I attended Brewshop 101: Introduction to Homebrewing at the city’s first do-it-yourself brewery, Bitter & Esters. Located in Prospect Heights, the first thing you’re hit with when you walk in the door is the pungent smell of malt and hops- which is way different and much nicer than what your favorite dive bar smells like. It’s sort of a pleasant cross between warm bread and a bale of hay (as opposed to stale beer and plumber’s crack). Bitter & Esters is a sweet little facility, and the enthusiasm and depth of knowledge of resident Brew Professor (and co-owner) John La Polla is nothing short of amazing. Now here’s a guy who clearly loves his work, and with good reason. This little shop is churning out some amazing beers! Here’s the thing – there’s a lot of moving parts to making beer. It involves fermenters, hydrometers, carboys, hops, malts, heating elements, rapid cooling… It was more related to chemistry than I imagined, but luckily, this is a class where there is not just required reading but required drinking.In the end, my two buddies and I felt we learned just enough to want to learn more. If you don’t want to buy the homebrew kit, they actually allow you to come to the shop and work there (with experienced hands nearby for questions) so we’re going to go back and make a few cases. The only question is what to call the first batch o’ brew… so far, the frontrunner seems to be “THE INCREDIBREW.” Anyone else care to volunteer some ideas?