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That is my Dad, William Matthews Sr. (yes I am a Jr.). He went by Bill (actually so did I until 2006 when I changed to Will to end the suffering of being called “Little Bill” despite the fact I was a good 6 inches taller). My Dad passed away June 2011. He didn’t leave me empty handed. I learned to cook from him, how to speak in public, how to camp, how not to hold a hammer, but I never had that “Clark and Rusty” moment with my Father.
You see I never saw my Dad drink, except for twice in his entire life, and one of those was on his death bed. Not that my Dad had anything against alcohol. Some say his sobriety stemmed from his chronic ill health, others say it was a lesson learned from his reckless youth. Who knows it was probably a little of both, or it was neither. It was one of those secrets that died with him.
But he did play a major role in my passion for craft beer. It all started with the high prices of cheese back in 2005. Our favorite cheese shop was Bass Lake Cheese factory:
Now my Dad and I could easily drop a hundred dollars in cheese factories, but the problem was we were noticing that we were getting less and less cheese for that money, and the shop was getting a little too trinkety. So we started to venture out to look for new places. One place we discovered was a little cheese shop in Pine Island. Their cheese was great, and reasonably priced. But there was something else about this shop. It doubled as a homebrew, and winemaking shop. My Dad and I looked at the equipment and we toyed around with the idea of homebrewing. We talked about it, but it didn’t go much further than that. The idea stuck to the back of my mind, and I guess it did my Dad’s too because for Christmas…
My very own Mr. Beer Kit! From here on out I was a homebrewer….