Simmering Suds

Jalapenos and peanut butter are not flavors usually associated with beer, but these homebrewers dare to think outside of the barrel.

"My husband and I began brewing as a chance to customize beer to our tastes,” says Valerie Blaylock of Evansville, a new inductee to the homebrewing world. “The appeal of customizing and crafting our own beer is what really inspired us to buy our homebrew equipment kit.”

Blaylock and her husband Addison have brewed Imperial Blonde Ale and Coffee Stout. Next on their list is Peanut Butter Porter.

The Ohio Valley Homebrewers Association is a wealth of brewing knowledge and a great resource to bounce ideas around, according to Kenny Purcell, the vice president of OVHA and a homebrewer since 2011.

“Thinking that it’s difficult is the hardest part about brewing,” says Purcell, who brews pale ales, IPAs, and stouts. “Looking back, I wish I had jumped in faster. The worst that can happen is that you have to dump a batch. It’s just like cooking — you have a process, but you get to experiment.”

Hops, malted barley, and water go into the brewing pot where brewers wait for the mixture to meld.

“Surprisingly, the drinking is not my favorite part,” says Purcell. “I really like standing over the boiling wort. There’s something so relaxing about standing over the wort and the hops with their aromatic quality. My wife always comments that that is my zen garden.”

For more information about the Ohio Valley Homebrewers Association, visit

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