In the autumn of 2010, AJ Mauger (pronounced Major) noticed the apple trees at his house were loaded with apples ripe for the picking, but nobody in his family had a use for them. So they sat on the tree, going to waste. Determined to make use of these apples, AJ and his brother decided to turn them into apple cider. After picking, juicing, and fermenting the apples, an unintentionally boozy 16% apple wine was produced. A fascination in fermentation was born.
After experimenting with ginger beer, cheese, wine, and some truly hideous creations, AJ and his life long friend Robert Janzen settled on beer as the beverage they would craft and perfect. Delving head first into the world of homebrewing, Robert and AJ spent their time and money acquiring the equipment for all-grain brewing.
Today, the Mt. Lehman Brewery is collaboration between a family farm and family garage in Abbotsford. Inspired by the ability to turn what grows naturally in the Fraser Valley into a beverage for friends and family to consume, Mt. Lehman Brewery grows its own hops at the family farm. The homebrewery is located in the garage, able to produce 46 litre batches of whatever bizarre idea enters the two brew-masters’ minds.
This blog is to promote homebrewing and beer. A lot of it will be dedicated to our exploits in homebrewing, such as our recipes, ingredients and equipment. And of course, we will be offering our opinions on beer. Homebrewing should not be viewed simply as a way to make cheaper beer; it is an opportunity to create and taste beers you cannot get anywhere else, and the pride in drinking a beer and being able to say “I made that”.
Robert is the big-picture, idea man of Mt. Lehman Brewery. He is the one who keeps pushing for new recipes, new equipment, and new ideas. It’s not uncommon for statements such as “Why don’t we double the amount of hops?” or “How dark can we make this beer?” to come out of Robert’s mouth. Mt. Lehman Brewery would not be brewing 46 litre all-grain batches without Robert. He is the true beer lover, and always excited to try a new beer.
AJ is the yin to Robert’s yang; a conservative voice in the brewery to help bring Robert’s dreams to life. He focuses both on the science of making a beer recipe chemically work, and the art of making a beer recipe interesting. A bit of a beer nerd, he probably spends more time thinking about beer than actually drinking it. The most exciting part for AJ is that first taste of a beer that has been fermenting for 4 weeks. It’s the magic of brewing that keeps AJ coming back for more.
Contact us with your comments, opinions, desires to sample beer at firstname.lastname@example.org.