Retirement opens up a lot of free time, but for one retirement community on Bend’s eastside, they keep busy. One activity might surprise you.
Aspen Ridge Retirement Community has the Brew Crew. Founded 12 years ago, the group brews beer under the watchful eye of a volunteer from the Central Oregon Home Brewers Organization.
The program has generated industry buzz.
“We’ve been in trade magazines for beer brewing. We’ve been featured at some of the trade show across the country for senior living,” Aspen Ridge Executive Director Bryan Carnahan said.
The crew uses a self-contained brewing device called the grain father.
“Most of the technology I don’t understand, but I can watch this and enjoy the fruit of its product,” Brew Crew member Carol Douglass said. She isn’t surprised brewing is an accepted activity.
“After living with my husband who tried brewing it in our basement back our married housing back in 1961-62, anything can happen,” Carol said.
Her husband Burt’s old system?
“A couple of crock pots. Let it stink up the whole apartment,” Burt said.
But was it drinkable?
“Oh yeah. You bet,” he said.
The retirement community even has its own version of Oktoberfest.
Some of the beers they’ve created are award winners. This year, their Aspen Ale took first place at the Deschutes County Fair in the strong ale category.
A few years ago, they brewed a beer with Worthy Brewing to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association.
If you’re interested in home brewing, check out the Oregon Home Brewers Association.