Zach Rosen is not 21 years old, yet he forgot about his worries – and his strife – and went on to create The Beer Necessities campus brew club.
Indeed, the contradictory image of an underage beer club leader does not seem to phase the third-year chemical engineering major, who said he started the group to satisfy a thirst for beer knowledge he perceived on campus. The club will have its inaugural meeting tonight at 6:30 in North Hall 1006, which is open to all fans of beer.
Yet being under 21 can at times taste bitter to a beer aficionado. Founding The Beer Necessities has afforded Rosen certain privileges he cannot take advantage of because of his young age.
“I’ve talked to some brewers who tell me, ‘You know, if you ever want to get a personal tour be in touch,'” Rosen said. “Of course that can’t happen if you’re not 21.”
According to Rosen, The Beer Necessities is an inclusive group, welcoming connoisseurs of “any alcohol – we don’t discriminate.” However, he said the focus of the club is on beer. Specifically, Rosen said attendees of the first meeting will learn about the intricacies of judging brews, the different styles of beer and home brewing techniques.
Rosen is uniquely qualified to share his knowledge on the subject – he said he brews his own beer in his apartment, though he said at least once the operation has had disastrous consequences. In one instance, Rosen said his equipment was nearly destroyed when his downstairs neighbor’s apartment began flooding, prompting his landlord to tell him to shut off his water at a crucial step in the brewing process when he needed it the most.
“When you homebrew, the golden rule is you have to be drinking,” Rosen said. “[After the landlord knocked,] my new equipment started bursting. I shoved the door in his face and I took care of that problem, because obviously the beer is more important than the people downstairs.”
According to Rosen, his dedication to brew caused even more problems that afternoon.
“I totally forgot about the fact that he said to stop using the water because I was so drunk,” Rosen said. “I ended up flooding the whole downstairs apartment. That beer is not bottled yet, but I tried it and it tastes pretty good so far.”
In spite of his sophisticated taste in beers, Rosen said he is not averse to less highbrow brews that are often served at parties in Isla Vista.
“There is a classic style of beer for every mood and moment,” Rosen said, quoting his favorite beer journalist – the late Michael Jackson, who has no relation to the pop star.
Rosen said that even cheaper beers have their place.
“There is no such thing as bad beer,” Rosen said. “I want a Bud Light at a ball game – something that goes down like water. Natty Light has its place too. What if the world comes to an end? If you go bankrupt and your whole life’s crashing around you, get the cheapest alcohol that gets you drunk the quickest.”
According to Rosen, even the often reviled Natural Ice is appropriate in certain situations.
“God, you have those big keggers, with a bunch of random people you don’t know, you don’t want to be serving them good stuff,” he said. “Serve Natty Ice to people you don’t care about.”
The Beer Necessities Treasurer and fourth-year history major Diego Padilla said Natty Ice should only be used in the pursuit of intoxication for a great number of people economically.
“Natty Ice is that shit you drink when you only got 10 bucks and you’ve got to get a bunch of people drunk,” Padilla said. “The only enjoyment that you can get out of Natty Ice is out of a beer bong or beer pong.”
According to Rosen, beer drinkers of all kinds are welcome to attend tonight’s meeting, in which club members will be treated to an introductory session.
“[The meeting will be] a real overview about the whole world of beer,” Rosen said. “We’ll be talking about the ingredients, the process of making it and about why people should care about drinking good beer.”