Alex “TR-8R” Hartlaub

Alex “TR-8R” Hartlaub

It has been a long time since we had a Malter of Month posting….mostly because we were waiting on the bio from our new Vice President, Mr. Alex “TR-8R” Hartlaub. Well, he has finally responded and his reason for delay was with good reason. Here is Alex’s Bio…………

OK I can finally submit this as what has become my second obsession can now take center stage as I welcome the Return of the Mash Tun. See, I come from a huge family of first generation Star Wars fans and this past fall was a bit hectic for me, chasing down and hounding George Lucas for any advanced knowledge of the released Star Wars sequel, The Force Awakens. I can say with certainty that he didn’t really know much. As I cornered him in the bathroom of a local Burger King, and he was reaching for his phone to call in the 501st he was very adamant that I was chasing down the wrong guy. I needed to be asking JJ Abrams.

Again, a difficult nut to crack. But when I asked the J-man (as I called him) about some potential plot hints at the upcoming movie, he acted like I was “disturbing” his bath. I mean, come on man, the door was opened. I grabbed a beer, and closed the toilet seat before I sat down to chat. He owes me that much. But I digress and there is still a court case pending so we’ll just leave it at that. After my wife Jillian posted bail I grabbed a keg of homebrew and camped out in front of the theater for a few weeks. No big deal. I’ve pretty much seen the movie about 13 times so far since the 18th.

Just me sippin a nice free blueberry ale through a straw.

But it’s brewing you seek in this story, yes. It’s brewing I will give you. I started homebrewing shortly after Episode 3 was released. Since I thought at the time the full story has concluded I needed something else to pass my time, so I started brewing. I started out as others have in the past, with a little blue Bantha milk….sorry bad joke. I started brewing with extract and found I really enjoyed the hobby. I enjoyed fruit beers in particular, and although my craving was strong, my shame was unequaled… was almost as if I made out with my sister or something. So as I started to delve into the dark side of craft beer enjoyment, I found if I wore my Stormtrooper helmet or costume to bars, I got a lot free drinks, even fruit beers. So that habit stuck.

Just kicking back with the family during Christmas of 2008……in the cups would have been some of my Corellian Imperial Pale Ale

A short time after, my wife found out a guy in her Triathlon club also brewed, and it just so happened that my carboy had a bad motivator, and she suggested I give him a call to see if he had one I could borrow. That was how I was introduced to the Manty Malters group. It wasn’t much longer after I joined and I had a considerable number of extract beers under my belt that I felt I was going to make the jump into all grain. When I brought this up to the group, they were very supportive. I told them “I will not fail them, I am not afraid.” “You will be…..” they said. “You will be…..” Ahhh, good times. But you know what they say, do or do not, there is no try. So I did. It’s been all one big Jawa party since.

This is not the kegerator you are looking for…..