After the birth of his second child, Will Draper wondered how he would find time for his hobby. "When am I ever going to brew a batch of beer again?" he asked himself while driving to his job at a natural disaster risk assessment firm. He put his analytical skills to work. He'd need to cut down on the time, space and money required by his eight-year pursuit. He'd need to find a way to make a 12-pack of beer consistently good.
The result of Draper's experimentation is Small Batch Homebrew (smallbatchhomebrew.com). His web-based business now offers three levels of brewing kits—ranging in price from $32 to $52—in an attempt to help even the most novice cooks and brewing enthusiasts make a batch of beer at home.
"The size of equipment you need gets really expensive," Draper says of traditional homebrewing setups. "This way, you're in for $30 to $50."
Depending on the package purchased, kits come equipped with a two-gallon bucket for brewing, a two-gallon bucket for bottling and cleaning, a floating thermometer, a bottle capper and caps. Ingredients for the beer itself are extra, ranging from $12 to $14. Kits are intended to create a 12-pack of beer.
On the higher end of the beer ingredients (a mere $14) is Hop Zombie IBA (India Brown Ale), a hoppy beer with chocolate notes. The brew brought Draper first prize at the 2011 Brew Durham competition. Draper also sells ingredients for five other styles of beer.
Last week, another business began with an aim to deliver food to people's homes—or pretty close, at least. LoMo Market (lomomarket.com), a farmers market on wheels, made its first stop in Durham at Trinity Park. CEO and founder Guenevere Abernathy says the park will be a regular stop for LoMo, which, unlike the majority of food trucks, will stick to a fairly rigid schedule when it comes to places to park.
"A big part of our model is to be consistent," Abernathy says. LoMo will be at the same place at the same time "every week, so people can count on us."
The mobile market keeps a stock of local fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy and eggs. A small amount of food will come from nearby states, including Virginia and South Carolina. Locally, sources include Eastern Carolina Organics, Farmhand Foods and Rogers Cattle Company, in addition to numerous other small farms and vendors.
The idea, Abernathy says, is to take food to places where people are already in transit. For folks with families or commitments who may not be able to regularly visit a traditional farmers market, LoMo will provide another option. "We'll be in a neighborhood," Abernathy explains. "When you're out walking the dog or you're taking your kids to the park, you can pick up a few things."
LoMo is still in its pilot season, exploring spots with high demand. In time, however, Abernathy expects the schedule to settle in. Slated test spots include Rex Wellness Center in Cary, Meadowmont in Chapel Hill and New Horizon Church in Durham. "We're being creative and seeing what works," she says.
On business days, Abernathy expects the trailer to make two to three scheduled stops. For an up-to-date calendar, visit LoMo online.
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