Terra Costa - A New Venture

Welcome to Terra Costa. This has been an idea of mine for the past seven years or so. I have always been one who had a thirst for creativity and self expression. Whether it be through making music with my bands, coming up with new strategies in my professional work life or simply by plastering the walls of my home with objects and images that make me happy. Home Brewing would become the next vehicle for my creativity and self expression.

My family have always been beer drinkers. I practically grew up being my grandfather's personal bartender, serving him cold cans of Budweiser on his boat. My grandfather has since past on and unfortunately missed the beer renaissance that we all are witness to today. I fell in love, not only with the wide variety of exotic flavors and ingredient concoctions but, of the stories the brewers/breweries told with their beer. Much like the art of writing music, there are no set rules in brewing.

My grandfather toasting a fresh cold one. Notice little me in the background.

I knew that I wanted to tell my story though beer but, I needed to learn how to brew a batch first. My Brother - In - Law and I brewed our first batch, a Red Ale, in 2012. We really had no idea what we were doing but, we watched enough YouTube videos and read up on an ample amount of home brewing literature to stumble through the process. I was hooked on watching the wort boil and transform throughout each step. When drinking a beer, if you aren't exposed to home brewing, you tend to never think deep into the process of what created the final product you are sipping on. Beer takes many forms and the process is pretty awesome to observe.

Mike bottling our first batch of beer in 2012.

There was a new level of satisfaction I think we both felt on the day that we bottled that first batch. Much like the feeling of getting the shipment of physical copies of a new album you just recorded, there was this final product, something physical you could hold in your hands, something you created. Being able to share those bottles with family and friends was such a great feeling. From the pop of that first grolsch bottle I was hooked on creating my own beer.

The years passed quickly. We managed to brew a few more batches (a Porter, an IPA and another Red Ale) however, life kind of took over and the home brewing venture took a back seat. My wife and I got married and we bought a fixer upper home in New Jersey. A dirty construction zone did not make for the best environment to brew beer. My passion for craft beer did not stop though. We would attend a handful of beer fests in our area during that time. I would walk the aisles of these convention centers admiring the art and branding these breweries were creating. It seems like every year there are more and more microbreweries that pop up and they all are there to tell their unique story.

I never stopped thinking about the beer we made and daydreamed about the future batches we were to make. I was never one to really half ass any of my ideas so obviously branding and the story telling aspect of the beer was always on my mind. My family and friends would ask me the name of our beer but, I never settled on one. I wanted it to be thought out and really mean something to me - something I wouldn't end up changing five years down the line. Most importantly I wanted the beer to represent my roots. I wanted it to tell a story of where my family came from and the cool experiences they encountered along the way.

So how did the name Terra Costa finally surface and become permanent? Well, my wife and I took a nice long vacation back to Azores Portugal, a set of nine islands off the coast of mainland Portugal where my father was born. My family and I would vacation there every year since I was in college and just like how home brewing was shelved for a while due to some life events, my annual trips back to Azores were also put on hold. I was itching to get back to the island and explore.

Town of Faial Da Terra.

Cafe Faialense in Faial Da Terra where the locals meet for drinks.

The small town where my family is from is called Faial Da Terra. It's a small village nestled between two mountains. The views are spectacular and the culture is rich. The people there live very simple lives and are perfectly content with each-other's good company. They live off the land and respect it. After a hard day of work in the fields tending to their cattle or clearing their field they meet at the local bar for drinks and laughs. This basically sums up the idea behind our beer. We create it to share with our family and friends over good conversations and good company. It's a product of hard work and creativity. It has become part of our personal culture now.

Terra Costa translates to "Land of Costa". Even though I don't own a farm myself I do want my beer to represent where my family and I reside and come from. I plan on integrating local ingredients to create beers which pair well with certain events and food that is represented by my family's traditions. I want this beer to represent us. I want to sit down, pour one of these craft beers into a glass and share stories of the good times, the bad times and everything in between for generations to come.

This is Terra Costa.

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