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Topic Title: MEMBER NEWS FEATURE: Bob Shull
Topic Summary: A failed search to find a good-tasting beer led Bob Shull to zymurgy.
Created On: 10/1/2009 9:55 AM

 10/1/2009 9:55 AM

Francine Garrone

Posts: 31
Joined: 9/24/2008

Bob Shull knew there was something missing in his life two decades ago. Even with a wonderful family, a great education from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a job at the National Bureau of Standards, there still was that void. He just could not find a good-tasting beer.

In 1984, while discussing his desire for a quality beer with TMS member Michael Kaufman, Shull learned of Kaufman's experience in beer-making, or zymurgy, and became enthusiastic about trying it. He convinced Kaufman to teach him how to brew a batch of beer and was hooked after the first batch.

Today, Shull enjoys his homemade beer and gives it away as gifts. He warns anyone who dares to take up this hobby: "Two things happened as a result of my picking up the art of zymurgy," he said. "One, I found I ended up drinking more beer than I used to, and two, I found I have more 'friends' than I used to. I used to be able to rationalize the first effect on the basis that I needed to free up empty bottles for the next batch. The second effect is more life-changing, and could be of concern to those who are antisocial."

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