The pandemic raised all sorts of problems — and solutions — for ordinary folks. I’m not referring to medical personnel or the seriously challenged but those of us who just tried to cope the best we could. One dilemma: How to stay close to adult children who no longer lived at home and we now could not see.
Susan and Lou Astbury of Pleasanton arrived at a tasty solution along with their son Trey, Foothill High class of 2004, who lives in Oakland. He has been a home beer brewer for years and wanted to continue, even as the stores carrying the ingredients closed. He also wanted to keep seeing his folks and thought they might help with the endeavor.
“As long as we were careful, he thought he could brew beer in our garage with me in my newly created role as the assistant brewer,” recalled Susan with a laugh.
“In the beginning of the pandemic, we were extra cautious,” she continued. “Wearing masks, gloves, turning our ping pong table into a sanitization station, and armed with antibacterial wipes — this was our way of life, brewing in the garage.”
They left the garage door open for ventilation, ignoring inclement weather, and drew the curiosity of neighborhood bugs and bigger critters, including wild turkeys.
“Trey, an experienced brewer, did the actual brewing, and I was responsible for assisting and maintaining control when he returned to sheltering in place in Oakland,” Susan said.
Susan, who works for TV30, had shifted to a home office like the rest of us, and now she assumed…