Spring has finally sprung. What does that mean to me? The season of homebrew is upon us!
There’s nothing better after a long day of work than cracking open a beer and knowing you made it yourself.
Wait…what’s that? You don’t make your own beer or wine? Well this is your year to start!
Many people (men and women alike) consider getting into homebrewing but are deterred by the usual hesitations: “Isn’t it messy?” “I don’t have the space to homebrew.” “I heard it’s really complicated.” “I did it years ago and want to get back into it, but I don’t have the time.”
Allow me to ease your concerns. Homebrewing doesn’t need to be messy, space is not an issue, it can be as technical or as simple as you’d like it to be, and it’s gotten very user-friendly over the past decade. In fact, homebrewing is one of the largest-growing hobbies in the country (based on no research whatsoever, just a hunch I have).
Barrington’s Brickyard Wine & Spirits has teamed up with Brew Horizons (out of North Kingstown) to bring in a full line of homebrewing and wine making supplies to the East Bay. The response has been overwhelming.
From people who have never brewed before, to 10+ year veterans of the hobby, we’ve had the opportunity to serve a whole range of brewers.
So what do you need to get going? First you’ll need a starter kit. It’s a one-time purchase and has most of the hardware you’ll need to get going. Then you’ll need a brew kettle, an ingredient kit and bottles.
From there you brew by boiling the “wort” (unfermented beer), add hops, ferment the wort into beer, bottle and enjoy!
Today’s extract kits (“extract” means the grains have already been processed for you, cutting down on equipment and brew time) are the perfect way to dip your toe in and see how you like homebrewing. But be warned: Once you’ve brewed your first batch you’re likely to get hooked on the hobby.
If you’re concerned your wife or husband won’t approve, all I can say is try doing it as a couple. You’d be surprised how many couples have a blast brewing their first batch together. And think about showing up to the next cookout with a bunch of suds you brewed. How romantic! *sigh*
As I mentioned before, over the past decade the homebrew industry has seen incredible growth, which has led to drastic improvements in ingredients and equipment that make the art of homebrewing easier and more fun than ever before.
If you’d like to learn more about the wonderful world of homebrewing, feel free to swing by Brickyard Wine & Spirits, email us or drop in on a meeting of the East Bay Homebrewers Club (we meet once a month, and it’s free and open to the public).
Cheers to Homebrewed Beers!
Brian “The Beer Guy” Buongiovanni is an avid homebrewer, the resident Craft Beer Geek at Brickyard Wine & Spirits, and organizes the East Bay Homebrewers Club. He can be reached via email at [email protected] or at the store at 401/289-2140.