This past Saturday marked the American Homebrewers Association’s annual Learn to Homebrew Day (formerly known as Teach a Friend to Homebrew Day). The event offers prospective homebrewers a chance to see how the process works and established brewers can learn some new tips and techniques. It also doubles as a great excuse to blow off responsibilities on a sunny fall day, share some good beer, and meet some new friends.
I attended a local event hosted by Ron Smith. We had a good crowd of attendees including current homebrewers and students from Ron’s Beer MBA and IUPUI classes. A variety of brewing techniques were demonstrated including a Blonde Ale by Brian Steuerwald that used a base of malt extract, a Robust Porter by Tom Wallbank that used a no-sparge all-grain technique, and an American Pale Ale by Ron using a conventional all-grain process. Attendees also had the chance to learn about brewing software and tour the famous Smith beer cellar.
Interested in embarking on a fun and highly addictive hobby? A basic beginner equipment kit starts as low as $80 and ingredients for most 5 gallon batches range from $25-$45. The American Homebrewers Association has some information to help you get started. Check out your local homebrew club and attend a meeting (you can find a listing on our Links page). If you live in central Indiana, Great Fermentations offers periodic brewing classes as well. The homebrewing hobby is a great creative outlet and is a hell of a lot cooler than playing golf!