HomeBeerCrew Homebrewing Ups Your Recreation

Crew Homebrewing Ups Your Recreation


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team homebrewing hands around a beer

This text is from the Might/June 2023 Zymurgy journal. AHA members can immediately entry an archive again by way of the 12 months 2000 with Zymurgy On-line.

By Julia Herz, American Homebrewers Affiliation Govt Director

If requested to depend the variety of days I’ve homebrewed alone versus with someone else, I’m unsure which quantity can be increased. I can say the variety of days I’ve transferred or bottled has been extra solo. Regardless, when folks ask about my most well-liked method to brew or package deal beer, the reply simply is “I choose to brew with others.”

Positive, a solo brew day permits for the final word in management, focus, and go-at-your-own-pace, however my studying, third-eye view, and new methods of taking a look at issues increase exponentially after I’m partner- or team-brewing. The massive-picture advantages make me a greater brewer simply by the sheer indisputable fact that others are current, ask questions, level out how they do issues, and share suggestions and insights.

CHAOS Homebrew Membership

Nowhere was group homebrewing extra on show than in January, after I traveled to Chicago to talk at CiderCon, the American Cider Affiliation’s annual convention. A serious bonus of the journey was being invited to brew with Jim Vondracek and the CHAOS (Chicago Homebrew Alchemists of Suds) Homebrew Membership. About eight membership members and I spent a Wednesday afternoon within the membership’s shared house, the place they home collective tools and brew collectively. Most of them had taken the time without work to share their brew day. What a valued present.

We brewed a Mexican lager, a barleywine, and a Belgian darkish robust ale. We additionally assisted with a number of batches-in-process: back-sweeting a chile beer, carbonating a completed bitter, and assessing whether or not a barrel-aged stout was able to keg. It was a blast throughout which I may observe three completely different brewing approaches without delay: a three-vessel system with pump, an all-in-one electrical system, and an old-school, gravity-fed boil kettle and mash tun. CHAOS members share a 2,000-square-foot neighborhood brewhouse in Chicago and handle to maintain membership dues affordable. Fairly flipping cool.

julia herz with chaos homebrew club
AHA Exec. Director Julia Herz (proper) visiting with CHAOS homebrew membership.


The Chicago Homebrew Alchemists of Suds (CHAOS) is a coalition of homebrewers, beer aficionados, and lovers within the Chicago, Sick., space that strives to domesticate appreciation of the science and tradition of beer by way of training, exploration, and neighborhood. As a membership, CHAOS is exclusive in that it additionally presents a everlasting house that permits members the flexibility to hone their craft in a neighborhood setting.

The brew home is ready up in order that the one objects members should present for themselves are a fermenter and elements. Every little thing else features a temperature-controlled fermentation room, filtered water, kettles, mash tuns, industrial-style sinks, a grain mill, and extra. The brew home offers the house to brew and in addition the chance to share strategies, socialize, and be taught from each other. The brew home additionally hosts seasonal occasions the place membership members can share their homebrews.

Fishbowl Brewing Collective

In December 2022, through the American Homebrewers Affiliation’s Capitol Hill Employees Homebrew Competitors (the place the AHA hosts and judges a contest for any hill staffer with a .gov electronic mail handle), I visited Fishbowl Brewing Collective. AHA members Andy Oetman and Chris O’Brien use Chris’s indifferent storage as a shared homebrewing house with shared tools and a bar. My colleague Marc Preo and I visited on a chilly winter night time when Andy was solely too blissful to provide us a tour of the realm and permit us to pattern a few of the membership’s beers. Utilizing a storage as a shared brew house makes a lot sense, and as soon as
I toured it, I absolutely understood why.

Shared Maker Areas Are In all places

The notion of a shared artists’ “maker areas,” or collectives with group tools and assets, is nothing new. Suppose woodworking sheds, gardening teams, artists’ studios, and extra. In some ways, brew-on-premises breweries and a few homebrew retailers, the place legally allowed, are prime examples of shared brewing areas.

Take Citizen Brewing in San Diego, owned by Judd McGhee (additionally an AHA member!). Citizen is a licensed brewery that sells beer, so sure, very completely different than CHAOS and Fishbowl, however homebrew golf equipment generally use the house to brew. In November 2022, Judd allowed Joaquin Quiroz of QUAFF to prepare a brew day to make two variations of the AHA’s Hoppy Amber Ale in honor of our annual homebrew vacation, Study to Homebrew Day. We made a 1-gallon hot-plate brew and a 13-gallon model in parallel. The vibe through the brew was considered one of collaboration, enjoyable, and mutual studying.

Quaff homebrew club with Julia Herz
Julia Herz (AHA Exec. Director) with QUAFF brewing the 2022 Study to Homebrew Day recipe.


QUAFF Homebrew Membership is a gaggle of women and men devoted to the enjoyment and promotion of homebrewing and beer analysis within the larger San Diego space. We share information, strategies, new brewpub and microbrewery discoveries, and good homebrew at month-to-month conferences and particular occasions.

Homebrew Golf equipment

In our fall 2022 survey of AHA members, 48 % of respondents stated they have been members of a neighborhood or on-line homebrew membership. The AHA proudly helps 2,000 homebrew golf equipment—see the world’s largest database of golf equipment on HomebrewersAssociation.org.

I encourage you to work brewing with others into your common follow of homebrewing. In fact, brew the place you’re most comfy, and if brewing solo is your jam, then extra energy to ya. In case you’re open to greater than homebrew golf equipment, hunt down your native homebrew store and brew-on-premises brewery. On the flip facet, inviting others to your property to brew, bottle, or keg can typically make for one of the best of brew days.

Homebrew Con: June 22–24 in San Diego

Talking of group, companion, and neighborhood, I certain hope you will have Homebrew Con in your radar. The earlier you register, the extra you save. We’re in San Diego this 12 months, and WOW, it is going to be off the charts. The theme is fermentation trip. Anticipate to stroll away having attended essentially the most prolific, academic, enjoyable, and unique AHA gathering ever, with homebrew and breweries galore. Professional tip: Take an enormous suitcase. You’ll want it for all of the contemporary beer and giveaways you’ll deliver house. Right here’s a preview of what to anticipate.

2023 marks Homebrew Con’s forty fifth 12 months and consists of academic classes, meet-and-greet gatherings, workshops, a Homebrew Expo showcasing the world’s main suppliers and homebrew retailers, every day Social Membership to make sure you by no means go thirsty, out of doors occasions, and unique off-site outings, too.

Homebrew Con 2023 San Diego featured image

Homebrew Con attracts novice and professional brewers, in addition to the world’s main beer educators. We welcome homebrewers of all ranges and emphasize training, with subjects from newbie to superior. And we embrace fermentation arts past simply brewing beer.

We additionally decide the Last Spherical of the Nationwide Homebrew Competitors (NHC) in live performance with Beer Decide Certification Program management. Attendees get to pattern NHC entries through the Knockout Celebration on June 24.

New for 2023 will likely be a Homebrew Membership Officer Boot Camp (Wednesday night time and unique to membership officers) plus a Homebrew Business Coalition assembly bringing collectively market leaders to debate the state of homebrewing and the way we will collectively develop the passion.

Sound nice? Register in the present day at HomebrewCon.org.

Since 1978, because the nationwide group on behalf of homebrewing, we welcome this annual likelihood to assemble a worldwide group of fermentation explorers, together with you. Right here is to connecting, defending homebrewers, brewing collectively (generally no less than), and studying from one another. Hope to see you there.

Julia Herz is government director of the American Homebrewers Affiliation. You possibly can comply with Julia’s homebrew talks and travels on Instagram @ImmaculateFermentation.




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