The American Homebrewers Association’s annual Learn to Homebrew Day comes to Eugene on Saturday, November 5th this year, with two different events to attend. One, organized by the Cascade Brewers Society and hosted by Viking Braggot Company at its Commercial St. location (noon-4pm), will demonstrate extract brewing, the most common way people begin their homebrewing adventure. The other takes place at A Beer Club on 7th Ave., and will feature Home Fermenter doing a brewing demo on an all-in-one electric brewing system.
Past homebrew demonstrations have featured multiple styles of brewing, with extract, all-grain, and brew-in-a-bag systems all working at once. This year’s are pared down for time and efficiency; the benefit to the newbie is more opportunity to talk to the brewers about the process and equipment. Other homebrewers will be milling about, drinking, and heckling at these events. Ask them questions!
With something like 9,000 breweries in the country, why start homebrewing now? Obviously, one must be interested in more than just drinking, but homebrewing is another way to express creativity. It’s an extension of the kitchen, where your imagination is the limit. Trust me, people have put meat in beer.
In fact, homebrewing can be done in the kitchen, or your (well ventilated) living room, or nearly anywhere in your house thanks to all-in-one brewing systems like the Grainfather. Electric brewing has never been easier, and many award-winning homebrews are produced with them. The demo at A Beer Club will show just how easy that is.
Of course, the traditional route involves more gear, though the startup cost can be roughly the same, a couple hundred dollars on up. The benefit is two-dollar pints; you do the amortization math there. Homebrewing can be as involved as you want it to be; joining the Cascade Brewers Society gives you access to an inclusive community with a collective, I dunno, 752 years of homebrewing experience.