What is homebrewing?
Homebrewing is the art and science of producing small batches of high-quality beer, mead, cider and wine for non-commercial purposes…. you guessed it – at home. People get into homebrewing for different reasons. Some have a casual interest in learning to brew in the same way they might occasionally want to learn to cook a new dish for dinner. Others, particularly beer brewers, are zealous and passionate about the hobby, studying brewing resources, asking and answering questions on internet bulletin boards, brewing every weekend, entering competitions and, with respect to many beer styles, often brewing better beer than can be purchased. Some are rigorous in observing established style guidelines and others care nothing about what others say a particular style ought to be.
The homebrewing culture and interest in homebrewing in the United States has exploded, beginning slowly following a limited legal exemption enacted by Congress in 1978 and skyrocketing since the late 1990s with increasing brewing knowledge being shared through website message boards and blogs. Homebrewing is a craft that brings all kinds of people together who share an appreciation for, or some might say a devotion to, gourmet beer, mead, cider and wine.
Many homebrewers have gone on to open or work in brewpubs and microbreweries all around the United States. There’s no better way
to learn. In fact, an Auburn area homebrewer was one of the first brewers at the Olde Auburn Ale House, brewing there for two years before moving to Nevada to operate a brewpub. Boston Beer Company (a.k.a. Sam Adams) sponsors a national competition, called the Long Shot, among homebrewers each year and produces and distributes a reproduction of the winning recipe. But the reality is also that the vast majority of homebrewers don’t have commercial aspirations. Most just love to brew good beer and be able to share it with good friends. It’s magic.