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Is Home Brewing Alive? Anywhere?


ChefCrash
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Not fading at all in Galveston, Texas ... :huh:

Home brewing is becoming increasingly popular locally, and people of all professions are picking up on the trend.  “We have doctors, lawyers, auto mechanics — literally every profession represented in the Homebrewers Association",

And there is even a Home Brew Talk messageboard ... :wink:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Just curious. I wonder why a trend, that had rapidly swept the entire US and Canada in the late 80's to the mid 90's, has faded just as fast? At least in the Mid-Michigan area.

It's going stong in the Carolinas. In Charlotte, we have two homebrew supply stores and the local homebrewing club, Carolina Brewmasters, has well over 100 members and operates a website and message board. Other cities in the two states also have healthy homebrew scenes.

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What gives you the impression that it is dead? Keystone Homebrew, my local shop, has just recently expanded into a second location, supplying both the Philly suburbs and now Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton as well... a sure sign that more people are interested in brewing recently in Eastern Pennsylvania.

As to vibrant online communities, I can't think of a hobby that has more good active boards and lists devoted to it: homebrew digest and its discussion board (hbd.org), tastybrew.com, and the shop related boards such as brewboard.com, morebeer.com, forum.northernbrewer.com, and there are plenty out there that are not on my regular web surfing rounds too... but I can't rattle them off for you.

The suppliers of homebrew stuff have been innovating and improving their ranges like crazy in the past few years, widening the range of possibilities. People are pushing hybrid techniques like the partial mash which let folks who haven't dedicated coolers and equipment to all grain brewing get the benefits of mashing specialty grains while still deriving lots of fermentables from easy extract rather than bulky grain.

I'm curious about what signs of its death you're noticing... I'd say that the rumors of homebrewing's death are premature.

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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Just curious. I wonder why a trend, that had rapidly swept the entire US and Canada in the late 80's to the mid 90's, has faded just as fast? At least in the Mid-Michigan area.

I think you're right, at least to an extent. I haven't looked up the stats, but from what I see around here (Chicago area) I'd say the popularity of home-brewing has dropped somewhat. Certainly the number of homebrew shops has dropped. That's not to say there isn't still a healthy homebrew community here, my impression is that it's just not as massive as it was in the '90s.

I wonder if the better availability of world-class beers at retail has something to do with it.

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Funny to have found this thread..........three days ago I was having lunch with fifteen or so flight nurses and medics in Las Cruces, New Mexico when the conversation turned to homebrewing........without exception, every former military person (and those were the majority of the companions) expressed minute preferences for yeasts, waters and bottles. I was so impressed!

....too bad the food palates were not as well developed - we were lunching at Gardunos, when the Mexican border was only 40 miles away! :hmmm:

I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

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Although there is still a robust homebrewing community up here in the Seattle area, I, too, think the level of enthusiasm has dropped somewhat since a decade or two ago. There are not as many 'bricks and mortar' homebrew supply shops, but I think that is more due to Internet shopping than anything else. What I think is interesting is that many homebrewers I know have now 'moved on' to home winemaking, using grapes from Eastern Washington.

Regards,

Michael Lloyd

Mill Creek, Washington USA

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Seems to be undergoing something of a renaissance here in the Bay Area. Several of my friends have taken it up in the last year or so.

Another friend tells me the biotech company he works for sponsored a company wide brew off and tasting picnic. Is that scary, or what? Though, there does seem to be a bit of crossover between biological scientists, chemists, and beer makers.

-Erik

edited for spelling.

Edited by eje (log)

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Seems to be undergoing something of a renaisance here in the Bay Area.  Several of my friends have taken it up in the last year or so.

Another friend of mine tells me the biotech company he works for sponsored a company wide brew off and tasting picnic.

-Erik

Still going strong in NYC!

Leave the gun, take the canoli

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It's just that it's not as sexy a story as it was previously, I would imagine.

But it has spread to different fields, like the aforementioned home-winemaking, and there's new homebrew/craftbrew sodas now too.

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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Well, I happened to be speaking with a friend just to day about this site and sharing that he might find some hopefully interesting discussion about beer making here.

I assure you, he is "passionate" about beer.

There's another friend who also home brews...so, I guess it is alive and well in Southern California.

And perhaps it is one of those trends that goes through a natural progression with ebbs and flows.

I'm sure someone could make a beer analogy to that statement. :wink:

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Homebrewing is going strong at my house :raz: But seriously, many small towns have joined the ranks of big cities and feature homebrew shops and knowledgeable brewmasters who want to share what they know.

Oil and potatoes both grow underground so french fries may have eventually invented themselves had they not been invented -- J. Esther
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I'm too young to have been part of the 80s and 90s trend but I'm currently getting into homebrewing and it seems like it is still going strong, if not, perhaps, as strong as I perceive it had been in the 80s/90s. My guess is that part of the recent decline stems from the increased availability of better beers at the store, which of course was influenced by the homebrewing impulse of earlier decades.

Still, I am also in Mid-Michigan (Lansing/East Lansing) and I've found a nice homebrewing shop in Grand Ledge called the Red Salamander. It has a personable and knowledgeable owner and a good selection. I believe there is a homebrewing club loosely affiliated with the store.

So far I've only brewed one batch this summer. I enjoyed it and the beer was very good. If my son didn't have some health problems in the late summer I'd be drinking follow-up batches right now. Seeing this thread reminds me that I've got to make it back over to the Red Salamander pretty soon!

Eric

Just curious. I wonder why a trend, that had rapidly swept the entire US and Canada in the late 80's to the mid 90's, has faded just as fast? At least in the Mid-Michigan area.

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