By: Bethany Richardson
Over the past year, I’ve picked up on a new foodie hobby…
I really enjoy drinking unique and flavorful craft beers, and combined with my love of being in the kitchen, homebrewing is a great match for me. I have several friends who brew their own beer, but it was my boyfriend, Chad, who helped to really get me involved. Together we have made two batches: an extra special bitter and a brown ale flavored with brown sugar and toasted oats, and partially aged in an oak whiskey barrel.
Homebrewing is an activity that is becoming increasingly more popular; according to the 2011 statistics of the Homebrewers Association, there are around 1 million homebrewers in the United States. With over 1,000 homebrew clubs in the U.S., there is likely one near you. In Champaign-Urbana, we have the BUZZ club that includes not only members from the University of Illinois, but local citizens as well.
If you are looking to get started with crafting your own beer, joining a local chapter can help connect you with people who have expertise and interest in homebrewing. Homebrewing could also be a good activity for your school’s (21 and up) food science club members to be involved in.
Do we have any homebrewing readers of the IFTSA blog? What concoctions have you been working on and what tips would you have for those interested in picking up brewing as a hobby?