Events — 25 August 2011
Edible Brooklyn’s How To Brew: At Brooklyn Brewery

The never ending quest for great beer continues! The LocalBozo crew headed over to Williamburg’s Brooklyn Brewery for a night of local homebrewers discussing the craft behind beer making, sharing tips and sampling their suds. It was all sponsored by Edible Brooklyn.

Erica Shea and Stephen Valand were the first to speak to the capacity Brooklyn Brewery crowd. They come to us from the rapidly growing Brooklyn Brew Shop. In a humorous take on the process, the pair explained how one can brew at home and make a masterful ale without causing one’s home to smell like a brewery. The patented easy to follow six steps are: The Mash (steeping grains in hot water), The Sparge (straining your grain with a fine-mesh strainer), The Boil, Ferment, Bottle, and my favorite step–Enjoy!

At the conclusion of their light, yet highly informative lecture they invited the audience to sample a home brew of their own. It was a Jalapeno Saison, a light dry saison with a jalapeno kick. They were not lying about the kick. There was a true blue pepper punch with each sip. The dry finish brilliantly jibed with the spicy body. On November 1st, Shea and Valand will release their first book- the appropriately titled, “Beer Making Book.” Topics will range from cooking with beer, food pairings, how to grow hops, and more.

Next up was, Ben Granger of Park Slope’s Bierkraft. Ben presented the Edible event crowd with a hands on lesson about homegrown hops. Hops are that lovely female flower used for flavoring beer. Granger began his lecture by passing a jar of this brewing flower around the crowd, instructing us to rub it on our hand and take in all the scent notes. Personally, it reminded me of a bold India Pale Ale.

Granger made it a point to state that all home brewers need to experiment with different types of hop combinations and drying processes, while not being afraid to make mistakes. One can make a beer with flavors ranging from grapefruit all the way to Ben’s personal favorite, Hawaiian Punch. Granger was also kind enough to bring some home brew samples as well. We tried a Sriracha infusion, which also shared the spicy and dry flavor notes.

If there’s one thing we took away from this event was, it was motivation. Once I move into an apartment with ample space, a home brew kit is the first purchase. Sorry honey. Seriously, if you’re are a true beer lover, you need to challenge yourself and attempt a home brew. Once you crack that hoppy code, and make a solid ale a wave of accomplishment will wash over you. And if nothing else, you can always rub it in the face of that one beer snob friend you have.


 -Jayson Rubin

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