Long before craft brewing and mass-produced beer existed, thirsty cavemen stumbled upon a puddle of bubbling barley. From then until the industrial revolution, all beer was essentially homebrew. The ancient Egyptians, medieval monks and George Washington all knew, if one wanted a pint, one best make it himself. Despite the modern era making great beer both accessible and sophisticated, homebrewing still serves a purpose.
Homebrewing fulfills a basic human need beyond a kegerator in the garage. People brew “because they are innovative, they’re creative, it’s wired in their brain to make something different and better,” said Central Oregon Community College brewing instructor Steve Brainerd.
Homebrew often isn’t as good as that from pro brewers. Sometimes it is better. Homebrewing, however, teaches us to be more sophisticated drinkers, which forces the pros to brew even better. For anyone keeping score, that is a win for both sides.
Coming May 6, we can raise our pints to celebrate National Homebrew Day. To learn more about homebrewing, visit a local brew shop, join a homebrew club, check out the American Homebrewers Association online or attend the Inaugural Sisters Homebrew Festival coming June 3 in Sisters.
American Homebrew Association/ National Homebrew Day
Oregon Homebrew Clubs
Sisters Homebrew Club