Sharon Sullivanssullivan@gjfreepress.comGrand Junction Free PressStaff Writer

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May 3, 2012
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New Fruita homebrew supply store hosts 'Big Brew' event

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Michele Collins bought beer brewing recipes and equipment for her husband, Daniel, seven years ago for his birthday. It turned out so well they decided to go into business selling beer-making supplies.Business has been good since the Fruita couple opened Kettles Homebrew Supplies three months ago."We've had increased sales each month," Daniel Collins said.Saturday, May 5, is National Homebrew Day. The American Homebrewers Association celebrates each year by encouraging brewers worldwide to brew the same beer recipe simultaneously. Kettles Homebrew Supply will host its own local AHA Big Brew at its shop that day, joining more than 5,000 homebrewers from North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, South American and Australia.Big Brew participants will choose from two different recipes: English brown ale, or American brown ale. Collins chose American, of course. At noon Central time, homebrewers will "raise their glasses of homebrewed ales and lagers for a simultaneous toast to homebrewing" worldwide."I'll make the batch on-site," Collins said. "People can watch, they can help, ask me questions. It's a good way to get introduced to brewing beer at home."And there's a good chance there will be samples for people over 21. "People can bring their own homebrew" as well, Collins said. "We can try each others' recipes."Collins, 47, used to own a construction business until it took a hit financially in 2008 when the economy crashed. He and his wife decided to visit the Business Incubator Center, 2591 Legacy Way, to talk about their idea of opening a homebrew supply store.They attended some of the business classes and seminars offered at the Incubator. "We received such great encouragement, so we went for it," Collins said. "The encouragement I got at the Incubator is what pushed me over the edge to do this business."Collins had already been brewing his own beer for seven years, but before opening his shop, he completed a master brewers program, that included an apprenticeship at a Portland Brewery.Jon Fry of Fruita is new to brewing and has attended a couple of beginning brewing classes offered by Collins.Fry has made a Black Forest stout and said he is anxiously awaiting a fermenting Apricot pale ale."Every time I have a question I can ask Daniel," Fry said. "He's very knowledgeable about what he's doing." Kettles Homebrew Supply carries all the supplies, including equipment and ingredients for making beer or wine. Collins' primary focus, however, is beer. Those who are gluten-intolerant may be happy to know that Collins sells a sorghum extract used as a sweetener in place of malted barley for those who prefer gluten-free beer.Kettles Homebrew Supply is open every day except Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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The Post Independent Updated May 3, 2012 10:37PM Published May 3, 2012 10:32PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.