Bookcliff Homebrew Club welcoming new members
When it comes to brewing beer at home, it’s more than mixing together hops, barley, grains and water. Grand Valley home brewers like Tyler Frye and Sam Hall mix in love and passion as well.
“It’s the power to create something you enjoy,” said Frye, who appreciates the science behind making beer. “There is a lot of synergy and exploring beer when you make your own. You learn to appreciate the craft.”
Frye, along with Ryan McLaughlin and several other folks, have come together to form Bookcliff Homebrew Club. The group is currently searching for new members to add to its current roster of 30.
“It’s open to all skill levels,” Frye said. “It’s about being a community, and we want to welcome people in from novice to advanced.”
According to Hall, Grand Junction’s beer community has a lot of respect for not only other home brewers, but local micro-breweries as well.
“Everyone in the group is a tolerant bunch,” Hall said. “All the members are welcoming and friendly. Since I joined, my knowledge has more than tripled in what I know.”
TOOLS NEEDED TO BREW
A beginner to home-brewing should purchase a starter kit. Stop in to Lil’ Ole Winemaker, located at 516 Main St. in downtown Grand Junction, to check out local options.
Pricing on kits range from $50 to hundreds of dollars, depending on where it’s purchased and its size, Hall explained. Smaller kits come with a one-gallon drum and ingredients needed to brew beer (including flavor extract from barley). Lil’ Ole Winemaker’s $150 kit creates five gallons of beer.
“Some pour hundreds of dollars into their set up,” Hall said of home-brew hobbyists.
Kits are “fool-proof,” Frye and Hall agreed, with “good beer” often the result.
Home-brewers should also seek education about the brewing process (extract or all-grain) and the importance of sanitation before getting started.
“The most important thing is to have fun,” Hall said.
“We take pride in it and know the process. You can taste and see the labor that went into making it yourself.”
Interested in joining the club or learning more? Bookcliff Homebrew Club will host an Off-Flavor Beer Tasting event on Friday, Jan. 16, at 7 p.m. at The Ale House (2531 N. 12th St., Grand Junction). The event is $10 per person and open to those ages 21 years and older.
The tasting will focus on education, teaching beer drinkers how to “recognize flaws in beer and how to troubleshoot brews,” Hall said.
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