Ball Brewing to host ‘Learn to Homebrew Day 2020’ in Glenwood Springs |

Ball Brewing to host ‘Learn to Homebrew Day 2020’ in Glenwood Springs

Ball Brewing Assistant Manager and Brew Master Kirstie Ennis at the taproom located just south of Glenwood.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
If you go:
  • What: “Learn to Homebrew Day 2020”
  • Where: Ball Brewing, 7025 Colorado Highway 82, Glenwood Springs
  • When: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday
  • How much: free

Ancient Egyptians did it. So did Trappist monks. 

Now it’s your turn.

To break the boredom of social-distancing – with a good chance to drink socially (in moderation) – the High Altitude Mashers Beer Club invites the public to their “Learn to Homebrew Day 2020” event. The local conglomeration of suds loving-brewmeisters prepare to demonstrate the best methods and techniques behind crafting beer from the comforts of your own home.

Class is slated for 9 a.m.2 p.m. Saturday at Ball Brewing, 7025 Colorado Highway 82, Glenwood Springs.

According to Ball Brewing brewmaster Kirstie Ennis, students of every skill level will first be given a tour through the local brewery’s entire beer-making process. Brewery owner and head brewmeister Bobby Ball, along with fellow brewer Clark Archibald, will then begin to instill their infinite beer wisdom upon their pupils.

“I mean, it’s science. Everything about beer is chemistry,” Ennis said, who’s also the beertender and designated “Elmer’s,” because she holds the place together. “Sometimes it’s trial and error to figure out how to make what you like, what you love… but actually figuring out how all the different ingredients are going to interact, and the whole process, it’s actually beautiful.”

The Bootlegger Hops are grown and harvested in the wild in Carbondale.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Even for the novice brewer, the art of making beer shouldn’t be met with intimidation.

“For the ones that are beginners – they don’t even know what kind of beer that they like – obviously we’re going to give you the information so you can figure what exactly it is that you like,” Ennis said.  “So, whether it’s a blonde or if you like a porter – something a little bit darker – we can provide you that information.”

The local taproom, equipped with quirky-named, in-house craft beers like Slopeside Pale Ale, Captain Ron and Asian Persuasion, will also offer students lessons and suggestions on how to name their beer.

Ennis, a combat-wounded amputee from the war in Afghanistan, has essentially mastered the art of beer-naming by using her military experience as a muse. The 5’4” blond personally serves a beer called “Hop Along Blonde.”

“We get to sell these beers to people that obviously mean alot to me. They’re kind of funny, they’re playful, they taste great.”

A drink is poured from the tap by Ball Brewing Brew Master Kirstie Ennis
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

“So when I get to serve the Hop Along Blonde – again, on my one leg – it’s pretty cool.”

And, while some may conjure up images of men blaming the pungent, yeasty fragrance wafting from the basement on their dog or perhaps their kids, Ennis also encourages more females to become brewmasters.

“I would really like to see women out here doing it,” she said. “There’s not really a lot of women brewers here in the valley and I think it would spice things up a bit.”

There are two additional reasons why teaching and encouraging Coloradans – especially Garfield County locals – to homebrew. One, locals were mostly responsible for keeping Ball Brewing, which opened its doors Feb. 8, afloat after the inception of COVID-19.

“They were really the ones that supported us through everything,” Ennis said. “So, today is really our day to really be able to give back to them.”

Also, if COVID-19 continues to skunk social gatherings and warrant further quarantine, what else better to do than to tinker with brew kettles and funnels for a while?

“Anything that you learn, anything that you see that you actually think you might want to take home with you, we have that in our store as well,” Ennis said. 

That’s when the young “grasshoppers” explore the taproom’s onsite homebrew supply store, where they can pick up brew kits as well ingredients. 

Attendees are asked to wear masks, while parties of two people of less are encouraged.

Saturday’s celebration of suds is in honor of National Homebrew Day, established in 1999 by the Homebrewers Association.

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