Something is brewing in home kettles

Homebrewing

In basements, laundry rooms, and garages, a new trend is taking hold: Increasing numbers of amateur brewers are producing their own beers at home. These days, there are even competitions and festivals for these experimental brews, as well as a dedicated area at drinktec.

Thus began the craft beer movement in the USA: young people were tired of drinking similar tasting, mass-produced beers made by large corporations. So they started brewing their own unique beers in cooking pots and slow cookers. As everyone knows, homemade is always best. Across the world, be that in New Zealand, Greece, or Iceland, people are following in the footsteps of these American pioneers. Homebrew fever has now infected Germany, too.

In our country alone, the online forum ‘hobbybrauer.de’ boasts more than 4000 members, and the trend is rising. Here, users can share experiences, offer tips, or publish recipes for others to try. And once they’ve caught the brewing bug, most people eventually reach a stage where a slow cooker and a standard strainer and fermentation bucket no longer cut it. Amateur brewers often want to take their hobby that bit further. Many of them follow the same path as some of today’s renowned craft brewers: the path from homebrewer to microbrewer. As a result, a new market has opened up across the globe for small-scale brewing equipment.

The popularity of homebrewing is also demonstrated by a number of national and international festivals and competitions. For example, once per year the Camba Bavaria – one of the largest craft breweries in Germany – holds a beer contest at its Old Factory in Gundelfingen. There, a top-class jury attempts to crown winners from among more than 100 different beers. The best brews are then presented at a homebrew festival, where one can try beers from around 50 different amateur brewers. A paradise for beer fans, as this represents an exclusive opportunity to taste these beers. Most are innovative beers that would probably never make it onto the shelves of specialist retailers or into bars.

For amateur brewers and beer fans interested in homebrewing, drinktec is a real treasure trove. In the Home & Craft area, numerous suppliers of brewing equipment and raw materials will have their latest wares on display. In short: everything you could possibly need for small-scale brewing. During daily workshops and presentations, visitors will be provided with a wealth of information on current trends in homebrewing. Next door, at the place2beer, they can then form exciting new brewing communities or glean tips from innovative craft brewers whilst enjoying a creative homebrew themselves.

Mareike Hasenbeck

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