history of homebrewing

You love beer, you drink beer, you experiment with beer, you learn about beer, you make beer. This seems to be the story behind the rising population of homebrewers that are bringing us some seriously noteworthy brews from their basements (and other assorted places).


Up until 1978, homebrewing was illegal (thanks Prohibition, guess that part of the law stuck around a little longer than the rest) but has made a crazy resurgence since getting the green light. As of 2012, there were over 1,000,000 homebrewers in the U.S., a number we expect to see rise significantly at the end of 2013. These million homebrewers are spread across the U.S. with the exception of Alabama, the only state that hasn’t legalized homebrewing. Come on Bama, let us brew.


We know you have a stereotype in your mind of a homebrewer: nerdy, has a beard, smells yeasty, hopped up on hops and spends all their time in their garage brewing. Don’t be so quick to judge. Homebrewers come in all shapes and sizes: businessmen, women, veterans, and doctors. You name it, there are homebrewers everywhere and they’re becoming beer celebrities in their local communities. We told you all about Jonathon Wakefield, but here are some other notable homebrewers that have made it big in the wide world of beer:


  • Annie Johnson was the 2013 Homebrewer of the Year according to the American Homebrewers Association. Her light American lager, Mow the Damn Lawn, is widely acclaimed and has brought her several homebrewing awards over the years. You go girl.
  • Dave’s BrewFarm, a small microbrewery, was built from the ground up by Minnesota local favorite, Dave Anderson. Anderson is a hero among his fellow homebrewers for his Cream Ale and has served as a judge for local homebrewing contests.
  • Remi Bonnart started brewing back in college and has made a serious name for himself in the homebrewing world. Making thirty five gallon batches of beer a year, Bonnart creates diverse brews and also experiments with culturing his own yeast.


We don’t know about you but we’re ready to go out and start our homebrewing operation. Though it may seem like fun and games to some, homebrewing is a serious business that will cost you. Kits and equipment are pricey(up to $5,000 ) but if you’re dedicated to the craft, the money is worth it. Don’t be intimidated by the dollar signs. If you’re just starting out with homebrewing, the supplies will normally cost you a couple hundred. The price range varies according to the level of equipment you’re looking for. Homebrewing shops have been popping up all over the country in recent years and are the perfect spot to learn more about homebrewing and check out the equipment you’ll need. They’re also the perfect spot for you to learn from you’re fellow homebrewers. We’ve met a few, they are the friendliest group of people on Earth and believe us, and they could talk about their craft for hours. Don’t hesitate, let the questions roll. If you’re looking for even more advice, visit HomeBrewTalk.com, it’s one of our favorites and they have every piece of info you can imagine on the homebrewing.


Are you a homebrewer or thinking of becoming one? Let us know your tips, secrets and favorite beers you’ve ever brewed.