Craft Beer – Experiencing it first hand at Brewsvegas 2016!

Brewsvegas 2016 is over for another year, and thanks to the huge efforts of a few craft-beer industry persons, another fantastic success.  This year, Brewers Choice participated in Brewsvegas by running a hands-on session, teaching people how to make beer.  I have to say, when the idea was first raised for us to do a brewing session, I was skeptical.  We run free courses every month on how to brew.  But in the end I was convinced it would be a goer, so we booked in a session on the last Saturday of Brewsvegas and it was fantastic!

In all 22 people signed up, with another 8 unlucky people on the waiting list. Everyone there was highly motivated, from lovers of craft beer, to all-grain brewers, to a couple with the dream of setting up their own craft brewery in the future, all dead keen to learn how to make craft beer.

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Our venue was the Oz Harvest kitchen in the Valley.  OzHarvest rescues food normally thrown out, and redistributes it to charities around Brisbane who feed the homeless. It’s a wonderful concept helping out the unfortunate and reducing wasted food at the same time.

Unlike our usual demos with the Store Manager out the front and everyone sitting down watching, this was a full hands-on session, with each participant brewing up a beer on their own gas stove.  With 23 gas stoves running flat out for an hour, it got pretty damn hot by half way through and we had to break to head outside for a breather.  At the end of the session, every person had made their own 15 litres of all-extract fresh beer wort ready to take home. Everyone was also a little wiser about how beer is made and what each of the ingredients (malt, hops, yeast and water) contributed to the flavour.

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Since then, all our brewers have put down their fresh worts and hopefully now have 30 bottles of beer carbonating in a cupboard ready to drink in a week’s time.  For many, it was an eye-opener to discover how easy making high quality beer is. I think when they crack open their first bottle of home brewed pale ale, we are likely to have a whole lot more people excited about brewing beer themselves.

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In all, this was a far greater success than I had ever expected.  So many thanks to Dave from OzHarvest, Andrew from Brewers Choice marketing and Dean, our human Tornado, who presented on the day and made it a whole lot of fun.  Many thanks as well to those who signed up and joined us for a great experience.  Thanks as well to many of you who made additional donations to OzHarvest with over $400 being raised for their work.  I’ll be thinking of you when I crack my bottles in a week’s time.

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