3 Free Resources to Help You Celebrate ‘Learn to Homebrew Day’

Homebrew Supplies

On this date fourteen years ago, the American Homebrewers Association established the first annual “Learn to Homebrew Day” to help teach people how to brew their own beer. Over the years, partly because of this “beer holiday,” the craft of brewing your own beer has grown substantially in popularity.

Like any new hobby, knowing where to get started and how to do it right can be somewhat daunting for a beginner. I know it was for me. Because of that, I have compiled a list of free online resources that will help you get started, or just learn more about the process and techniques that go into it.

1. Get Started in Our Homebrew Learning Center

We have a trove of information about homebrewing in our Homebrew learning center. We’ve been homebrewing for years now, and it’s a hobby that we think everyone should try at least once. We’ve compiled a collection of information about homebrewing that we think will help you get started. And that information is growing as the days go by.
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Meet Dave: The $2000 Bottle of Beer

Dave The Beer

Earlier today, the owner and brewmaster at Hair of the Dog Brewing Company announced via Twitter the exclusive sale of bottles of Dave, a special reserve ale, at their brewery in Portland. And acquiring a 12oz bottle of Dave won’t be cheap. It’s price tag is a very reasonable $2,000, or $166.66 per ounce. All the proceeds will go to Guide Dogs for the Blind, a non-profit charity that has been helping the blind and visually impaired since 1942.


Dave is one of the most elusive brews in the American craft beer scene. Weighing in at 29% ABV, this barleywine was made back in 1994. As the story goes, three hundred gallons of Dave was produced and then put away in a freezer. Over the last two decades, it was presumably defrosted and re-freezed three times which reduced its overall volume to less than 100 gallons. What was left is now being bottled and sold.

A Few Facts About Dave

According to Beer Advocate, Dave won first place at the Toronado Barley Wine Festival back in 1998. The users of BA rate Dave at an ‘outstanding’ 94.

Back in November 2012, Hair of the Dog auctioned off two bottles of Dave. Starting bids were set at a measly $1,400 a bottle, with one eventually selling for $2,368.73 and the other selling for $2156.83.

So, the question remains… anybody interested in going in on a bottle with me?

Win up to $25,000 in the Kegerator.com Kickoff Pick’em League

Kegerator Kickoff Pick'em League

We are very excited to announce the first annual Kegerator.com Kickoff Pick’em league! This public pick’em league is 100% free and gives you the opportunity to win all sorts of prizes, as well as $25,000!

How it works:

Sign up for the pick’em league by following this link.

Every week, before the games start, you will log into your account and enter who you think will win the match-up. The top three players of the week will be entered into a monthly drawing for a chance to win a mini-kegerator. At the end of the season, all of the top weekly winners throughout the entire season will be placed into a random drawing for the MVP prize package.

The beauty of this contest, is no matter when you join the league, you still have an opportunity to win the grand prize! Do you have what it takes to win?

Winners will be notified by email. Prizes are as follows:
  • Monthly: There will be one winner each month. The contestant with the most points accumulated in the weekly contest will be entered into a drawing for a Mini-Kegerator every month.
  • Postseason MVP: There will be one postseason winner. The top 3 point earners for each week, throughout the entire season, will be placed in a random draw for the following: Dual Tap Home Brew Keg, Home Brew Kit, Beer Glasses (set of 4)
  • Grand Prize: There will be one grand prize winner. Each week the top point earner will be asked to pick the half time and final score of the 2 Monday night teams. If someone picks the exact scores, they will win $25,000!

Great American Beer Festival 2013 Tickets: SOLD OUT IN 5 MINUTES!

UPDATE: Well, that didn’t last long. I tried buying my tickets four minutes after they went on sale, and I was already having problems doing so. I took a look at the #GABF hashtag on Twitter, and discovered that there were many others complaining about the same issues. Others were saying that it sold out in under five minutes… Oh well, maybe next year.


The time is here, and as usual, it’s not going to last for long — Tickets for the 32nd annual Great American Beer Festival 2013 are now on sale. We are very excited about this years event!

Over the course of three days, October 10-12, you will have the chance to taste beers from 600 breweries around the United States, all in one place. Widely regarded as the number one beer festival in the United States, the Great American Beer Festival is definitely a can’t-miss event for every beer enthusiast.

Come out and celebrate the delicious creations of America’s top breweries. Stick around for one of the most influential beer competitions in not just America, but the entire world. For more information and other goodies, be sure to check out the official website for the festival.

Great American Beer Festival 2013

Times:

  • Thursday, October 10:   5:30–10p.m.
  • Friday, October 11:   5:30–10p.m.
  • Saturday, October 12:   12–4p.m.

Location:

Colorado Convention Center
700 14th Street
Denver, Colorado

Tickets Include:

Every ticket to the Great American Beer Festival includes the following:

  • One Commemorative tasting cup and program
  • An unlimited amount of one ounce beer samples (close to 3,000 options to choose from)
  • Festival guide to help you map out and find your way through the convention center
  • Exclusive access to over thirty educational seminars. (limited seating availability)

Even though there are approximately 50,000 tickets available to the general public, this is an incredibly popular beer event and will sell out within minutes. Last year’s festival sold out within thirty minutes. If you’re still reading this, you may be missing out on an opportunity to get tickets. Share this post with all of your friends, and go buy your tickets now.

Recommended Reading:

A Crash Course in the History of Beer

Beer GlassThe rich history of beer spans thousands of years.  The earlier parts of beer history can be unclear depending upon how you define beer and if you include when beer was first produced on a domestic scale.  The full history of beer is as interesting and intriguing as it is exciting.  In fact, beer is considered to be one of the oldest beverages ever produced.

The Beginning of Beer

It is impossible to pinpoint exactly when beer was first created, however it has accurately been depicted as far back as the fifth millennium BC.  It is written in the history of Asia and Egypt as well as in Mesopotamia.  In most cases, beer was created by cultures soon after they developed any serial type food containing certain sugars.  This is because the cereals could undergo spontaneous fermentation due to wild yeasts in the air.  Chemical tests on ancient pottery jars reveal that nearly 7000 years ago is when the first biological process of fermentation was used.  The oldest hard evidence of beer is a 6000 year old Sumerian tablet.  Additionally, a nearly 4000-year-old Samir in Holland contains the oldest surviving beer recipe.

The Middle Ages to Early European History

The importance of beer in cultures ebbed and flowed until the Middle Ages as wine was often the more popular beverage.  For example, beer was important to early Romans however it was quickly replaced by wine because it was considered fit only for barbarians.  During the medieval period, as many as 500 monastic breweries existed in Germany alone.  Some historians credit monks as the first to introduce hops as an ingredient in beer.  They also are responsible for a number of beer-related scientific breakthroughs of the time.

Many European drinkers didn’t immediately take to the addition of hops.  For some time, ale was considered a separate beverage from beer which was brewed with hops.  In fact, during the late 15th century English ale and beer were brewed separately because no brewer was allowed to produce both at the same time.  By the 16th century, ale had come to refer to any strong beer and all ales and beers contained hops.  Historians note that lagers were discovered by accident in the late 16th century because beer was stored in cool caverns for extended periods of time.

The Industrial Revolution

With the invention of the steam engine, the industrialization of beer quickly became a reality.  Since then, a number of additional innovations to the brewing process have been created and implemented to improve efficiency and attenuation.  Several important breakthroughs were made during this period.  For example, the drum roaster was invented in 1817 which allow for the creation of very dark, roasted malts.  In 1857, the role of used in fermentation was officially recognized as a way to prevent the souring of beer.

Modern Beer

Prior to prohibition in the United States, most brewers focused on European-style beers.  Since Prohibition forced most breweries out of business, beer was often little more than a watered down light lager.  Today, the brewing industry is a global success.  The size and scale range from multinational companies to successful home brewers.

BYO Magazine

JB Teaching Brewing ClassThis is a guest post from our buddy JB at Austin Home Brew. John “JB” Brack has been with Austin Homebrew Supply for 10 years, and homebrewing for 17 years. A member of The Austin Zealots homebrew club, JB also enjoys cycling, softball and cooking. JB is an associate editor of Brew Your Own Magazine, and chief instructor for Austin Homebrew Supply’s line of homebrewing and wine making classes.

Austin Homebrew Supply will be hosting a Brew Your Own Magazine (BYO) subscription rally, and local brewers showcase at the store on Saturday, February 11th. The event will feature BYO Magazine editor Chris Colby heading up a subscription rally with special offers only available during this event! We will also have a number of nearby breweries represented at the event. The neighborhood right around Austin Homebrew Supply has blossomed into a haven for production craft breweries and brewpubs in recent years, and we felt is was about time that we got everyone together for an event! Details are being worked out and will be posted to the Austin Homebrew Supply website and Facebook pages as they become available.

If you have never visited Austin Homebrew Supply, you should stop in and see what we are all about. We have all the proper equipment, ingredients and expert advice to help you succeed at creating your very own handcrafted beers, wines, meads, ciders, cheeses and sodas. Known nationally for our excellent service and quality products, we are open 7 days a week. We are located at 9129 Metric Blvd. right behind Pep Boys on the northbound service road of Hwy. 183 at Metric Blvd. Phone 512-300-2739.

You can also view instructional videos, and interviews, etc. at our YouTube page.

Local Brewery Wins Battle But Not War

There are countless things that make the city that houses our headquarters (Austin, Texas) great, one of them being the enthusiasm for cold drinks and the brands that create those delicious beers, wines, and liquors. Local brewery, Jester King, and its two co-plaintiff’s Authentic Beverage Company and Zax Restaurant & Bar, recently won a case against the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) regarding a select few of its strict rules.

The ruling basically said that you can now call it like you see it – beer can now be called, “beer” and ale can now be referred to as “ale” (whereas it was not allowed before).  The conclusion also resulted in allowing craft breweries to let their fans know where they distribute their goods (AKA adding a “where to buy section” on their websites).

However, craft breweries are still not treated as wineries and cannot sell their product onsite under the Equal Protection Clause.

Though they didn’t win it all, we’re supportive of the craft brewers here in Austin and proudly store their bottles of beer or kegs in our beverage coolers and kegerators.

Cheers and happy holidays!