The “Mr. Beer” kit from Rural King piqued his interest, although its initial outcome contrasted sharply with what he now makes at his brewery.
“The results were pretty horrible,” says King. “I forced myself to drink a few of them, but my dad really liked them.” By summertime, his retired father was giving him weekly kits to test. “By the end of that year, I was combining multiple kits for larger batches and soon transitioned to all-grain brewing.”
Will Glass, founder of The Brewing Projekt in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, started homebrewing while he worked for MillerCoors in hospitality and marketing. He and his wife would purchase a tavern that they turned into a craft beer bar.
“We knew there was a niche to be filled in our region by bringing in more rare [or] odd-ball types of beer that you couldn’t readily find at the time,” says Glass.
While some beer drinkers simply enjoy to sip a brew or take an occasional brewery tour, others like King and Glass are inspired to dive deeper and homebrew themselves. Here’s how to do it.
Purchase a Homebrewing Kit
The initial investment depends on how serious you are about your new hobby. You can purchase a minimal homebrew setup for less than $100. Prices go up, depending on your level of commitment, and can range from $400-$500 for a more advanced kit.
More extensive designs that include features like basic automation, pumps, temperature control and stainless-steel fermenters can cost $3,000 and up.
While kits are available online, a neighborhood homebrewing store allows you to tap into local knowledge and ask questions as you begin.