Bypass Bottling: Kegging and Keezers

Tired of bottling beer? Ditch the bottles and switch to kegging! In this intro-’evel class, we’ll take the guesswork out of kegging and show you how to properly set up your draft systems, carbonate your beer, and share your brew-tastic creations. You’ll never have to wait 2-4 weeks to enjoy your homebrew again. Best of all, get 15% off the purchase of any keg system, and kiss bottling goodbye!

Course Overview:

Kegging components, keg anatomy, ball lock vs pin lock
How to keg a beer: force carbonation, serving pressure, maintaining your system
Troubleshooting: foam, leaks, diagnosing problems
Safety: kegging is very safe, but it is important to recognize potential hazards when working with compressed gases.

BYOB: Brew Your Own Beer!

Select and brew your very own batch (or batches!) of beer in this one-of-a-kind, hands-on brewing adventure. No prior experience necessary. Our experts will guide you through the entire brewing process — from selecting your recipe to bottling your brew — and at the end, you will have two cases (per batch, up to three batches) of your very own craft brew to take home and share.

With every group admission (1-4 brewers), you’ll get:

Ingredients to brew your recipe(s) of choice
A brewmaster to guide participants through the entire process
Scheduled time to bottle beer in Northern Brewer’s facility
Bottles for each batch (2 cases, 48 bottles in all)
Brewing and Fermentation space at Northern Brewer

FAQs

How long does brewing take?

In all, the brewing process takes about 2 ½ hours. Daily time slots will be available for customers to schedule their hands-on brewing experience. Bottling will be done 2 – 3 weeks after scheduled brew day. We’ll schedule a date to bottle on the day we brew. Bottling takes approximately 30 minutes.

What do I need to bring?

Apart from a willingness to learn and an open mind, nothing, really! We’ll provide the equipment, the ingredients, and the expertiese to guide you through a successful brew. We’ll even take care of the clean-up and keep your beer in a safe place during fermentation.

How many can be in a group?

There are no hard and fast rules, but we do want to keep the brewing experience hands-on and excitng for everyone invoved. With that in mind, for large groups we recommend 1-4 per batch. (If you have a group larger than 12, just give us a shout and we’ll be happy to set something up!)

Ascend into All-grain: Where to Start

Making the move to All-Grain Brewing is a rite of passage to be celebrated! But a little trepidation is only natural. Our expert All Grain gurus will show you how to ditch the dread and learn how to mash, lauter and sparge with complete confidence. Build on your extract brewing skills, or learn from the ground up with practical tips and hands-on demos from the pros. Plus, receive 15% off the purchase of all grain equipment and ingredien

BEER! The Basics to Brewing

Jump-start your homebrew adventure! Learn how to brew with our experienced brewmasters in a fun, hands-on setting. We’ll demonstrate how to brew a batch of beer with malt extract, so you can experience the process from start to finish. Learn practical tips and techniques for a successful brew day and get the expert low-down on siphoning and bottling your beer. You’ll also get 15% off any in-store purchase, to help with your very first brew day!

BYOB: Brew Your Own Beer!

Select and brew your very own batch (or batches!) of beer in this one-of-a-kind, hands-on brewing adventure. No prior experience necessary. Our experts will guide you through the entire brewing process — from selecting your recipe to bottling your brew — and at the end, you will have two cases (per batch, up to three batches) of your very own craft brew to take home and share.

With every group admission (1-4 brewers), you’ll get:

Ingredients to brew your recipe(s) of choice
A brewmaster to guide participants through the entire process
Scheduled time to bottle beer in Northern Brewer’s facility
Bottles for each batch (2 cases, 48 bottles in all)
Brewing and Fermentation space at Northern Brewer

FAQs

How long does brewing take?

In all, the brewing process takes about 2 ½ hours. Daily time slots will be available for customers to schedule their hands-on brewing experience. Bottling will be done 2 – 3 weeks after scheduled brew day. We’ll schedule a date to bottle on the day we brew. Bottling takes approximately 30 minutes.

What do I need to bring?

Apart from a willingness to learn and an open mind, nothing, really! We’ll provide the equipment, the ingredients, and the expertiese to guide you through a successful brew. We’ll even take care of the clean-up and keep your beer in a safe place during fermentation.

How many can be in a group?

There are no hard and fast rules, but we do want to keep the brewing experience hands-on and excitng for everyone invoved. With that in mind, for large groups we recommend 1-4 per batch. (If you have a group larger than 12, just give us a shout and we’ll be happy to set something up!)

Bypass Bottling: Kegging and Keezers

Tired of bottling beer? Ditch the bottles and switch to kegging! In this intro-’evel class, we’ll take the guesswork out of kegging and show you how to properly set up your draft systems, carbonate your beer, and share your brew-tastic creations. You’ll never have to wait 2-4 weeks to enjoy your homebrew again. Best of all, get 15% off the purchase of any keg system, and kiss bottling goodbye!

Course Overview:

Kegging components, keg anatomy, ball lock vs pin lock
How to keg a beer: force carbonation, serving pressure, maintaining your system
Troubleshooting: foam, leaks, diagnosing problems
Safety: kegging is very safe, but it is important to recognize potential hazards when working with compressed gases.

Grill the Guru: One-on-One Session with a Brewermaster

Got a question about homebrewing? Get answers from an expert! Sign up for a one-on-one Q&A session with one of our skilled brewmasters. No topic is off-limits; no detail is too small. This is your chance to grill our brewers about everything you’ve always wanted to know about brewing, but were afraid to ask. Some seek enlightenment from life coaches. Others work with personal trainers. Our brewmasters possess all the answers you seek. All you need to do is sign up and ask!

BYOB: Brew Your Own Beer!

Select and brew your very own batch (or batches!) of beer in this one-of-a-kind, hands-on brewing adventure. No prior experience necessary. Our experts will guide you through the entire brewing process — from selecting your recipe to bottling your brew — and at the end, you will have two cases (per batch, up to three batches) of your very own craft brew to take home and share.

With every group admission (1-4 brewers), you’ll get:

Ingredients to brew your recipe(s) of choice
A brewmaster to guide participants through the entire process
Scheduled time to bottle beer in Northern Brewer’s facility
Bottles for each batch (2 cases, 48 bottles in all)
Brewing and Fermentation space at Northern Brewer

FAQs

How long does brewing take?

In all, the brewing process takes about 2 ½ hours. Daily time slots will be available for customers to schedule their hands-on brewing experience. Bottling will be done 2 – 3 weeks after scheduled brew day. We’ll schedule a date to bottle on the day we brew. Bottling takes approximately 30 minutes.

What do I need to bring?

Apart from a willingness to learn and an open mind, nothing, really! We’ll provide the equipment, the ingredients, and the expertiese to guide you through a successful brew. We’ll even take care of the clean-up and keep your beer in a safe place during fermentation.

How many can be in a group?

There are no hard and fast rules, but we do want to keep the brewing experience hands-on and excitng for everyone invoved. With that in mind, for large groups we recommend 1-4 per batch. (If you have a group larger than 12, just give us a shout and we’ll be happy to set something up!)

Ascend into All-grain: Where to Start

Making the move to All-Grain Brewing is a rite of passage to be celebrated! But a little trepidation is only natural. Our expert All Grain gurus will show you how to ditch the dread and learn how to mash, lauter and sparge with complete confidence. Build on your extract brewing skills, or learn from the ground up with practical tips and hands-on demos from the pros. Plus, receive 15% off the purchase of all grain equipment and ingredien

Grill the Guru: One-on-One Session with a Brewermaster

Got a question about homebrewing? Get answers from an expert! Sign up for a one-on-one Q&A session with one of our skilled brewmasters. No topic is off-limits; no detail is too small. This is your chance to grill our brewers about everything you’ve always wanted to know about brewing, but were afraid to ask. Some seek enlightenment from life coaches. Others work with personal trainers. Our brewmasters possess all the answers you seek. All you need to do is sign up and ask!

BYOB: Brew Your Own Beer!

Select and brew your very own batch (or batches!) of beer in this one-of-a-kind, hands-on brewing adventure. No prior experience necessary. Our experts will guide you through the entire brewing process — from selecting your recipe to bottling your brew — and at the end, you will have two cases (per batch, up to three batches) of your very own craft brew to take home and share.

With every group admission (1-4 brewers), you’ll get:

Ingredients to brew your recipe(s) of choice
A brewmaster to guide participants through the entire process
Scheduled time to bottle beer in Northern Brewer’s facility
Bottles for each batch (2 cases, 48 bottles in all)
Brewing and Fermentation space at Northern Brewer

FAQs

How long does brewing take?

In all, the brewing process takes about 2 ½ hours. Daily time slots will be available for customers to schedule their hands-on brewing experience. Bottling will be done 2 – 3 weeks after scheduled brew day. We’ll schedule a date to bottle on the day we brew. Bottling takes approximately 30 minutes.

What do I need to bring?

Apart from a willingness to learn and an open mind, nothing, really! We’ll provide the equipment, the ingredients, and the expertiese to guide you through a successful brew. We’ll even take care of the clean-up and keep your beer in a safe place during fermentation.

How many can be in a group?

There are no hard and fast rules, but we do want to keep the brewing experience hands-on and excitng for everyone invoved. With that in mind, for large groups we recommend 1-4 per batch. (If you have a group larger than 12, just give us a shout and we’ll be happy to set something up!)

Build a Beer Workshop: Recipe Design!

Looking to branch out and make your own recipe? In Recipe Design we will explore the realm of making your own recipes that are either true to style or true to your taste. This class is open to both all grain and extract brewers. Feel free to bring questions and recipes that you are interested in making!

Course Includes:

Crafting a recipe
Modifying existing recipes
Building a malt bill
Hopping rates and hop selection
Yeast selection
Potential pitfalls
15% off in store purchase

Celebrate National Homebrew Day with Big Brew events around Minnesota

Big Brew event at Lift Bridge Brewing Company in 2017 // Photo by Brian Kaufenberg

Big Brew event at Lift Bridge Brewing Company in 2017 // Photo by Brian Kaufenberg

If there wasn’t enough to celebrate on May 5 between Cinco de Mayo and the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby, Saturday is also the worldwide celebration of the American Homebrewers Association’s (AHA) National Homebrew Day.

In 1988, May 7 was declared before Congress as National Homebrew Day, and to toast to this blessed beer day, AHA created Big Brew Day, taking place each year on the first Saturday in May.

Throughout the day on May 5, hundreds of bars, breweries, homebrew shops, clubs, and backyards will host their local craft communities to brew on-site for a national homebrewing get-together. As the clock strikes noon CDT, homebrewers are encouraged to raise their glass in a global, simultaneous toast, salud, prost, cheers. This year’s official Big Brew Day recipes—Rocky Raccoon’s Honey Lager and Dusty Mud Irish-Style Stout—were handpicked by Charlie Papazian, founder of the AHA.

Homebrewers in the Twin Cities area can head to Stillwater for Lift Bridge Brewing’s soiree happening from noon to 6pm. Lift Bridge is inviting 30 homebrewers into brewhouse to brew a batch of honey lager together. Those who register beforehand will be able to take home a sweet deal—five gallons of wort to ferment, brewed by head brewer Mike Connelly. Plus, at 1pm and 3pm, there will be public educational talks.

In Big Lake, homebrew club River City Brewers is taking over Lupulin’s brewery from noon to 6pm as well for a Big Brew Day party. In addition, the club will be setting up in the parking lot for a group brew. This is a great opportunity for non-brewers to speak with active homebrewers and learn about what the homebrew club is all about.

Grand Rapids is gearing up for a grand brew day, as Boreal Brewers and Klockow Brewing are joining forces, starting at 11am. All are invited to stop by and watch, as the homebrew club will set up outside the brewery and demonstrate various brewing techniques.

Find more AHA Big Brew Day events around the country and internationally at the organization’s website.

Fire Cider: The DIY winter tonic that’ll punch you in the face

A jar of Fire Cider // Photo via The Dabblist Flickr

A jar of Fire Cider // Photo via The Dabblist Flickr

There’s no denying that fire cider looks bad. Its glow-in-the-dark yellowish hue is like a liquid version of hepatitis. But not to worry—it tastes much, much worse than it looks.

What is it?

This tonic/remedy/taste bud marauder is made by infusing apple cider vinegar with a heap of pungently healthful ingredients like garlic, ginger, hot peppers, onions, and horseradish. The concoction is set aside to steep for anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, then finished off with a dollop of honey. Once ready, it’s decanted into jars and poured down the gullets of appreciative fans with all the fervor of Beaujolais Nouveau fans on the first Thursday in November. The only difference is that the wine tastes good and the fire cider tastes—look, there’s no dancing around this—incredibly bad.

Ward off the crud

So why in the world would you want to start every day by tossing back a couple shots of this stuff? Because it’s supposed to be really, really good for you. Those who swear by fire cider start taking daily doses early in the fall, hoping to ward off the oncoming cold and flu season. The cider can be knocked back right from the bottle or diluted by stirring it into water or tea. Some folks swear that it makes a tasty cocktail, too (which seems like a bad end for good liquor, but that’s your decision).

If the fire-fanatics happen to fall ill, they just up their dosage to fend off congestion and give a wake-up slap to their immune system. But cold prevention is just the beginning. Poke around in the dustier corners of the interwebs and you’ll find fire cider being hailed as an aid for everything from inflammation to poor digestion.

#firecider #folkremediesformoderntimes #foodismedicine

A post shared by Lacey Kerbs (@unicornlunchmeat) on

Want to get started?

You can buy a bottle at your local co-op or order it online. The current market leader is Shire City Herbals, headquartered in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Their elixir was originally created by founder Dana St. Pierre to improve the health of his then-ailing wife, Amy Huebner. (Guess what happened? Yep, she’s cured.) An eight-ounce bottle sells for about $15.

Hey tightwad, make it yourself

If you’re too cheap to make yourself miserable for such a spendy sum, consider mixing up your own fire cider at home. You need just a few simple ingredients and the patience to wait while it steeps for anywhere from a month to six months, until you decide it’s “done.” Here’s a basic outline of a recipe, but feel free to personalize it to taste (no fair adding Pepsi).

Homemade fire cider

Ingredients
1 ginger root (about 2 inches)
1 horseradish root (about 2 inches, or use prepared horseradish in a jar)
1 fresh turmeric root (about 1 inches) or 1 tablespoon of ground turmeric
1 garlic head (not a clove, a whole head)
1 onion (white, yellow or red is fine)
2–4 fresh peppers (use cayenne, habanero, or any type you prefer)
Bragg apple cider vinegar (enough to cover all ingredients)
Honey to taste
Large, clean glass jar

Directions

Grate ginger, horseradish, and turmeric root. Peel garlic and onions, and roughly chop. Chop peppers (wear gloves or wash hands immediately afterwards). Place all ingredients in jar. Pour apple cider vinegar over the ingredients until they are covered by about one inch. Place plastic wrap, wax paper or cheesecloth inside jar lid and screw shut. Place the jar in a dark, cool place and let it sit for at least one month and up to six months, stirring occasionally. When you’re ready, strain and discard solids. Add honey to taste, pour into clean bottles, and store your fire cider in the refrigerator.

Northern Brewer Minneapolis adding ‘tasting bar’ for homebrew and wine

Northern Brewer's Minneapolis location is getting a facelift with a new tasting bar and TVs // Photo by Brian Kaufenberg

Northern Brewer’s Minneapolis location is getting a facelift with a new tasting bar and TVs // Photo by Brian Kaufenberg

Roseville homebrew supply company Northern Brewer is expanding its South Minneapolis retail location into a full homebrewing experience, complete with a new tasting bar that will sample featured beer and wine recipes.

Samples from the new tasting bar will be free and limited to three-ounce pours. Brews available during the week of the store’s opening will be provided by Northern Brewer, as well as two local homebrew clubs who will brew on-site in the parking lot and share free tastings of their own club-made recipes.

The aim of the renovated store is to create a gathering place for local homebrewers to hang out, try out new recipes, and learn a new thing or two with on-site classes.

Northern Brewer Brewmaster Jeff Merriman says that the rollout is meant to foster a “welcoming and inclusive community of enthusiastic hobbyists.” He hopes that with product tastings, hands-on education, and interactive demonstrations, visitors will have more opportunities for face-to-face interactions with other homebrewers and brewmasters.

Rendering of Northern Brewer's new tasting bar // Courtesy of Northern Brewer

Rendering of Northern Brewer’s new tasting bar // Courtesy of Northern Brewer

Northern Brewer, acquired by AB InBev last year, is the largest homebrewing supply company in the nation. Started in 1993, the company has benefited from the rapid growth of craft beer into the mainstream beverage industry in recent years.

For its part, Northern Brewer hopes to assist homebrewing in becoming as much a household activity as gardening or cooking. “The craft beer industry is centered around ‘what’s new’ and this remodel is our response to keeping things fresh and interesting for our customers,” says Merriman.

The new interactive retail space will especially be focusing on providing a sensory experience for brewers. “While we are consistently complimented on the quality of education we provide, the customer’s desire to be able to touch, smell, taste and interact with the brewing process drove us to create a hands-on class format that is more engaging and solidifies concepts being taught,” he says.

The Minneapolis location at 6021 Lyndale Ave S will host a grand opening on November 18 from 9am to 6pm Homebrew recipes will be on tap throughout that week, including the featured November brew Mustache Envy Belgian Stout. The new tasting bar will be up and running for the opening, and there will be a new “pick-up window” for brewers who pre-order items online.