What's better for the craft beer industry than the growth of the home brew community? There's an estimated 1.2 million home brewers in the U.S. today and two-thirds of those started after 2005. Pretty impressive numbers and I'd venture to say that the number will only continue to rise. Yet, one of the apparent barriers to entry in to the hobby is the expense associated with the kits and then the ingredients just to try your hand a batch. That's where Craft a Brew fits into the equation. An easy to use and inexpensive entry to the hobby.
Craft a Brew sent me a kit of their Intergalactic Pale Ale - a 7venth Sun Brewing recipe to test out. The kit itself comes in a really nice package and the individual pieces themselves are packaged in a similar fashion. A clean, vintage look. It's inviting and not intimidating. It does what it was intended to do - get a beginner excited about the brewing process from the start.
The kit comes with an easy to read and easy to follow instruction booklet. It lets you know which hops you're using and how/when to add them. How to add the yeast and how to sanitize while you're getting everything ready. Overall, a really fun and easy to use product. Since our brew day we've learned that the company has fixed some of the issues we found. Things like parceling out a specific amount of yeast instead of letting the brewer estimate how much should be used.
Having brewed one gallon batches in the past, we were skeptical. But, the finished product was crisp and hoppy. It was much better than we anticipated and it yielded about 8 bottles which is a good number for this size batch.
The future holds more brewery collaboration recipe kits - a really cool piece of the puzzle for Craft a Brew. For a seasoned brewer it may be a fun stress free way to brew one of your favorite recipes. For beginners, we think it's a great way to get your hands dirty without a huge up front investment. 1 gallon kits run between $45-48 and recipe kits for future brew days run between $15-18. If you ever wanted to see what brewing was like, get to www.craftabrew.com and give it a shot!