What do the brewer partners of Atlanta’s Monday Night Brewing and Athens’ Creature Comforts Brewing have in common?
If you answered that they won medals at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival in Denver, you’d be right.
Monday Night won a gold medal for Bourbon Barrel Drafty Kilt in the wood- and barrel-aged beer category. And Creature Comforts won a bronze medal for Curiosity No. 2 in the American-style brett beer category.
But you’d also be right if you answered that before they became craft brewers, they were all homebrewers.
It’s a familiar story. Homebrewers like Ken Grossman of Sierra Nevada and Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head went on to found successful craft breweries. And around Atlanta, the newest wave of breweries, including Orpheus and Second Self, were started by homebrewers.
“I got the bug the first time I home-brewed a batch of beer,” says Brian Purcell, who founded Three Taverns Brewery in Decatur. “After that, I just wanted to brew another batch, and another batch.”
Purcell will be doing double duty Nov. 1, when Decatur neighbor Wine Workshop and Brew Center hosts a Learn to Homebrew Day event in the parking lot next to the brewery. Members of Covert Hops and Final Gravity homebrew clubs, as well as individual homebrewers, will be demonstrating how to make beer. And later, Purcell will be leading brewery tours.
Avid winemakers and homebrewers, Gerald Perez and his wife, Marcia, opened Wine Workshop and Brew Center in May 2013. Since then they’ve offered weekly homebrewing classes, along with supplies for homebrewers.
“I guess we’ve made 80 or 90 batches of beer since we opened,” Perez says. “We’ve learned a lot about brewing in the process. We’ve consulted with the local homebrew clubs, like Covert Hops and Final Gravity, and the local homebrewing community has been very good to us. Now, about 75 percent of our revenue comes from selling homebrewing supplies.”
Learn to Homebrew Day was established by the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) in 1999 to encourage homebrewers to introduce their non-brewer friends and family to the hobby. Now, beer-making demonstrations, tastings and other Homebrew Day events take place around the world on Nov. 1.
“It was originally known as Teach A Friend To Brew Day,” Perez says. “Most veteran homebrewers like that term better, because they already know how to brew. The idea is to get more people involved in homebrewing. That’s good for everybody. It’s good for local craft breweries and brewpubs, and it’s certainly good for us.”
Wine Workshop & Brew Center Learn to Homebrew Day. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 1. Free and open to the public. 627 East College Ave., Decatur, 404-228-5211. To find more Learn to Homebrew Day events: homebrewersassociation.org/aha-events/learn-to-homebrew-day.
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