What's hot this summer? Brewing your own 'cold one'

What's hot this summer? Brewing your own 'cold one'

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by Jacqueline Quynh

KTVB.COM

Posted on July 2, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 1:52 PM

BOISE --  People have been brewing their own beer for thousands of years -- but making delicious varieties of beer in the comfort of your 21st century home?  That's something folks have only been tapping into recently.

KTVB found that here in Idaho, home-brewers are growing group with lots of creative passion when it comes to mixing barley, malt and hops.

"There's hops right now that range from garlic and oregano to passion fruit and pineapple," explains Nampa home-brewer Marvin Kinney.

Kinney

A basement brewer speaks

Kinney has been experimenting with different flavors and varieties of beer in his basement in Nampa for the last three years. "It was a progression of my love of craft beer," said Kinney.

He says making beer is easy -- that's why so many people are picking it up. "Basically if you can boil water, you can make beer," said Kinney.

These days, the basement brewer says he's been meeting a lot more folks who make beer at home. That's because Kinney is a member of the Boise Brewers, a Treasure Valley club dedicated to the craft of home brewing.

A club, and local businesses dedicated to their passion

Chris Hillman, one of the managing members of the club, says a year ago only a handful of people attended the monthly meetings. Howver, Hillman says his latest count shows those numbers steadily increasing to upwards of 20.

The reason? Hillman says more people are learning they can make a high quality product at home.

"There's just more you know more brewing events more home brewing contests, more people getting into the hobby," said Hillman.

Brewer's Haven

Kathleen Vant with Brewer's Haven, a store that sells brewing supplies, says increasing interest in home brewing helped them decide to open up their specialty beer-making store two years ago.

"The two co-owners here realized Boise kind of lacking in the availability of brewing supplies and a bottle shop. It just kind of made sense to open it up here," said Vant.

The benefits of brewing?

Kinney says some people enjoy home brewing so much, they've turned their passion into a profession and opened-up commercial beer breweries.

He's also considering opening a brewery in the future, but for now he's still working on creating signature brews and sharing recipes with friends.

"We get to try each other's beer, and talk beer, basically geek-out over the processes," said Kinney.

According to the American Homebrewers Association, the number of home brewers in its club has risen sharply in the last two years, from about 23,000 members to 30,000 this year.

So how much does it cost, how long does it take, and where can I find more info?

We asked the Boise Brewers to belly-up to the bar and tell us the dirty details:

  • The average price of a home brewing kit can cost between $40 and $150.
  • Beer takes about two weeks to brew, and the average kit make about two gallons of beer. 
  • This summer about six new craft breweries are opening up in the Treasure Valley, and several craft brewing events are scheduled to take place in the next two months.
  • You may recognize some of them, like Barley Bros Beer Show, formerly Boise BeerFest, and the Idaho Brew Festival.

For more information, visit the Boise Brewers blog.

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