Everybody’s Brewin’ It in Granby
In an era when becoming self-sufficient is often viewed as necessity, an entrepreneur has opened a home-brewing retail store in Granby.
Kirk Main, who was well-known for the grilled carrot hot dog as former owner of the Fraser Brazier from 1990 to 1999, now owns “Everybody’s Brewin’ It!,” a store that offers A to Z equipment and ingredients for novice-to-amateur crafters who want to make their own beer, wine, cheese, soda pop, soap and candles.
Main has been a brewer for the better part of two decades and has noticed the growing popularity of the hobby.
“There are a lot of (home) brewers in Grand County. I think there are more in this county per-capita than Denver,” he said.
Nationwide, it’s estimated there are more than 1 million people brewing wine and beer in the home, according to the American Homebrewers Association, based in Boulder.
The organization itself has grown membership by 23 percent since just last year, said American Homebrewers Director Gary Glass.
More people take on do-it-yourself projects during tough economic times, which may be one reason for the increase in home-brewing popularity, Glass said. Also, craft and home brew fits into the “buy local” movement of seeking out food and beverages as close to home as possible, and a younger demographic is getting into the hobby, Glass said.
“About half of the population purchasing beginner kits is now under the age of 30. It’s shifted from Generation X to the Millennials.”
Crafting beer and wine is easy.
“If you can make soup on your kitchen stove, you can make beer,” Glass said.
The quality of ingredients has improved over the years to produce home brew that rivals professional beers and wines. Many of the wine kits available are award-winning.
“If done correctly, beer brewed in smaller batches is a better product than beer brewed in commercial vats,” Main said.
Available at Main’s store, one beginner wine kit can produce about 30 bottles of wine at around $4 apiece. A white wine takes about one month to be ready for consumption, red can take somewhat longer.
After the initial wine-making investment of about $160 to $225, “you start saving immediately” on subsequent batches, Main said.
For beer, an initial investment can run from $160 to $230, and then subsequent batches run from $30 to $40 to make, including energy costs. This produces a savings of anywhere from 30 to 70 percent in comparison to liquor store pricing, Main said. A 5-gallon batch of beer makes slightly more than two cases.
Any type of beer can be brewed, such as American light, Belgian, pilsner, red ale, milk stout, Irish stout, India pale ale, English pale ale and English brown ale.
Main’s store caters to beginner brewers and to all-grain brewers. He also sells various books about the subject of home brewing, and he is hosting twice-monthly classes to introduce novices to the craft. He hopes to start a home brew club in Grand County so members can have an exchange of information and recipes.
Hobbyists can also find scents for soap-making at Main’s new store, as well as necessities for candle-making, cheese making, and soda extracts for making home-brewed sodas.
Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603
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