Northern Harvest Homebrewing Club

Interested in learning more about beer or brewing your own?

How is Beer Made anyway?

Have you ever thought about what it takes to make a great beer? Have you made a great beer yourself or know someone who has? With the recent explosion in craft beer in the United States, homebrewing has also seen a sharp increase in the number of participants and great homebrewed beers.  

A little history:

On January 16, 1919, the 18th Amendment banned the manufacture, sale and transportation of alcohol. This ban also applied to any beer made at home. However as the 21st Amendment brought an end to Prohibition in 1933, the amendment mistakenly left out the legalization of home beer making, but allowed for home wine making. That all changed in on February 1, 1979, when H.R 1337 took effect. The bill was signed the prior year by U.S. President Jimmy Carter, legalizing Homebrewing on the federal level. This law allowed for the private production of beer in ones home which was at the time not permitted without paying the excise taxes as a holdover from prohibition.(1) Not long after the legalization of Homebrewing, the meager beginnings of the craft brewing movement began to take root. Ken Grossman, the founder of Sierra Nevada Brewing Company® founded his company in the same year homebrewing was legalized and by 1980 he had begun producing the hop forward (for the time) Sierra Nevada Pale Ale®. As a result Ken is a legend in the Craft Brewing industry and often considered the granddaddy of the American Craft Brewing Movement we all enjoy.(2) Despite the legalization of homebrewing on a federal level, the 21st Amendment predominantly leaves regulation of alcohol to the individual states. The result is wild variations in homebrewing regulations from state to state, some allowing homebrewers to share their beer at public meetings, while it was still illegal in others. It wasn’t until July 1st 2013 that the final holdout, Mississippi, passed legalization legislation making homebrewing legal in all 50 states. (1)

Northern Harvest Homebrewing Club

Homebrewing is an amazing way to expand your love of craft beer, providing a whole new appreciation for what goes into making sure every pint is an enjoyable one. As with most professional brewers, we began as hombrewers making 5 gallon batches in the basement or on the back porch depending on the time of year. We are looking for egar participants in what would be Essex County, NY’s only (to our knowledge) homebrewing club. This monthly club would be a platform for participants to share beers, recipes, advice, and socialize, as well as learn about new styles, and any new or repurposed equipment (bought or made!) their fellow hombrewers may be using. Its also a great platform to get into homebrewing all you need is a keen interest to learn and be over the age of 21. If you or anyone you know would find such a club interesting, reach out to us or sign up for our mailing list via the HomeBrewing Club page. If we gather enough local interest we will get the ball rolling on our first meeting in the spring of 2016.