Monday, May 9, 2011

National Homebrew Day and Big Brew

Each year, on the first Saturday in May, the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) organizes an event called National Homebrew Day.  The purpose of the event is to gather homebrewers together and celebrate our wonderful hobby.  What better way to celebrate than by brewing together.  Homebrewing clubs and stores are encouraged to host events and register them with the AHA.  As of the writing of this post, 290 sites participated in the 2011 event, brewing 674 batches or 5,347 gallons of beer, with an estimated 2,693 participants.  The AHA even hosts a video contest for the "Big Brew."

In the spirit of bringing people together, the AHA posts three different recipes for participants to brew.  While not expressly limiting brewers to these recipes, by electing to use them, homebrewers know they are sharing the experience directly with many of their fellows across the country.  The 2011 Big Brew recipes, which were selected for various reasons, included:

  • East India Pale Ale - recipe from the 1800s, featured in an upcoming book from Brewers Publications
  • Must Be The Season of the Wit - encourages the use of local ingredients and coincidentally marks the death of Pierre Celis, the famous brewer who revived the style
  • Rocket Rod's Positively Porter - honors the passing of Rocket Rod Romanak, a prolific homebrewer from Hawaii, who attended over 25 AHA National Homebrewers Conferences in his lifetime
I was able to participate in Big Brew Day with several members of my local homebrewing club at a local homebrewing shop, The Fermentation Trap.  I elected to brew a variant of the wit recipe, calling my beer "See Ya Celis."  Without any local ingredients I could think to include at this time of year, I merged the recipe with elements of my favorite wit recipe from Brewing Classic Styles.  Highlights of the day included enjoying the company of friends, freshly grilled sausages, and a pick up Frisbee game.  What a great day!

I hope you had a chance to participate in National Homebrew Day and its Big Brew.  If not, I highly encourage you to do so next year.




  1. I was not able to participate, but I have a brewday scheduled for this saturday (I live in a world of one week late).

  2. I know the feeling, Jay. At least you will get a brew day in, if a week late. Cheers.


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