In most industries, companies want consumers to buy their products, not go make their own versions at home.
The craft beer world is not most industries.
The Brew Gentlemen Beer Company in Braddock will host the American Homebrewers Association for a rally celebrating all things craft and homebrewed beer from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday.
AHA director Gary Glass said there’s a synergistic relationship between the two.
“A lot more people are drinking craft beer, and that’s kind of an introductory phase for homebrewers,” Glass said. “You really have to have an interest in flavorful craft beer to get into homebrewing.”
Brew Gentlemen co-founder Asa Foster said local homebrewers often drop by the taproom to share their latest batch. He said his company isn’t shy about sharing brewing tips and recipes.
Foster said he and his business partner Matt Katase are unique among commercial brewers, in that they didn’t have much experience with brewing when they first started the company in 2010.
“We had to go make our own beers, pilot batches,” Foster said. “We ended up working for about two years on our first, four, flagship recipes.”
Saturday’s rally will include a VIP brewery tour, beer samples, live music, food trucks and prizes. Attendees will also have the opportunity to vote on and set the parameters for an upcoming beer from The Brew Gentlemen.
Foster said they’ll first determine the beer’s country of origin, and then dial-in on style and specific ingredients, such as the type of hops used to add bitterness.
Glass said the AHA has seen double digit annual growth in its membership numbers over the past decade. He attributes that to the growing do-it-yourself and “buy local” movements.
“For beer, it’s not going to get any more local than doing it at home,” Glass said. “People are getting into all kinds of DIY activities, whether it’s making cheese at home (or) starting a garden at home, and homebrewing certainly plays into that.”
The AHA holds approximately 40 rallies every year in cities all over the country. This is their first in the Pittsburgh area.
Those interested in attending should RSVP at the AHA website. Admission is free for AHA members, and discounted one-year memberships will be available at the door for $38 (regularly $43).