We're big fans of Bitter & Esters, the homebrew shop and classroom on Washington Avenue in Prospect Heights, so we were beyond thrilled when the kind folks at Vimbly invited us to participate in a Homebrew 101 class at the shop last week. In case you haven't met them yet, Vimbly allows you to easily find things to do, all over the city.
We were greeted by Douglas and John, owners of Bitter & Esters, along with a pint of amazing homebrewed beer and then we got down to the business of the day: brewing a five gallon batch of the White House's Honey Ale, in honor the President's visit to the neighborhood.
We've brewed a couple times in the past, but it was incredibly helpful to have each step broken down and explained as we moved through the brewing process, adding the ingredients and cooking up our awesome-smelling brew.
When you're first starting out homebrewing, there are a ton of options for materials and hardware to consider; you have to think about everything from the quality of your water to sanitation to your choice of fermentation bucket, so it was great to get recommendations from John, who's been homebrewing for over 20 years. In addition to going through the whole brew process during our class, we also got recipes and an awesome brew guide to take home. (I'm protecting that guide with my life.)