Learn to Homebrew Day: Fermentation demonstrations with Taos Homebrew Club

Join the Taos Homebrew Club on Nov. 4. Photos by Mel A. James

In some circles, home brewing has an undeserved bad reputation. Maybe you tried your roommate’s homebrew back in college and it was awful; perhaps because he or she threw it together from a kit and was lax when it came to the process to sanitize all the equipment.

But if you haven’t had good homebrew, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Good homebrew can stand up to any craft brewery IPA or fine commercial pilsner. Let me put it this way: you can make macaroni and cheese from a box or from scratch, but the two will be vastly different. Same goes for homebrew. You can slap something together from a kit (not all kits are bad), or you can really take the time and attention to create something unique and delicious.

The Taos Homebrew Club (THC) has been quietly making beer — and wine, and cider, and mead, and pickles — for about five years. We like to think we’re pretty good at it and for nearly every one of those five years, we’ve hosted Learn to Homebrew Day (a nationwide event with clubs throughout the country participating on the same date), so that we can share what we’ve learned and help others to make fine concoctions of their own.

This Saturday, Nov. 4, members of the club will load up their pots, long-handled spoons and cheesecloth, their burners and rigs, scientific measuring tools, the hops and the barley, and haul it all to 106 Des Georges Lane in Taos, where we’ll set up on the porch of the old Victorian and get things bubbling, rain or shine. And we’ll be there all day, starting around 10 a.m. and probably going until sunset.

A couple of things about our club — No. 1., we are very informal. There are no officers, membership fees, or agendas. The only thing we are is a group of people who love to get together once a month and swap homemade beverages. And if there’s not enough homemade beverages, some folks will bring other interesting libations that we can sample and discuss. If we did have a president, it would probably be Blair Stoltzfus, who also happens to be the owner of Lowbraü Homebrew Supplies, which is located right where we’ll be brewing. In other words, if you come out and want to try home brewing for yourself, we’ll have information, ingredients and supplies on hand to get you started right away!

The other great thing about this event, besides y’know, BEER, is the social aspect. It’s a lot of fun to get together and it’s always great to see who comes by to check it out. And sometimes folks stumble on us accidentally and they are really curious to see what all the fire, steam, and noise is about. We’d love it, though, if you came by on purpose. Oh, and there will be pretzels. Probably.

Taos Homebrew Club meets the last Sunday of every month at 5 p.m. Join our Facebook group to stay connected!