How to Host a Brew Day

approved on Flickr” href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/stephee/3002032127/” target=”_blank”>Teach A Friend to Brew DayLots of people are curious about how to make beer and even more simply want to come over and drink it. Either way, it is nice to have a group over to make beer together, whether it is for them to learn or just to hang out for fellowship. Having done this a few times, I have learned some key steps to have in place prior to people arriving for the event.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Invite fun people you like being around or want to get to know better. Nothing is worse than inviting a jerk and then having to spend four hours together. He will make it a bad day for everyone. Leave him off the list. Try to get a good mix of new and experienced people.
  • Have plenty of beer. This should be obvious. People who come for a beer-related event will expect beer. It does not have to be beer you made, but as discussed before, chances are that is the cheapest beer you have. If you are cheap thrifty like I am, that matters.
  • Have food. You don’t want people getting soused or substituting beer for food. Chips, pizza, subs, whatever. Anything will do, I suppose. You can even make it all fancy like and have grilled burgers or steaks.
  • Include some education. Even experienced brewers are not above learning, but also be ready to be taught something. Approach the process like an experiment. Have fun. Be open to new ideas and receptive to discovery.
  • Taste or smell the ingredients. This gives you an idea for how the final mélange of flavors will come together.
  • Have everyone taste the wort. Reserve a bottle of wort to taste when the beer is ready so you can show people how it starts out and how it ends up.
  • Plan for the brewing to take about four hours or so, and manage people’s expectations about it. Let them know what they are in for.
  • Hang out together afterward. Talk brewing, beer, sports, or another topic. Brewing is best when it is a social activity.
  • To quote master homebrewer Charlie Papazian, “Relax. Don’t worry. Have a homebrew.” Keep it fun. Don’t get worked up. At the end of everything, it is going to be beer.

What are your tricks to a successful brew day event?

Teach A Friend to Brew Day by stephee, on Flickr.

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