I love baking, particularly making my late mother-in-law’s delicious chocolate-chip-oatmeal-walnut cookies. Although the handwriting on her recipe has faded through the years, the aroma of these cookies brings back wonderful memories of my German Oma. 

Just as baking requires a recipe and some tinkering to get it right, many craft beer aficionados running today’s successful beer companies started their quest to brew the best with do-it-yourself home-brew kits. Case in point: consider brothers Ron and Rick Chapman, co-founders of  Coronado Brewing Co. (See page 30).

Regarding homebrewing, Michael Semich, president of the Mid-State BrewCrew, a Murfreesboro, Tenn.-based group of homebrewers, stated: “Once the hobby of a dedicated few, making beer, wine, mead and cider at home is a popular new hobby for hundreds of people.” Semich said the group started small in 2005, but quickly grew and today has more than 100 members and 600 followers on its Facebook group.

“We invite everyone to join, even if they are just interested in the hobby or are thinking about getting into it,” he said. Members of the networking group use social media to exchange ideas and recipes as well as troubleshoot problems in the brewing process and procure ingredients for their next batch of home brew,
he adds.

Northern Brewer Inc., a retailer of consumer wine- and beer-making supplies, recently launched a new wine kit and website, mastervinter.com, dedicated to the home winemaker. The website features kits, equipment and supplies to make many varietals along with step-by-step videos from Winemaker Tim Vandergrift. Although the weather might be chilly outside, winter might be the right time to start a new indoor hobby and subsequently enjoy a glass of homebrewed beer or wine