Big Brew for National Homebrew Day

2015 Big Brew Recap

  • Events: 484
  • Participants: 11,004
  • Batches Made: 2,722
  • Gallons Brewed: 19,631
  • Participating States: 50
  • Participating Countries: 14

May 7, 2016

Celebrate National Homebrew Day

In 1988, May 7 was announced before Congress as National Homebrew Day. The American Homebrewers Association (AHA) created AHA Big Brew as an annual event to celebrate National Homebrew Day around the world. AHA Big Brew is held each year on the first Saturday in May.

Anyone, even homebrew shops, can host and register a Big Brew event, so invite your friends and family, gather around the brew kettle and join in the global celebration of the greatest hobby there is—homebrewing!

Register an Event or Find an Event

2015 Official Recipes

The 2015 AHA Big Brew recipes come from three time AHA Ninkasi Award winner and current BJCP President, Gordon Strong! This year’s beers are all medal-winning recipes from Gordon’s upcoming book, Modern Homebrew Recipes, to be released in May 2015.

Columbus Pale Ale 

Pale Ale is one of the most popular styles in the world. This recipe for a Columbus Pale Ale is as versatile as it is delicious! The recipe is adaptable to many other hop varieties – feel free to substitute the Columbus hops with your favorite varietal!

From Modern Homebrew Recipes: “[Columbus Pale Ale] represents the classic, old-school type of strong pale ale that was quite common in the early days of craft brewing. It uses a variety of character malts with a traditional hopping regime. It won a number of medals, along with a best-of-show at the Riverside Rumble competition in Ohio.”

Columbus Pale Ale – All Grain

Columbus Pale Ale – Extract

Old School Barleywine

The first year that the American Homebrewers Association celebrated Big Brew was in 1998. That year, the AHA encouraged homebrewers worldwide to brew a Barleywine recipe. Now we are celebrating the 19th Big Brew, and bringing Barleywine back for the first time since 1998!

From Modern Homebrew Recipes: “An American style barleywine loosely in the Sierra Nevada Bigfoot balance. Big malt and big hops make this an aggressive style. I won an NHC silver medal with a beer based on this recipe in 2010; it was a blend of mostly five year old with a little bit of one year old to freshen the hop aromatics.”

Old School Barleywine – All Grain

Old School Barleywine – Extract

Killer Kolsch

If you are looking for a way to put a twist on this Kolsch recipe, take a tip from AHA Director, Gary Glass: “I recently got together with some fellow Brewers Association staff members to brew a Kolsch. Inspired by a local brewery, we decided to make a coffee variation of the Kolsch by making a concentrated batch of cold steeped coffee that we then put in a condiment dispenser.  By adding variable doses of the coffee concentrate to a glass of Kolsch, we could customize our coffee Kolsch to our own tastes.”

From Modern Homebrew Recipes: “I fell in love with this style after a visit to Cologne in 2006. I had enjoyed it before, but it didn’t seem like anything special. Trying it fresh made all the difference… The style allows for subtle changes in balance in several components (malt, hop flavor, bitterness, fruitiness), but all were hovering around moderate intensity. I won a number of NHC first round medals with this recipe, which is in the style of a Früh or Reissdorf.”

Killer Kolsch – All Grain

Killer Kolsch – Extract

Celebrate Big Brew in 2015

Don’t Miss the Simultaneous Toast noon CDT on May 2, 2015!

Big Brew Promotional Materials

Spread the Joy

  • Promotional materials: if you are hosting a Big Brew event that is open to the public, use the AHA’s downloadable promotional materials to help spread the word about your gathering.
  • Let’s Brew: explore this section for brewing tutorials, tips on making better beer and tasty recipes.
  • Zymurgy: An Introduction to Homebrewing: request copies of the AHA’s guide for the new brewer–or access it online. Order deadline for hardcopy shipping is Tuesday, April 21, 2015. 
  • Homebrewopedia: a wiki-style resource containing a large library of recipes, a glossary of brewing terms, homebrew club resources and much more!
  • AHA store: pick up the latest homebrewing books or issues of Zymurgy magazine.

Share the Experience

Be sure to share your stories, pictures and videos from Big Brew on the AHA’s Facebook and Twitter. Tag your posts with #BigBrew.

If you enjoyed your Big Brew experience, join the AHA and participate in our other events!

Contact Matt Bolling, AHA Events & Membership Coordinator | 303.447.0816 x 184 or 1.888.822.6273 x 184 |