Imagine assisting a head brewer brew a beer recipe designed by you and a bunch of your homebrewing friends. At an AHA rally, this dream became reality.
Earlier this year, The Brew Gentlemen Beer Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa., was kind enough to host an AHA Rally and leave it up to AHA members to vote on the parameters of a beer recipe they’d later release for attendees. One lucky homebrewer was chosen to brew the beer with Zach Gordon, the Brew Gentlemen head brewer.
Matt Katase, co-founder of The Brew Gentlemen Beer Co., was somewhat surprised by the finished product. “A lot of homebrewers want to do these crazy styles that are sometimes very difficult to translate to a commercially viable style,” Katase noted. “However, all the homebrewers wanted the cleanest, simplest, low ABV beer recipe, something they might not otherwise make themselves.”
Homebrewing and Craft Beer Relationship
The collaboration between homebrewers and professionals epitomized the idea behind hosting the rally: engage the local community by creating a meaningful touching point from homebrewing to craft beer. The two have a synergistic relationship.
“A lot more people are drinking craft beer, and that’s kind of an introductory phase for homebrewers,” said Gary Glass, director of the American Homebrewers Association. “You really have to have an interest in flavorful craft beer to get into homebrewing.”
The Local Homebrewing Scene
Asa Foster, co-founder of Brew Gentlemen, and Katase are different when it comes to their relationship with homebrewing and homebrewers. They didn’t have much experience with brewing when they started Brew Gentlemen back in 2010–they just wanted to own a brewery.
The two saw the AHA Rally as a nice way to connect with the homebrew scene in Pittsburgh. They wanted to build a stronger relationship with homebrewers, creating openness and empowering homebrewers to have an active part in the craft beer community. “It’s awesome to see everyone support each other,” Katase added.
Many local homebrewers already drop by the taproom to share their beer recipes, and the brewery hosts homebrew clubs meetings, so the idea of bringing everyone together for an afternoon with nothing but the enjoyment and celebration of homebrewing seemed natural.
This was the first rally in the Pittsburgh area, with people traveling from all over Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia to attend. For more about rallies, check out our AHA Rallies page.
English Pale Ale (ESB) Beer Recipe
Check out the AHA Members and Brew Gentlemen collaboration English Pale Ale (ESB) beer recipe.
- “Calling All Homebrewers: Help Brew Gentlemen Create Their Next Beer” by Liz Reid, 90.5 WESA (Pittsburgh’s NPR News Station)
- Matt Katase, Co-Founder, Brew Gentlemen