Big Brew May 2, 2015

Celebrate National Homebrew Day

Big Brew may 2, 2015 @ ZorbazIn 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.

The Boreal Brewers Homebrew Club is holding its registered Big Brew event this year, and we are being hosted by Zorbaz on Pokegama Lake.  So, invite your friends and family, gather around the brew kettle and join us in the global celebration of the greatest hobby there is—homebrewing!

We’ll provide a tasting, so there will be a chance to sample some of the beers that we’ll be brewing.  Zorbaz will be open too, with their full menu and craft beers on tap.

Need info about this year’s brews?  Check out the AHA website.  Reply and let us know if you plan to brew with us.  We look forward to seeing you there.


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Porters & Poetry

A Tasting Event…

The Boreal Brewers Homebrew Club has been invited to attend the Porters and Poetry event at the MacRPandPLogoostie Art Gallery on April 24th.  If you can provide some homebrew for sampling, please sign up on our Doodle Poll.

Here is the description of the event from the sponsors, the Uncommon Loons…

An event of literary and libationary poetry (spoken word and beer drinking). Featured poets punctuated by opportunities for open mic. Original poetry is encouraged but not required. Come to read your own words or just sit, sip and listen. Social hours begins at at 7:00, poetry at 8:00. $10 for keepsake glassware and the first fill. $5 per additional pour of porter. (wine and other non-alcoholic beverages will be available for patrons of poetry but not porter.)

NOTE: the prices shown above are for the commercially available porter.  Samples provided by the Boreal Brewers are always offered free of charge.

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Boreal Brew Club Meeting‏

The Boreal Brewers will meet Tuesday, March 24th, 6:00 PM at the KAXE Boardroom in Grand Rapids.  We will have a slideshow on our club brewing event at Fulton Brewing.  We got great tours at both the old brewery, which still operates at their tap house site in North Minneapolis, and at the new state-of-the-art brewery a few miles away.  We will also welcome some new members who recently completed the intro to homebrewing class at Wine Creations in Grand Rapids.

We need to make plans for the international Big Brew Day, May 2nd this year.  The Boreal Brewers have been active Big Brew participants since 2009.  We have a couple of options on where to brew, which influences how we brew.  And it’s not too early to think about brewing for Deer River, or Grand Rapid’s own Oktoberfest!

Business-wise, we need to decide if we want to go for full 501(c)3 status.  We are a non-profit, registered with the Minnesota Secretary of State, but we have not taken the step to register as a Federal 501(c)3 non-profit corporation.  The advantage is that we can get free computer equipment from one organization, and donations would be tax deductible.  The disadvantage is that the filing fee for the feds is $400 for the most basic level of application.

Other than that, we’ll talk about, oh I don’t know … beer?

I’m showing up with Amarillo dry-hopped IPA, Barley Wine and beer bread.

-Steve Benson

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Advanced Homebrewing Classes 2015

Advanced homebrewing classes will begin Monday, March 16th at Wine Creations in Grand Rapids.  This is a four week class, which includes brewing four all-grain batches, bottling those and distributing them among the students to take home.  The class will use all-grain ingredients and brewing techniques to focus on recipe design and understanding the methods needed to brew the kind of beers you like.  We go over each component of beer, water, malt, hops and yeast.  We discuss the characteristics of each, how they influence beer and how to get the most out of them.  Students will decide what beers we brew.  This class is late enough in the year that brewing with maple sap is an option.

Since you can’t cover all the characteristics of beer just by talking about them, there will be a wide variety of samples in class.  You must be 21 to take this course.

We also cover growing your own hops, from rhizome selection to harvesting, drying and using.  You’ll learn how to keg beer, how to use, manage and clean kegging equipment.

The class is five hours per night, 4 nights.  We’ll bottle during the last class, and we may extend when that class occurs depending on what you choose to brew – some beers take longer to ferment.

The cost is $75 for all four nights.  To reserve a spot, call Wine Creations at 326-9490.

The instructors are Steve Benson and Chad Haatvedt, of the Boreal Brewers brew club.  Taking this class qualifies you for one year of free membership in the club.

Questions should go to Steve at


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