If you’ve ever been enjoying a few beers with friends and said “hey, I can make this,” it might be time to try your hand at home brewing. It can be difficult to know where to start to make your beer tycoon dreams come true, but with the help of these great resources, you can get a great start in the right direction. Here are some great places to check out if you are planning to make some home brew in Pittsburgh.
The Three Rivers Alliance of Serious Home Brewers (aka T.R.A.S.H) is a Pittsburgh club that holds monthly meetings at various venues around town. The organization promotes the art of home brewing, responsible enjoyment of beer and the history of craft beer. At the monthly meetings, members can try each other’s home brew and offer tips and advice. The organization also holds an annual brewing competition and a holiday party. Membership dues are just $15 per year ($20 for a couple) and meeting fees are $10. You can join by filling out an online application or by simply showing up at the next meeting to check it out.
A&M Wine Supplies
415 S. Main St.
Washington, PA 15301
Don’t let the name fool you. A&M Wine Supplies, located in Washington, is a great resource for those looking to brew beer at home. You can purchase all of the equipment you need to start your first batch in a kit ranging from $80 for a standard starter kit to $168 for a super deluxe kit. These kits include the buckets, hydrometers, cleaners, hoses, bottle capper and caps that you need. After you have all of your equipment, you can purchase a pre-packaged kit to brew the style of beer of your choice. The knowledgeable and friendly staff at A&M will help you if you need advice. As you become more advanced, A&M carries a great selection of specialty grains, hops and herbs and will also special order them in for you if you are looking for something unique.
Three Rivers Underground Brewers
Three Rivers Underground Brewers is a club that meets monthly in different locations throughout Pittsburgh. This group is active in the home-brewing community and very enthusiastic about the art. The club members attend many home-brewing events throughout the year and have even launched their own event, Brewing up a Cure, which benefits the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. You can find out more about Three Rivers Underground Brewers by contacting the group via its website or by attending the next meeting.
South Hills Brewing Supply
2212 Noblestown Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15205
Another great place to buy and find out about home-brewing equipment is South Hills Brewing Supply. You can purchase starter kits, brewing kits, hops, malts and grains at its store on Noblestown Road and also via its online shop. The staff at South Hills Brewing Supply is passionate about brewing and can offer you advice on which products will work best for you to help you get started with the right equipment and products to have a successful batch right off the bat. If you start to get a larger operation going, South Hills Brewing Supply also sells taps and draft supplies so that you can entertain your friends at your home brewery.
Craft Pittsburgh is a local quarterly magazine all about craft and home brewing in Pittsburgh. You can find out all about the history of brewing in our area and get great insight into what makes a great beer and how our local craft breweries were inspired to start brewing. The magazine is free and you can pick it up at many locations around town or you can download it from Craft Pittsburgh‘s website. The website is also a great resource to find out about craft brew-related events around town.
Jennifer Stockdale is a native of the greater Pittsburgh, PA area. She is a restaurant marketer and wine enthusiast and one of the hosts of the East Coast Wine Geeks Podcast. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.