24 Great Blogs Homebrewers Should Follow
According to some of the research we’ve done, about 1 in 6 American men say that their garages are a sort of sanctuary for them. You’ll often hear such garages referred to as “man caves.”
Now, each sacred place these guys (and women, too) create for themselves differs primarily according to what goes on inside. Some people use their garages for woodworking projects. Some have project cars and bikes they work on.
Increasingly, people over the last decade or so have been using their garages to brew beer. Just like the old European monasteries, these sanctuaries have their own beer-making facilities.
Numbers from 2013 indicate that America has at least 1 million homebrewers, and about two-thirds of those hobbyists are relative newbies, having taken up homebrewing since 2005.
If you are one of the million-plus homebrewers in America — or really if you’re a homebrewer anywhere — this post is for you. It’s fall, so that means Oktoberfest beers and saisons and pumpkin ales are going to be fermenting in garages all around the country.
Below are 24 homebrewing blogs we think are worth following. These aren’t the big blogs that crank out the same posts season after season but real nuts-and-bolts informational resources. Check them out for recipes, hardware reviews, forums, and maybe a little help perfecting that chocolate stout for winter.
Billy Broas has been blogging about homebrewing and beer making for some time now. His HomeBrew Academy site is especially useful for anyone still new to making beer because of its in-depth video tutorials. The blog that accompanies the courses is great for learning or fine-tuning techniques.
Not really a blog but informational all the same, the Four Brewers podcast is a weekly chat among four dudes who brew and drink tons of beer.
Brad Smith has been brewing beer for about a quarter century, has created a special piece of software just for homebrewers, and can get super in-depth about pretty much any aspect of beer making.
Michael Tonsmeire is an economist by day, but by night he is a certified beer judge, beer consultant and fermentation experimenter. That simply means he creates lots of interesting beers, and he goes into real depth on his blog as to how he creates his recipes.
Blogger and garage brewer Matthew Chrispen is a Texas guy whose brewing tutorials are generally well researched and informative. Also, his site features a tried-and-tested recipe for an American Pale Ale that’s worth attempting.
Top Fermented is the personal blog of North Carolina professional brewer Erik Lars Myers. Since Myers moved on to professional brewing, the commentary and discussion is often filtered through that prism, but learning from a large-scale brewer is never a bad thing, is it?
Matt Humbard has a Ph.D. in microbiology and cellular biology, and he’s also really into brewing beer. That combination of expertise and interest makes for some really creative, thoughtful, and meticulously labeled beer recipes.
The Braukaiser blog hasn’t been updated in a while, but the site’s wiki is still active. If you are interested in the technical aspects of brewing, particularly if you like traditional German styles, then the blog archive and the wiki are both going to be bookmark material for you.
OK, so the Homebrewtalk.com forum is one of the biggest and best-known resources online for homebrewers, but that’s because there is a lot of quality information on the site. Some of the best ideas are distilled in the site’s blog, which we recommend following, even if you aren’t active in the forum.
Stan Hieronymus’ great blog is all about discussing beer from a place — any place, that’s just the direct translation of “appellation.” Brewers read his posts religiously because they are so thoughtful and full of useful knowledge.
This is a relatively new brewing blog that spares no details in documenting recipes, brewing methods and evening brewing philosophies (that last one is the inspiration for the blog’s name). Tutorials and discussions are usually accompanied by lots of photos, too.
Mike Crimmins has a story that many of us can relate to: He spent his younger beer-drinking years developing no discernible taste, just drinking whatever was cheap and available, until one day a light came on. That’s when craft beer began to mean something. The next step was when he discovered he could brew good beer on his own.
This is now what he documents on his Passion for the Pint blog, which includes a crash course for total homebrew beginners.
Singing Boys is a home brewery that makes beer, cider and mead pretty much just for friends. It’s worth a read just for the enthusiasm, but you will also find tips here such as how best to grow your own hops or condition your bottles.
As the title indicates, this blog is an amateur’s take on craft beer, the beer industry and homebrewing. Because it covers so many topics, we’ll link you to the posts specifically dedicated to homebrewing here.
Here is a novel blog. Rather than being about tips or tutorials, the Homebrew Finds blog scours the web for good deals on tools and hardware.
Tony Saldin is in Year 6 of his experiment to grow his own hops, and the various stages since 2009 have been well documented. If you have any plans to grow hops on your own, Tony’s blog is a good starting point.
This is the brewing blog from West Coast Brewer, which features a lot of good tutorials illustrated with big photographs. A good example post is this “Seven Easy Ways to Improve Your IPA” piece from June.
Orion Chandler (great name, by the way) is a realtor and winemaker who also experiments with making beer. His education background is in fermentation science, so he brings strong foundational knowledge to his experiments.
Michigan brewery Bell’s does a nice job of reaching out to the homebrewing community with its Tumblr blog, which features news, competition announcements and a few how-tos from its master brewers.
What is it with homebrew bloggers having degrees in microbiology? Sam, a Swiss homebrewer, conducts experiments and analyses in the Eureka Brewing facility, and the posts are highly recommended, especially if you tend to geek out over specific strains of yeasts.
This blog, along with The Mad Fermentationist above, should be a primary resource if you want to try your hand at brewing sour ales, particularly anything that requires “spontaneous fermentation” as they use in Belgium.
The AHA does a good job of keeping up with relevant news, especially any legislative issues that might affect your ability to brew at home in your state.
This is another general craft beer blog that covers everything from commercial breweries to industry news to beer reviews. It also has a separate section of recipes for homebrewers that will continue to grow with the blog’s community.
New Jersey-based Vince Feminella is one of the deepest resources on homebrewing available. He has been blogging since 2010, and his posts are lengthy, knowledgeable, and illustrated with lots of graphs and photos.