For Chankukah last year, I bought Mr. Beez a gift certificate to brew beer at Copper Kettle Brewing Company. It took nearly a year for us to actually schedule the appointment and make it in the door, because that’s how we do. We love the idea of brewing our own beer, but in no way have the time to invest in learning the science, buying all the equipment, and especially not for cleaning all that equipment. Copper Kettle was the perfect solution– you have the fun and ownership of picking out your beer recipe and putting things together, but without any real commitment.
Step one in beer brewing is settling in at the bar at Hough’s Taproom (with which Copper Kettle shares space) and reviewing the recipes. They have a whole huge stack of options, running the gamut from the darkest stout to hearty lagers to crisp wheat beers. Being as this was a present for Mr. Beez, I for once was nice, and did not hijack the decision. He picked the Smithers Irish red ale, which I must say was an excellent choice.
After selecting your recipe, you get to “brewing.” I use quotation marks because in this setting, “brewing” really jeans that the Copper Kettle staff tells you about the science of brewing, and you measure out the ingredients and put them in the kettle. The tasks take minimal effort, but it is still fun. Plus there is a lot of waiting time which calls for more time sampling the selection at Houghs. No complainin here.
The whole brewing experience is about 2 hours, most of which is hanging out, sipping beers, waiting and NACHOS. Houghs has great grub, so you shouldn’t miss out. Bottling takes place about 2 weeks after the brew session. If you have better calendar management skills than I, you can go in and bottle it yourself. Seeing as it took a year for us to get in the door in the first place, we opted to pay the bottling fee. Copper Kettle bottled the beer for us, and we just had to pick it up. I must say, the beer tasted comparable to Killian’s Irish Red, and was very delicious. Brewing at Copper Kettle is not a cost effective way to acquire your beers, but the extra cost is worth the fun experience. It’s an excellent setup if you are interested in homebrewing and want to learn a little more before committing all the cash for the equipment, or if you are like us, and have a fleeting interest in homebrewing and would like the fun of brewing your own beer, but there’s no chance you’ll make the time investment for really getting into that hobby.