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Are you inside with nothing to do? There’s never been a better time to pick up a new hobby, and that goes double for hobbies that save you a trip to the not-so-socially-distanced grocery store. Whether you’re an accomplished beer snob or still struggling to tell the difference between a pilsner and a porter, these comprehensive homebrew kits will walk you through the brewing process with confidence.
Brooklyn Brew Shop & BrewDog Elvis Juice Beer Making Kit
A pioneer in the field of all-grain, small batch homebrewing, Brooklyn Brew Shop has long proven that scaling down professional recipes to fit a cramped apartment kitchen doesn’t have to mean sacrificing quality. The shop collaborated with Scottish craft legends BrewDog to produce this easy-to-follow $48 clone kit containing just about everything required to whip up a single gallon of the brewery’s beloved grapefruit-spiked citrus bomb. The pack includes ingredients like yeast, premium grain, and a bounty of Amarillo, Citra, and Simcoe hops plus no-rinse sanitizer and sturdy hardware that can be reused for future batches. All you need is some fresh grapefruits, a stovetop, and a little patience.
To buy: $48, brooklynbrewshop.com
BrewDemon 2-Gallon Craft Beer Kit Plus
BrewDemon changed the game when they came out with their miniature conical fermenter, a first in the world of homebrew kits. The two-gallon innovation allows solids like dead yeast cells to settle at the bottom of the cone for stress-free removal, flawless repitching, and a crystal clear final product no matter what recipe you’re taking on. And at $89, it’s also quite the bargain—aside from the fermenter, you’re also getting a bundle of top notch accessories, ingredients for a straightforward 3.7% porch pounder, as well as eight one-liter reusable bottles complete with caps, custom labels, and instructions.
To buy: $89, brewdemon.com
Northern Brewer Brew Share Enjoy Homebrew Starter Kit
Northern Brewer is a trusted brand among both novice and advanced homebrewers. Currently on mark down for $99.98, their introductory kit is stacked with all the basics and then some from a five-gallon stainless steel kettle, six and a half-gallon fermenter, and full bottling set-up to enough specialty grain, yeast, and hops to create a classic amber ale, IPA, or hefeweizen. Detailed step-by-step instructions and a vast digital database teeming with additional tips, video guides, and interactive troubleshooting seal the deal, ensuring a killer first batch no matter your skill level.
To buy: $100, northernbrewer.com
PicoBrew Pico Model C Homebrew Kit
For tech-savvy beer lovers in search of a faster, cleaner, and less-demanding homebrewing experience, this futuristic automated brewing machine handily does the trick. The sleek apparatus takes up very little counter space and can produce up to five liters of idiot-proof beer at a time. Simply load up a fresh PicoPak (AKA a premeasured packet of yeast, grain, and hops compiled by pro brewers) and watch as our robot overlords do the dirty work for you. It’s not exactly the Kureg of homebrewing—the process requires a bit more know-how than that—but it’s pretty darn close. And to smooth over the sky-high price tag, the Model C moonlights as both a sous-vide machine and cold brew coffee maker and can be fit with cool attachments like a distilling rig.
To buy: from $400, picobrew.com
Bitter & Esters Pint Sized Brewing Kit
Not ready to commit to a full case of homemade brew? Dial up this Brooklyn-based homebrew supply store and get your hands on this literal pint-sized package. Choose from four expertly-developed base recipes—Less is MO IPA, Going Rogge rye, Saison du Pint saison, or Quantum Satis stour—and get ready to rumble with a quart Mason jar, a single 16 ounce swing-top bottle, muslin bag, and sterilizing tablets. At just $17.99 a pop, it’s the perfect way for the homebrew curious to dip a toe into the sudsy waters with very little upfront investment.
To buy: $18, bitterandesters.com
City Brew Tours Live Homebrew Experience
For many enthusiasts, homebrewing has always been a social activity, an excuse to gather up some buddies and spend an afternoon sipping cold ones around a bubbling kettle. And while today’s social distancing mandates have made that routine all but impossible, lonely hopheads can still get their communal fix by signing up for a virtual brew day with City Brew Tours. $99 gets participants their very own two and a half-gallon CBT Homebrew Essential kit shipped directly to their doorstep along with front row seats to a live three-hour group brewing demo led by a professional brewer. Zoom happy hours will never be the same.
To buy: From $99, citybrewtours.com