Craft beer and brewing at home



Even before Jimmy Carter legalized home-brewing again after 43 years in 1978, many Americans secretly ate beer with baker’s yeast in their cellars and cooking pots. The Presidential Decree now paved the way for federal brewing approval at home – most recently Alabama and Mississippi in 2013. The popular leader had paved the way for a move that would soon take off from the US Should capture the world: craft brewing.


Above all, the term US house and micro brewers articulated the idea of ​​producing a beer beyond the common taste of the products of just a few major US breweries. At the latest with the introduction of the first “Lite” beer by Miller stood on the shelves of the beverage markets almost only “Near Water Beer”, as the Americans mockingly called it. Based on the most consumed drink in the world – water – and the scientifically determined mainstream taste, the big breweries such as Miller and Anheuser-Busch had created the perfect thirst quencher – but the beer flavor remained largely in the process of being lost during the manufacturing process. In addition to the sensors, craft brewers were also interested in beer production. Beyond the industrially produced mainstream beer, there were only a few exotics on the market such as the “Yuengling Porter”, the “Ballantine India Pale Ale” and the “Augsburger”, a strong German beer from Huber Brewing.


beerIn their recipes, the brewers remembered these special beers and their own family roots. The lay either in the UK or Germany. However, the English styles could brew much easier than the bottom-fermented German beers because of the top-fermented yeast used for this purpose, which did not require any additional cooling. That’s why Pale Ale, IPA, Stout and Porter were on the program for the craft and home brewers. One of the founding fathers of the Craft movement is Charlie Papazian, who today is the president of the American Brewer’s Association.

Papazian had met during study a home brewer, then made his own first attempts and in 1972 left the University of Virginia in Charlottesville as a newly graduated Bachelor of Nuclear Sciences. Like many other intellectuals of his time, he did not feel well in the East Coast world and moved to Colorado to give preschool education in a kindergarten.

After work, he was attracted to his bridal heads and in 1976 he published his first book on beer with 78 pages in “Joy of Brewing”. In the year of legalization, Papazian founded the American Homebrewers Association, where anyone interested could buy his book for $ 2.50 or join for four dollars a year – a discounted book included. In particular, the style with which Charlie Papazian introduced his readers to the topic of brewing beer inspired his audience:

“Relax. Do not worry. Have a homebrew. Making quality beer is EASY!”


Papazian founded other important institutions such as the Association of Brewers (1979), which merged with the venerable Brewer’s Association of America into the Brewer’s Association under his leadership in 2005, the Institute for Brewing Studies and the Association of Brewers Publications (1986). He also laid the foundation for the Great American Beer Festival (1982) and the world’s most important beer competition, the World Beer Cup (1996).

Two other important pioneers of craft brewing are Jack McAuliffe and Fritz Maytag. McAuliffe was the son of a US intelligence officer who first spied against Germany in South America and then represented American interests in Honduras and Colombia. In 1964, he signed up as a 19 -year-old in the Navy and served in Scotland, where he was particularly enthusiastic about the local beer culture. He bought a copy of Dave Line’s British Brewing Bible, “The Big Book of Brewing,” and began brewing beer in his room. The result tasted both his

Comrades as well as the locals

beerAfter the end of his military service McAuliffe returned to the US, completed a training as a fine optician and 1971, a job in Sunnyvale, California. But the fascination of brewing did not let him go. In 1975, he quit and started brewing $ 5,000 in seed capital in a converted warehouse with home-made utensils. With two partners, Suzy Stern and Jane Zimmermann, McAuliffe finally founded New Albion Brewing, the first craft brewery in the USA, one year later in October. The brewery was made up of decommissioned syrup storage tanks from a 200-liter soda maker, a World War II bottle washing machine, and a 1910 labeller. New Albion produced 821 liters of beer per week.

The varieties Pale Ale, Porter and Stout, all brewed according to the German Purity Law and fermented in the bottle, made rapid progress, and reports in the “New York Times” and “Washington Post” followed. A beer without the addition of enzymes, corn grits and stabilizers was almost unknown in the 1970s US. This and not least the resounding effect of compared to the Lite Beers much alcoholic New Albion beers inspired the clientele. However, the first American craft company was never really profitable and had to close its doors again in November 1982.