Home brewers unite at Brew-Ha-Ha in Silverthorne
summit daily news
SILVERTHORNE – With roughly two dozen people milling about Alpine Earth Center, a Dillon Dam Brewery beer in hand and listening to various presentations about brewing at home, Saturday’s Brew-Ha-Ha event organizer Erin Makowsky considered the event a success.
Makowsky is the High County Conservation Center’s waste reduction coordinator and the backbone of the second annual event, which was part of the center’s Green Living Workshop Series. “Carbon Nation,” a climate change solution documentary with an official release slated for 2011, was screened after the Brew-Ha-Ha event.
The event was designed to educate participants about home brews and locally brewed beer and their benefits: reduced energy impact with less transportation, re-using bottles and kegs, using local ingredients and “just having fun,” Makowsky said.
For David Dean, the gathering was a chance to network with fellow home brewers. A resident of Summit County for about a year-and-a-half, Dean hopes to start a home brew club – an idea that comes from his former home in Oregon. He said the Oregon club draws more than 100 people each month to socialize and learn from each other.
“I’d like to get interested people together to do brew sessions and share their brews,” he said. “It’s a good turnout today, so that’s encouraging.”
Among several displays thought up and brought about by event participants, John Harrington had a solar water pump display. Running with the theme of climate-change solutions and green living, Harrington showed how a landscape water feature display could be powered by the sun – a fun way to reduce one’s carbon footprint.
Alpine Earth Center owner Sherie Sobke showed participants her native Colorado hops plant, which “is not one of the finer hops to brew with,” Sobke said. “But it’s good to use if you just want to say you have Colorado hops (in your beer).”
There was also a “home brewing 101” lesson by Dylan Hoffman and a demonstration by Matt Wright to show that it’s not hard to start brewing. They showed some of the equipment, which is often the costliest part of getting started, as well as ingredients and brewing cookbooks with hundreds of recipes.
“It’s really, really easy,” Hoffman said. “If you can make pancakes, you can brew beer.”
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