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The Most Micro of Brews

New home-brew suppliers and classes make fermenting a keg-quality IPA in your closet that much simpler.

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Brewing beer at home has always been tricky for New Yorkers, and not just because of the cramped-apartment situation. There was also the matter of procuring the necessary hardware—fermentation vessels, cappers, air locks, siphons, not to mention fresh hops and grains—locally. That’s all changing. This week, Benjamin Stutz and Danielle Cefaro will move their DIY-beer business Brooklyn Homebrew out of their Sunset Park apartment and into a 1,000-square-foot former karate studio in Gowanus (163 8th St., nr. Third Ave.; 718-309-4267). They’ll sell $115 starter kits, bulk malts, refillable kegs, and books like The Complete Joy of Homebrewing. Another mom-and-pop outfit, Stephen Valand and Erica Shea’s Brooklyn Brew Shop, has been hawking one-gallon brewing kits fit for any apartment—and experience level—since July at Brooklyn Flea. “If you can cook oatmeal, you can brew beer,” insists Valand, who leads brewing workshops with Shea at Jimmy’s No. 43 in the East Village. (Cefaro and Stutz will teach a home-brew class at Whole Foods Market on the Bowery on January 28.) At Williamsburg’s Brooklyn Kitchen (100 Frost St., nr. Leonard St.; 718-389-2982), which sells supplies including malts and hops, veteran brewer Dan Pizzillo leads a workshop that sends students home with a starter brewing kit and a six-pack of home brew concocted by the previous class. Need a brewing buddy? The New York City Homebrewers Guild, which saw its membership double to 70 in 2009, meets the third Tuesday of the month at the East Village beer bar Burp Castle.


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