Back in Summer 2009, Erica Shea and Stephen Valand started selling gallon beer brewing kits at the Brooklyn Green Market
These two geniuses revolutionized everything for the (much) better by turning a traditionally nerdy hobby into a hip urban trend, triggering enthusiasm among both girls and boys for endless brewing experimentation and enjoyment
Until then, homebrewers didn’t have much more choice than the typical 5-gallon plastic kit, consisting of a giant white fermenter, a can of malt extract and at least 50 empty bottles (large ones)
After a quick boil, fermentation and bottling without much instructions nor control on anything, brewers most likely ended up with 50 bottles of a soda-like beverage with a remote taste of beer, giant bubbles and a watery bodyless feel
If still motivated (and clement), they drank some of these horrors, and the remaining 40 bottles occupied space (as well as the giant kit) in their basement for the next 10 years, before it had lasted long enough to throw everything away
Since 2009-10, small batch brewing met growing public interest, with enthusiasts improvising recipes and sharing their creations with the Brooklyn Brew Shop founders who, in return, created countless new recipes tailored for small batches, which they gathered in a book 52 Seasonal Recipes for Small Batches
Public awareness soon followed with an article in The New York Times, which shed light on the new trend
We can be thankful to Erica and Stephen for having started a true revolution, understanding the desire of thousands of us for smarter, simpler, yet more rewarding ways to craft high quality foods
Kudos to you guys!
Let’s wish small batch beer brewing will keep thriving and these many new brewers put pressure on general beer quality for the better!