With an ideal climate, fertile volcanic soil and long growing seasons, Washington is a bountiful grower of hops in the United States. Seattle home brewers know that a good beer is a lot like baking high-quality bread; you need the best ingredients, equipment and knowledge. Brewing beer involves fermentation, and once the chemical change occurs and the yeast starts to consume the sugar, you get alcohol – and hopefully, a delicious home brew. There are plentiful resources in the Emerald City to help home brewers make that perfect first – or hundredth – batch.
Washington Homebrewers Association
The Washington Homebrewers Association (WAHA) was founded in 1997 and is an excellent online resource offering information on everything from how-to clinics to competitions. The WAHA aims to promote Washington as a prime home-brewing location, recognizing the state’s home-brewing culture and contributions. The WAHA website provides links to 30 home-brew stores, step-by-step instructions for first-time home brewers including a variety of educational videos, and information about how to become a member of the Washington Homebrewers Association. The WAHA site also lists 41 Seattle-area home-brew clubs, including The Boeing Employees Wine and Beer Makers Club, which meets every fourth Thursday of the month at the Tukwila Masonic Lodge. In Seattle, there is Homebrewers Guild of Seattle Proper and the Investigative Brewers Unit (IBU), which meets the first Friday of the month in Sammamish.
The Beer Essentials
2624 112th St. S., Suite E-1
Lakewood, WA 98499
The Beer Essentials, located in Lakewood, has been helping home brewers for almost 20 years. Established in 1994, The Beer Essentials has beer-brewing starter kits, bottling supplies and equipment, coffee, yeasts, sanitizers, mustards, fruit bases and purees, liqueurs, and Blichman products. The store has helpful books including “The Complete Joy of Homebrewing” by Charlie Papazian. Papazian’s book is a particularly helpful point of departure for first-time brewers. The Beer Essentials’ specials include liquid yeasts such as Dunkel Weizen, a crisp, dark wheat beer; Witches Brew Scottish Ale, a strong, malty wheat ale; Belgian Wit, a sweet, fruity, creamy beer; and Cherry Blonde, a light, refreshing lager. Recipes include Positive Perspective Porter, an English-inspired robust porter with Tettnanger hops and chocolate malt; Weizen Berry, made with Hallertauer hops and American Hefeweizen yeast available with raspberry, apricot, or blackberry fruit extracts; and Oktoberfest, available with dry or liquid yeast.
Sound Homebrew Supply
6505 5th Place S.
Seattle, WA 98108
Sound Homebrew Supply is located near Georgtown, has a wide selection of brewing supplies and offers patient, knowledgeable guidance for home brewers. Sound Homebrew also has resources for wine aficionados, including books, ingredients and equipment. Beer enthusiasts, will find beer books, equipment kits, and ingredients. Its beer-brewing Starter Kit With Accessory package, which runs $129.99, includes a 6.5-gallon bottling bucket with Italian bottling spigot, a 6.5-gallon fermentation bucket with grommeted lid, hydrometer, airlock, bottle capper, sanitizer, liquid crystal thermometer, racking cane, bucket clip, bottle filler, bottle brush, 24″ stainless steel spoon and the book “How to Brew” by John Palmer. Sound Homebrew Supply also features a wide variety of books on distilling, liqueurs, beer, cider and mead, wine and cheese and also sells cheese kits and supplies for kegging.
Mountain Home Brew Supply
8530 122nd Ave. N.E., Suite B2
Kirkland, WA 98033
Whether you’re a first-time brewer or an experienced home brewer, Mountain Home Brew Supply’s staff is very knowledgeable, helpful and experienced in showing brewers the supplies that they need to get started or continue brewing. Located in Kirkland, Mountain Home Brew Supply is offers brewing ingredients, starter sets, a variety of brewing equipment and cleaning and sanitizing solutions, straining and filtering equipment and bottling equipment. Mountain Home also sells cheese-making kits, vinegar supplies and information on vinegar making, soda-making supplies and wine-making ingredients and supplies. In addition to a knowledgeable staff, Mountain Home Brew’s website is also a great resource for brewers.
The Cellar Homebrew
14320 Greenwood Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98133
Conveniently located in the Green Lake area of Seattle, The Cellar Homebrew specializes in wine and beer making and has been offering resources for home brewers for 30 years. The Cellar Homebrew has a Cellar Buyer’s Club that provides members with a 10-percent discount on online orders over $25 and it ships both domestically and internationally. Cellar Homebrew offers supplies for beer, cider, wine and cheese making; soda, mead, and liqueur supplies; herbs and spices; books; and miscellaneous supplies, including glassware, t-shirts and aerators. Its brewing supplies include recipe ingredient kits, fermentation equipment, cleaners and sanitizers, hops, aids and additives, bottling supplies, beginner beer-making kits and supplies for home breweries. The Cellar also offers a three-hour beer-making class that covers the basics of home brewing, including the how and why of each brewing step.
Tracy Campion is a freelance writer covering all things Seattle. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.