MONTROSE – Do you love beer and want to take that affection a step further by brewing your own beer? Rebecca Paxton-Dorr and Lenord Dorr have all the ingredients, tools and information needed for anyone looking to become a serious home-brewer at The Homebrew Connection.
The Homebrew Connection has everything that’s needed to brew batches of sudsy joy, from homebrew starter kits to Colorado-grown grains to hops; it came about as the result of Dorr’s need to brew his own beer. In 2001, he was diagnosed with celiac disease, unable to drink beer because of the gluten protein found in wheat, barley and rye. The duo began learning how to make homebrewed, gluten-free beer and wine and have taken that passion and turned it into the Homebrew Connection.
“Back in 2001, this was really tough,” Dorr said. “Home brewing wasn’t nearly as popular as it is now. I had to go visit health food stores and that was different for me. At the Homebrew Connection, we are trying to serve the whole area including Crested Butte and Gunnison to Hotchkiss and Delta to Norwood, Nucla, Naturita, Ouray, and Telluride.”
The Homebrew Connection has something for everyone from the hobbyist to the all grain brewer. Not sure what kind of beer to brew? Not only do they have all the ingredients to make great beer at home, they have all the knowledge to brew great beer as well.
“If you aren’t sure what kind of beer you want to brew or want to try something different, we have a recipe library,” he said. “Twice a month we have free beginner and intermediate brewing sessions as well.”
The next free home brewing call will be held Saturday, Feb. 19, at 1 p.m.
The base grains found at the Home Brew connection, located at 20 South Nevada Ave., in Montrose, are provided by Alamosa-based Colorado Malting Company, although by next fall, the supply store plans to have locally grown hops from the Montrose-based San Juan Hop Farm.
“We try to promote Colorado farmers at the Homebrew Connection as much as we can,” Dorr said. “We have ingredient kits and equipment kits. You can walk out of here and have everything you need to brew your first five gallons of beer.”
If beer isn’t for you, the Homebrew Connection also provides wine ingredient kits and winemaking equipment, along with fruit purees and additives for those wanting to make wine from scratch. The wine ingredient kits promise to deliver award-winning wines, in six-gallon batches.
Winemaking is easier than brewing beer, Dorr said, although patience, in winemaking, is a particular virtue, because after the wine has been bottled, a waiting period of three months to a year is required for it to age.
The Homebrew Connection is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. -6 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m.- 5 p.m., and is closed Sunday and Monday. Call 970/249-4683 with questions about products and for information on upcoming classes. While reservations aren’t required, Dorr suggests calling ahead of time if you plan on attending a free brewing session.
For more information on the Homebrew Connection, visit thehomebrewconnection.com.