First published on 2 Oct 2012. Updated on 6 Oct 2012.
What is BrewSmith all about?
Adrian MacGeraghty: BrewSmith is the first good homebrewing kit in Australia. We’ve tried just about everything on the market, and weren’t really impressed. So we decided to combine all the best elements into one kit.
Tell us about the kit.
Carolyn Rowe: It’s ‘apartment sized’, so anyone can make beer in even the smallest of spaces. It contains all the different elements you need to make beer, apart from the basic kitchen equipment anyone should have at home.
AM: There’s a 5-litre glass fermenter we had imported from Italy. All the ingredients are separate and you combine them and cook them to make your beer.
So people have different little packets they add in, depending on what style of beer they want?
AM: Exactly. For a certain recipe, it will come with a certain amount of hops in a few different varieties, and the malt extract and yeast, ready to go so you can combine it – as opposed to a big can of goo with everything all put together. We thought we could be a little more interesting.
How much does it cost, and how long will it take to brew the beer?
AM: The kit is going to be $75 shipped, and it takes about an hour-and-a-half from opening the kit to having beer bubbling in your closet.
CR: It will be about a week in the fermenter, two weeks in the bottles, and then you’re ready to go.
What are the different styles of beer people can make with your kit?
AM: We have a summer citrus blonde ale which has lemon and coriander seed in it. There’s a honey wheat beer, which has a third of a cup of honey in it. We also have a chocolate porter, which has a huge bag of grains to use in it as well. It’s really dark and rich and fairly sweet.
Can people use the kit to make other types of beer?
AM: The recipes are a starting point. We’ve done a ginger blonde, which uses half a ginger root and came out really nice. We’ve also done an orange blonde using orange peel.
CR: With the wheat beer, you can add grapefruit to it.
AM: That’s one of the reason we built our website around a blog platform, because we wanted to be open-ended about it, for people to give us their ideas. A thousand heads are better than one. We have some great recipes coming up.
Aside from online, where are people going to be able to buy this?
CR: We’re going to be at the Fitzroy Market on the first Saturday of the month and at the People’s Market. Hopefully we will be in some night markets around Christmas time.
AM: Plus, we’ll be teaching about home brewing at Laneway Learning on 4 December.
You’re all over social media and interacting with local breweries. How are they responding to BrewSmith?
AM: They seem to be more interested than threatened. They find it fun. Beer people are cool people.
What’s your ultimate goal, aside from world domination?
AM: I’d be satisfied with that – that would be fine. We’d like to shake up the market of making beer at home. Often it’s not fun, it’s not geared towards younger people, and it doesn’t produce very good beer. Basically, we just want people to have fun, save some money, and make some great beer.
BrewSmith launches online and at the Robert Burns Hotel, 373 Smith St, Collingwood on 18 October. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.