Winter is on its way. Wisconsinites are going to be spending lots of quality time at home over the next few months – passing the days with Netflix binges, new hobbies and trying to coexist peacefully with family members.
Now is a great time for the budding home brewer to give the rewarding hobby a shot and Brew Day Experience is here to help. The Brookfield-based startup business brings everything an amateur brewer needs – brewing equipment, ingredients, bottles and even a table – to their front door. The homebrewer makes a five-gallon batch of beer and the entire setup gets picked up the next by Brew Day Experience.
“No experience, no knowledge or equipment needed,” said owner Sam Petre. “Brew Day provides everything they need to brew beer. We control enough of the variables to ensure a quality outcome and a great brewing experience. For the equipment, we are essentially setting up a craft brewery in people’s home for the day.”
Eliminating Brewing Barriers
Petre sees factors like initial expense, lack of brewing knowledge, lack of storage space for equipment and not knowing where to start as barriers to potential home brewers. Brew Day Experience, which went live in September, removes those obstacles. With his business there’s no need to buy an expensive brew kettle, a carboy, bottles or odd-shaped cleaning brushes. The outfit brings a state-of-the-art Grainfather G30 brewing system to do most of the work and they provide the grain and hops needed to craft a porter, IPA or cream ale. A written Brewer’s Guide offers step-by-step instructions and links to tutorial videos to make the process as easy as possible for the first-time brewer – and there’s no cleaning or sanitizing to do. Pre-sanitized flip-top bottles are included for use on bottling day.
“We drop off the bottles with the rest of the equipment,” explained Petre. “After two weeks, we message the brewer to ensure they are preparing for bottling. Bottling is the bane of most home brewing because you have to rack to a bottling bucket, sanitize all the bottles, then fill them. We looked at how to streamline this process for our brewers. The fermenter has an integral spigot and a bottling wand. The bottles are pre-sanitized. All the brewer has to do is open the bottle, dump the sanitizer, fill and re-cap the bottle.”
The Price for a Trial Run
The cost for a Brew Day Experience is $255 (yearly memberships with discounted rates are also available). That’s not a cheap price tag, but is much less than quality new brewing equipment and ingredients can cost when purchased separately. The Grainfather G30 itself, which is a premium piece of brewing equipment, costs around $1,000. Plus, the $255 price tag yields roughly 24 large (750 ml) bottles of your own beer.
Brew Day Experience is a great option for home brewers in normal times, but it’s also tailor made for when shutdowns are the norm and staying at home is encouraged. Petre’s team has plenty of protocols in place to ensure safety.
“We have a completely contactless pickup and drop off,” he said. “We also try to time it via communication with clients so the equipment is not sitting around on a porch all day. We disinfect everything before we drop it off. All the consumables are brand new and have been sanitized as part of the system. We deep clean everything when we get it back from a brew day so it is in like-new condition for each new session. Our delivery people are required to wear masks and have their temperature checked daily as well as other safety precautions.”