A celebration of homebrew

The Brew Shop in Bend marks Big Brew Day

By Branden Andersen / For The Bulletin

If you go

What: American Homebrewers Association’s Big Brew Day

When: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday

Cost: Free

Where: The Brew Shop, 1203 N.E. Third St., Bend

Contact: 541-323-2318

Curtis Endicott and Scott Lesmeister started homebrewing together in 2006, when the two thought it would be fun to make some beer in their kitchen.

The first recipe they used was original, but didn’t exactly live up to expectations — as is typical of most beginners’ homebrewed batches.

For their second beer, the two purchased a homebrew kit from The Brew Shop in Bend: the Lunar Eclipse Red. They ended up entering the beer into a homebrew competition and took home an award.

Endicott and Lesmeister were hooked.

“It was quite the positive reinforcement,” Endicott said.

In March, the duo opened Juniper Brewing Company in Redmond after years of homebrewing and building recipes based around their local homebrew shops.

“The Lunar Eclipse Red is the base recipe for our Tap Root Red Ale,” Endicott said. “We’ve made our tweaks, but it started there.”

Saturday is the American Homebrew Association’s National Homebrew Day. To celebrate the annual event, The Brew Shop is hosting Central Oregon’s Big Brew Day, in which clubs all across the country brew the same recipe on the same day for one collective feeling of homebrew camaraderie (see “If you go”).

“It’s really about getting out there and brewing together,” said Tom Giles, one of The Brew Shop’s co-owners. “It doesn’t matter if you’ve brewed before or not, it’s just a way to all enjoy (the brewing process) together.”

Giles purchased The Brew Shop from Silver Moon Brewing Co. in 2007, when the shop was on Northeast Division Street. In September of 2011, he and his business partners, Jeff Hawes and Glenn Samuel, moved The Brew Shop to its current location above Platypus Pub on Third Street.

“We really have been growing since we purchased the shop,” Giles said. “In 2007, (Bend) was in the middle of a recession and times were tough. But we continued to grow during that time and up to present day.”

Tom Brohamer, president of the Central Oregon Homebrewers Organization (COHO), said he has watched homebrewing in Bend continue to grow since he started brewing in 1999, and that COHO has increased in membership by 100 percent over the past year and a half. Much of that, Brohamer said, can be directly attributed to The Brew Shop’s availability and presence.

“The Brew Shop supports COHO very kindly,” Brohamer said, adding that the shop has a whiteboard that lists COHO events and hangs a plaque displaying COHO event winners. “So, we really try to support them back. There’s nothing like supporting a local business that supports you.”

On Saturday, The Brew Shop will close off a couple of its parking spaces for some brewing equipment. There will be both an extract brew, a simpler form of brewing using malt extract, and an all-grain brew, a more advanced technique using malted grain for flavor precision.

Giles said he hopes people with varied skill levels — from no experience to commercial brewers — will show up and support the brewing culture that gives Central Oregon part of its unique identity.

“From what I’ve seen, as the craft beer movement grows in this area, homebrewing grows as well,” Giles said. “It’s both the quality and quantity. People out here have a taste for good beer, and that ends up working with them when they try homebrewing.”

— Reporter: drinks@bendbulletin.com

Editor’s Note: This article has been corrected. The original article misspelled Tom Brohamer’s last name and understated the growth of the Central Oregon Homebrewers Organization over the past year and a half. The Bulletin regrets the errors.