by Lisa Bielmeier
Home brewing is becoming more popular than ever. Right now there are 1,595 breweries that operate in the U.S. alone.
For those interested in producing their own fermented beverages, the Niagara-Wheatfield Adult Education program is currently offering six sessions with renowned local and national expert Dr. Erwin Brese.
Brese has won many awards on the local, state and national levels for his home brews and has judged many prestigious competitions and lectured on the art of home brews.
"I have been home brewing since 1989," says Brese. "I think home brews are so much healthier for you than the mass produced stuff you find at the stores. By using organic ingredients, it is filled with vitamins and minerals and it is great for your cardiovascular system."
Brese stresses that he tells people to be moderate in their consumption and says he and other home brewers who he associates with make it a social event when they get together. "Home brewing takes a while, so my wife and I will have friends over and we all make a dish to pass, and we have great conversations and just enjoy and relax with one another. At the end of the night, we have a great product that we can either consume on our own or give away as gifts."
Those taking the class will learn about the history and composition of beer and other beverages and there will be hands-on experience to demonstrate the making of beer, birch beer, wine and mead. "This process is an art and a science," says Brese. "Everyone always has a great time and some have even gone on to make a hobby or a living from it."
Participants will be making their own craft beers and will get to bottle it up and take it home.
Because participants will be sampling the fruits of their labor, they must be 21 years old to participate in the class. Cost of the class is $60, and it will be held at the Sanborn Fire Hall on Tuesdays, starting Sept. 13 and running to Nov. 1 (no classes on Sept. 20 and Oct. 18).
To register, call the Niagara-Wheatfield Adult Education Office at 215-3010, or to register by mail, download the Adult Education brochure at www.nwcsd.k12.ny.us/adulted.