Cigar Aficionado

Make Your Own Beer

To debunk a few myths, brewing a great-tasting beer at home is not laborious, nor does it require the brains of a zymologist or the kitchen skills of a master chef. If you can follow a soup recipe then you can craft brews that will tantalize your palate. And with the right equipment, such as a Beer Making Kit from Brooklyn Brew Shop or, better yet, the WilliamsWarn Personal Brewery machine (pictured), your brewing dreams will quickly and easily turn into a tasty reality.

If you don’t mind a small amount of work, then Brooklyn Brew Shop offers a good way to start your homebrewing adventures with its one-gallon Beer-Making Kit ($40). All the necessary equipment (sans stovepots) to brew your own beer is included with the kit, which comes in a variety of flavor and style “mixes” like Jalapeno Saison (their summer offering), Everyday IPA and A Well-Made Tripel, that change according to season and can be purchased separately for $15. Brooklyn Brew Shop is unique in that it eschews extracts in its mixes in favor of whole grains, real hops and actual yeast; cofounder Erica Shea says all the ingredients are sourced from the exact same malting and hop suppliers that the best craft breweries use.

Brooklyn Brew Shop has simplified homebrewing in the kitchen, but you still must wait up to four weeks for your beer to properly ferment before you can drink it, and even then you still need to bottle it yourself. The Williams Warn’s Personal Brewery machine, though, can brew beer in just seven days ($4,500).

The Personal Brewery machine is the world’s first all-in-one brewing appliance and was invented by New Zealanders Ian Williams, a Master Brewer, and Anders Warn, an engineer. The machine addresses some common problems of homebrewing, such as sanitation, erratic temperature fluctuations and carbonation, so that you can make fresh, quality beer with minimal effort. In other words, no need to boil and toil in a kitchen.

The machine automatically controls the pressure and temperature of your brew, thus minimizing the amount of variables and therefore giving you more control of your brews.

WilliamsWarn will provide you with all the ingredients necessary to brew such styles as Summer Ale, Blonde Ale and English Pale Ale. At press time, the Personal Brewery machine was only available in New Zealand, but was making plans to expand to the United States and other countries.

Visit and