If you haven’t been to Hough’s, the expansive Greenfield bar featuring 60+ drafts, more than 300 bottles & a handful of rotating beers brewed on site, you’re missing something special.
And even more awesome than the selection? Attached to the bar is the Copper Kettle Brewing Company www.copperkettlepgh.com , a friendly test kitchen where you can make all of your home brewing fantasies come true. With a bonafide beer geek to guide your way, supplies & equipment on premise, and your choice of established, reliable recipes, Copper Kettle takes the guess work and financial commitment out of home brewing while still affording you an opportunity to learn and experiment with ales of your very own.
A few key points:
* Make an appointment…expect about 2 hours for Session 1: Brewing, and an hour for Session 2: Bottling. These’ll be about 3 weeks apart depending on the style of beer you brew.
* Bring buddies…if not for the good old fun of it, then to help split the initial costs of bottles & whatnot. You’ll end up with as many as 5 cases of 22 oz bottles that you can then reuse on future brews. Our bottles, supplies, equipment, guidance & eventually, beer, came out to be around $200 (Provided we save the bottles, next batch should end up being about 50 bucks cheaper). We rolled with a crew of 4 to great success, but it’s not unusual to see larger crowds than that.
* If you’ve never done this before, you should learn a LOT during sesh one. We recommend grabbing a fresh draft to keep you focused on the task at hand & asking as many questions as you can think of. You’ll get to sample your brew as you bottle it, so you may want to keep your palate fresh for sesh 2 but…that’s your call.
* Don’t be surprised when they bust out the extract (pictured below). You may be ‘kind of a beer snob’ or truly believe that you have the qualified palate to distinguish the implied inferiority, but keep it in check. The guys who run this place, they know more than you. No doubt about it. If they didn’t, you wouldn’t be there. And with their recipes & instruction come a streamlined and enjoyable brewing process and full bodied flavor you wouldn’t know was helped along by extract unless you were there to make it. Which you were, and that’s awesome.