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Mash Your Own March: Starting A Home Brew

So you fancy yourself a craft beer connoisseur. You’ve sampled a wide range of beers from Edmonton’s local breweries, and around the world. You know the difference between an English and Indian Pale Ale, and you wouldn’t be caught dead drinking a Lucky Lager. All in all, your craft beer knowledge is pretty good, but there’s always room for improvement. So where do you go from here?


Well, the next obvious step would be to start brewing your own! Home brewing has become an increasingly popular hobby lately, and for good reason. It’s fun, relaxing, and the finished product is something we all love – beer! Everyone will be in awe when you show up to the next shindig with a 6-pack of homemade beer in hand.


Even though the process of brewing may seem intimidating at first, it is actually pretty straightforward – if you can make porridge, you’re a good part of the way towards making your first brew. To make getting started easier, a variety of places around Edmonton, including Chapters and Winning Wines Plus, have brew kits available for the first-time brewer. The kits include all the basic equipment and grains you will need, as well as step by step instructions on how to go about turning that wort into frothy, delicious beer. 


There are a couple different styles of brewing that you can do. The first is all-grain brewing, in which the brewer extracts the sugars from a mix of grains, and then ferments it into alcohol. The second is extract brewing, which cuts out the grain and instead uses flavour extracts to ferment into alcohol. Extract brewing is simpler, and requires less equipment since the whole “mash” step is cut out. Both have their pros and cons, but whatever you decide to go with, the end result is the same. You get to say that you made your own beer.


Now, all that’s left to do is to start brewing. So, take a deep breath, grab a couple craft beers to sip on, and dive right in – you’re going to have a blast. And if you’re looking for a few tips and tricks from the true masters of brewing, come join us Saturday’s for a Craft Beer Tour.


Alexander Sorochan

Brewing up Relaxation

There are fewer things in life more relaxing than a good yoga class – the focus on breathing, the stretching of muscles, and the peacefulness that comes out of all of it. It’s a wonderful experience for mind, body, and soul. But one thing is missing, and that – of course – is beer. Well, it was missing, until now.

On February 1, Blind Enthusiasm will be hosting a Yoga and Beer night at their brewery in Ritchie Market. What better way to spend a Thursday evening than doing some exercise and winding down after a long day with a pint in hand? You’ll feel good about yourself for getting out there and doing some physical activity, and you’ll get to try some of the best beer Edmonton has to offer while you’re at it. The class takes place in the events room of Blind Enthusiasm too, which is absolutely stunning. It’s on the second floor of the building, overlooking Biera, and is just beautiful. It’s definitely worth seeing at least once, and what better way to check it out than a yoga class?

The class will be lead by Melanie Checknita, who is the owner and one of the instructors at Yoga Within in Edmonton. Checknita has been teaching yoga for over 30 years, so you know the lessons are going to be quality. Tickets are $25 on, and include a one-hour class as well as one drink to enjoy during the lesson. Considering that most drop-in yoga classes cost around 20 dollars anyways, and you get a high-quality craft beer out of this one, it’s a pretty good deal. Of course, there is always the option to buy another beer (or two) during the class as well.  The event runs from 7 to 9pm.

If you’re a yoga and craft beer enthusiast, or just looking for something to do on a Thursday night, make sure to check out Blind Enthusiasm’s event Yoga & Beer! It’s bound to be a fun time, and who hasn’t dreamed of having a drink while working out at least once?


Alexander Sorochan