Saw this little tidbit yesterday in the New York Times and thought it was too good of an idea not to pass along. Two Gen Y-ers like myself, Stephen Valand, 23, and Erica Shea, 25 of Brooklyn have quit their respective day jobs to start theirown homebrew supply shop, of sorts. Their new venture, the Brooklyn Brew Shop, makes one gallon-sized homebrewing kits, specially designed for New York City apartments.
The couple starting selling the kits in early July at the Brooklyn Flea Market and online. But before deciding to jump into business together, they went on a seven-week backpacking trip to Europe to see if they were compatible.
I really think Valand and Shea are on to something here. I really like the idea of one gallon brewing kits. 5 gallons is a lot of beer to make all at once. Being the craft beer fan I am, I like to drink as many different beers as possible. So being stuck with two full cases of the same beer at the same time is a lot to go through and I often find myself giving a lot of my homebrew away so that I can get back to variety faster.
I also like to experiment with my homebrews — isn’t that half the point? — and am the first to admit that I’m still no brewmaster. So, with those two things in mind, five gallons of beer is, or can be, a pretty risky investment. If I could brew batches by the single gallon (and had the proper equipment to do so), I would be a lot less worried about losing a hefty investment and could be more adventuresome in my brewing.
Valand and Shea are bootstrapping their project and reinvesting every dollar of profit they make into the company to help it grow. It’s great to see an original idea and that kind of drive and motivation from the young folks — and young Better Beer fans — out there. Congratulations on the first step and good luck with the future, guys! (Note: you can follow the Brooklyn Brew Shop on Twitter @bklynbrewshop
[image via brooklynbrewshop.com]