Craft Brewer Opens the Doors to Homebrewers

Looking for a way to create good will among your local homebrewers and beer fanatics, perhaps your best most loyal customer base? Fantasy Brew Day. That’s what Dillon Dam Brewery calls this open house brewing event, where homebrewers, beer connoisseurs, or anyone else willing and able can fulfill their fantasy – brewing beer in a real brewery. “They’ll get a little dirty,” Brewmaster Matt Luhr said. “It’s going to be real hands on. They’ll do transfers, analysis, dilution – the whole process. Most home-brewers are in the 5-gallon range,” Luhr said. “Here they’ll be dealing with a 16-barrel system.”

Through Fantasy Brew Day, Luhr hopes not only to pique brewers’ interest in larger scale production, but also just to show them a good time. Participant Larry Gilliland, the county treasurer, hopes simply to be motivated to make his own beer. “I’ve got all the equipment, but I haven’t produced a drop of my own,” Gilliland said. Gilliland’s son, who works for New Belgium Brewing Co., set up all the equipment for him, but he hasn’t yet found the time to experiment.

In addition to brewing a batch of beer, the participants will get an overview on how beer recipes are developed and get hands-on experience with the other research involved in brewing, such as yeast and barley analysis. Additionally, the participants can bring in their own yeast to be analyzed under a microscope. Luhr explains that he became interested in home brewing in college when he developed a taste for the finer beers he couldn’t afford.

Dillon Dam Brewery, founded in 1997, is located in Dillon, Colorado and produces approximately 2,000 barrels of beer a year.