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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Be your own brewmaster at BYOB

    Taylor House / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Underwear band feature
    Taylor House / Arizona Daily Wildcat Underwear band feature

    “”If you can boil water, you can make beer,”” said Garry Wilder, owner of Brew Your Own Brew, 2564 N. Campbell Ave. For Wilder, BYOB does not stand for the common phrase “”Bring Your Own Beer,”” but instead it is the name of his home brewing supply shop.

    Wilder fell in love immediately with home brewing when he started in 1981.

    “”You can’t buy at the store what you can make at home,”” Wilder said.

    The centrally-located retail store sells all the supplies needed to brew beer, wine or soda at home. According to Wilder, home brewing is growing in popularity as a hobby, and since his store opened in 1996, he has turned many people into master home brewers.

    Inside the 7,000-square-foot shop there are multiple stainless-steel shelves holding everything needed to create a premium libation at home. A large refrigerator contains a variety of test-tube-shaped yeast containers and vacuum-sealed bags of hops from all over the world. Wilder’s store even sells kits that convert your refrigerator into a kegerator. Now that is serious home brewing.

    Wilder, a master brewer, has won many awards from the Home Wine and Beer Association for his own beer and wine creations. He has created over 90 new beer flavors, and he sells the ingredients in packed boxes for customers to home-brew.

    The basic brew kit starts at $59.99 and includes all the tools needed to brew the first batch, which is 48 bottles. After purchasing the basic brew kit, the only things left to buy are the ingredients, which Wilder puts together in box sets. Starting at $29.99, the ingredient sets include hops, yeast and barley. The advanced starter kit is a two-in-one deal for $79.99, which allows brewing both beer and wine.

    Some of Wilder’s beer creations are comparable to flavors in name-brand beers such as Fat Tire, Guinness and Heineken. The most potent home-brewed beer made by Wilder is the “”Old Glory Barley”” with 13 percent alcohol, which Wilder describes as strong and smooth with a lot of hoppy flavors. According to Wilder, this barley beer is a perfect example of how beer should taste, full of zest that pleases all the senses.

    Wilder’s most unique mixture is the Double Speed Ball stout beer, which includes espresso beans in the creation process. Not only does it offer a caffeine boost, but also a kick of alcohol. Coffee and beer are the most popular beverages among students but are uncommonly paired in Wilder’s creation.

    In Wilder’s opinion, commercialized beer companies such as Budweiser have convinced people to drink beer cold and fast, which he says is not how beer should be enjoyed.

    Wilder has turned home brewing, once just a hobby, into a successful profession, also selling his supplies online to people all over the globe through his Web site,

    “”You never know how many friends you have until you start brewing at home,”” Wilder said, chuckling.

    A few tips from the beer master himself: Never drink out of the bottle – you will lose all the flavor sensations. It shouldn’t matter if it’s served warm or cold – the flavor is what you are looking for, not necessarily the temperature.

    Brew Your Own Brew is a place for students to go and fine-tune their beer and wine taste buds. Although it may be hard to imagine, there may be something better to drink on a Friday night than Keystone or Coors Light.

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