BYO News Page

Updated October 11, 2019

Homebrew News

Breweries Offer Disaster Help

Last year we covered Sierra Nevada’s disaster relief effort after several neighboring towns were destroyed by the Camp Fire. In September, Hurricane Dorian leveled two heavily populated islands in the Bahamas. Just as when Hurricane Harvey unleashed its wrath on the Houston, Texas area, local craft breweries in Florida opened their doors for locals to fill their water jugs from their water system. Over 63 breweries in Florida alone offered free water fills to anyone preparing for the hurricane to strike. Just another way craft brewers are helping make a difference.

2020 BYO Boot Camp

The site for the 2020 BYO Boot Camp was announced along with a revamped schedule of events. The upcoming Boot Camp will be held in downtown Denver, Colorado from March 26–28 at the Embassy Suites. It is the perfect location within walking distance to easily explore much of Denver’s vibrant craft beer scene. New this year: The Boot Camp will be three days total, two days being small-scale, full-day workshops plus a full day of brewing talks featuring many of the expert speakers. Two- or three-day options include lunch, one full day of back-to-back brewing seminars from our experts, and a post-Boot Camp Denver-Area Craft Beer Reception Thursday and Saturday. If you have not attended a BYO Boot Camp before, hopefully this will be your year. Mark your calendars for March or sign up today at

Beer Remains #1

According to a poll conducted by Gallup this summer, beer remains America’s most popular alcoholic drink to imbibe. Some other notable factoids gathered from their survey was that beer was still the preferred drink of men while women still steered towards wine. Also folks in the Midwest and Eastern US were more likely to be partial to beer over wine and liquor.

In another news release, the Brewers Association’s mid-year report found that craft beer sales continued its upward trend, holding steady at a 4% growth rate. In their report, the BA’s Chief Economist Bart Watson noted that the growth continues to be found in the smaller brewery, taproom, and brewpub segments. “As of June 30, there were 7,480 active craft breweries, up from 6,464 during a comparable timeframe last year.”

2019 Southern Hemisphere Hop Harvest Report

Australia Report:

In a report put out by HPA (Hop Products Australia), the three farms they oversee saw a 13% year over year increase in production. This included increases across their proprietary hop varieties, with an 8.6% increase in Galaxy, a 10.8% increase in Vic Secret, and a 125% increase in their newest proprietary hop variety Enigma. “This year’s production volume allowed us to meet contractual obligations across all varieties. All three farms endured major weather events during the growing season. Our Victorian farms — Rostrevor Hop Gardens and Buffalo Valley — experienced extended periods of heatwave conditions through which our irrigation systems performed well, preventing impact on yield. Tasmania experienced widespread bushfires throughout January when the majority of the crop at Bushy Park Estates was still in burr. Although these conditions did not affect yield, they are indicative of the hot and dry conditions that characterised this season.”

New Zealand Report:

According to Doug Donelan, CEO of New Zealand Hops Limited: “Harvest conditions were good commencing in late February and running through to the start of April. Overall harvest quality was very pleasing in a year that saw a significant increase in the cooperatives planted area. Yields were below average on the whole and this is mostly attributable to the large number of baby plants on new ground. High summer temperatures and long dry spells without rainfall also impacted cone development in some varieties, however others, especially early types like Motueka responded well to the conditions as did Rakau and Waimea. Aroma intensity scores were high on average throughout grading and selection with Nelson Sauvin, Riwaka and Moutere really standing up well to the conditions. Harvest volumes are set to increase further in coming seasons as new plantings continue to mature and further developments and expansion on planted areas continue.“

South Africa Report:

According to importer Greg Crum of ZA Hops: “In general, the yield for 2019 was about 5% less than expected.  While not great, it is better than for 2018. 2019 also brought a second straight year of drought, though drought conditions were not as bad as for 2018.  Farms that had adequate water in their reservoirs faired better than those who didn’t.  For example, one farm ran out of water about two months prior to harvest and their crop of Southern Passion was rejected. South African hops will be available this year in North America through ZA Hops with sales to homebrewers via a new commerce website.” Direct to consumer commerce site was still in development during production of this piece.

What’s New

Anvil Bottle Capper

The new bottle capper from Anvil Brewing Equipment features several key elements engineered to make it safe, durable, and easy to use. Some of the specialty designs include a broad free-standing base to prevent tipping and one hand operation allowing your other hand to stabilize the bottle. A magnetic head frame holds the cap in place prior to capping and the metal capping jaws provide consistent performance for years. The mast is foldable for convenient storage when not in use, it actually has a wall hanger for storage as well. The unit is adjustable for bottles up to 14 inches tall (36 cm) and an optional 29 mm (European) capping bell is available.

The Guide To Craft Beer

As of early 2019, more than 7,000 breweries are active in the United States. In The Guide to Craft Beer, the Brewers Association has broken the book into four sections, the first section covers 80+ beer styles to provide framework for the style, the second section reflects on pairing beer and food, the third section celebrates the independent craft beer community, and the fourth section is a tasting log where the reader can record 75+ tasting experiences. For more information or to purchase, visit:

Spike Brewing Redesigned 2-in. Sight Glass

The engineers at Spike Brewing went back to the drawing board to build their new sight glass from the ground up. The new design removes the long lag bolts, which at times need adjustments to prevent leaking and are often comprised of 26 parts. The new Spike Sight Glass has only 5 parts and no tools are required to disassemble the piece. Simply twist off the knurled end. The extra thick Pyrex®glass is protected from breakage by a 304 stainless steel guard. Total length is 6-in. (15 cm) and is 25% lighter than previous sight glasses. The new sight glass retails at $60 (USD). To learn more, check out:


Formerly known as the experimental #06277 then Denali, Hopsteiner has recently announced a newly-named hop variety in their lineup. Sultana™ is a mix between 50% Nugget, 25% Zeus and 25% male USDA hop parentage and its aromatic oil components combined with strong disease resistance means it may make a big impact in the coming years in the hop market. Hopsteiner notes that it leads with a strong pineapple component, with pine and citrus characteristics not far behind. SMaSH anyone? For more info, visit:

BrewBuilt CoolStix™

Controlling your beer’s fermentation temperatures can make a world of difference in the final beer’s flavor profile. The BrewBuilt CoolStix™ is a new “low-profile” temperature control unit that accommodates several different types of fermenters including carboys, buckets, Speidel, and any fermenter with a tri clamp fitting on top. The complete kit includes a submersible pump to circulate cooling solution, a digital temperature controller to regulate flow, thermowell, tubing, and clamps. A cooler of ice water is the only additional piece required. The complete CoolStix™ kit starts at $129.99. For more info, go to:

The Spike Nano System

Spike Brewing enters the turnkey nanobrewing kit world with the announcement of their 1-BBL system. Features include a steam condenser that removes the need to build a venting system, a UL-approved electrical panel to power the Nano System, two custom logo plates to brand your system, and a drip tray located below the 3 vessels for easy cleaning from any spills or drips. Available in both single-batch and double-batch brewhouse capacity and in both home (240V) or industrial (208V) options depending on your power supply. The double-batch system is capable of supplying over 27,000W of power. At 1 BBL, this could be used for homebrewers, pilot batches, or for a nanobrewery. To learn more system details, check out:

The New IPA: Scientific Guide to Hop Aroma and Flavor

If you are looking to take your IPAs (or any hop-forward beer) to the next level, Scott Janish has pouring through scientific research that he disseminates into a new hop-lover’s compendium. His blog posts at has for the past several years has been a bastion for those looking to brew hazy style IPAs — with insight into not only the key ingredients for brewing the style, but also techniques and tools that brewers can utilize to get the most out of the style. In The New IPA, he refines concepts from his blog and lays them out into an orderly guide to making the most of this style. For more information on the book or to order a copy for yourself, vist:

BTH Brew Supplies Gentle Rain Fly Sparger

The new Gentle Rain Fly Sparger is made for all-grain brewers looking for an effective sparge water dispersal system. Using a six-hole, billet-machined stainless steel nozzle, it comes equipped to connect directly to your hot liquor tank. The 7-piece sparging kit includes an acrylic plate that fits over most mash tuns, two ½-in. stainless steel disconnects, 24-in. (60-cm) food-grade silicone tubing, and two stainless worm clamps. Tubing can be trimmed to best fit your system. The kit retails for $48.99 and the steel nozzle can be purchased separately. Find out more at

The ANVIL Foundry™

This new all-in-one brewing system features an ultra low-watt density, triple element heater in order to prevent scorching. Currently available in two sizes, a 10.5-gallon (40-L) model to produce 5-gallon (19-L) batches and a 6.5-gallon (24.6-L) model, which produces 3-gallon (11-L) batches. The Foundry can switch between 120V, 1600W, 13A rating and 240V, 2800W, 12A rating if the brewer is looking for faster heating times. The high flow grain basket is designed to eliminate stuck mashes and the large capacity increases efficiency. The unit comes with an immersion chiller with hoses and fittings. Optional recirculation pump kit and a distillation kit are available as well. Units start at $274.99. Learn more at

Upcoming Events

October 19 2nd Annual CYC Beer Fest

Hosted by the homebrew club SoCal Cerveceros Y Cerveceras, the CYC Beer Fest is located at the Plaza De La Raza in Los Angeles, California. Homebrew and craft beer will be pouring, as well as a lineup of local food vendors, and artisan craft vendors. This is a fundraiser event for Latino-owned businesses, charities, and non-profits.

November 1 & 2 NanoCon 2019

NanoCon comes to Vancouver, Washington, just across the bridge from Portland, Oregon. Join Nanobreweries (and Nanos in-planning) for two days packed with over 30 seminars, workshops, and events geared just for the small-scale commercial brewery. Attendees will learn from experts and fellow Nano colleagues about actionable ways to improve – or launch – your brewery with ideas targeted just for your small-scale size and business direction.

November 2 — Learn to Homebrew Day

The 21st annual Learn to Homebrew Day takes places at several dozen locations around the country. Take the time to invite folks who may be interested in the hobby to come join along for a day of homebrewing. To find an official location, you can visit the American Homebrewer’s Association website or you can take the initiative yourself and brew a batch with a friend or family member.

November 2 – Entry Deadline

The 8th annual Beer For Boobs competition organized by the Scioto Olentangy Darby Zymurgists (SODZ) is open to any amateur homebrewer age 21 or older. All net proceeds go to benefit Beer for Boobs breast cancer research, a non-profit organization started by White Labs founder and Vice President Lisa White. To date, SODZ has raised over $6,000 for the charity. All entries must be received by November 2 and judging takes place November 16. For more information or to register, visit