First New Zealand Homebrewers Conference Planned

SetHeight130-logo-transparent-400If everything goes as planned, homebrewers in New Zealand can look forward to their first ever national homebrew conference next year. Homebrewers Karl Summerfield, Mike Stringer, and Eduard Briem are planning the event for March 18–20 in Nelson, to coincide with Marchfest (a craft beer event). Confirmed speakers at the conference include Dr. Chris White (White Labs), Mike “Tasty” McDole (The Brewing Network), and several local craft brewers. The current lineup of events can be found at the website for the conference.

In order to be able to hold the festival, however, they need to sell 100 tickets before the event. To do this, they are selling tickets on the crowdsourcing site, Pledge Me. At the time this was posted, they were over 80% of the way to their goal and have 26 more days to reach it. If they reach their goal, they may be able to bring additional speakers to New Zealand, speakers such as . . . oh, I don’t know, maybe there are two guys — one that does a podcast and one that does a website — that would love to attend. Who knows? It could anyone, really.




Free Yeast (w/ AHA membership)

freeyesatThe American Homebrewers Association is offering a free packet of White Labs yeast for homebrewers who become members of the AHA through this website in October. Click the AHA ad on our site — it’s the yellow one that says, “Join Now” — and enter the promotional code YEAST15 when you sign up for an AHA membership. They will send you a coupon for a free packet of White Labs PurePitch yeast at the end of the month. Your membership includes a subscription to Zymurgy magazine, and all the other benefits the AHA. Navigating to their site via the ad on our page also benefits this website as well. Thank you for your support.

Second Anniversary!


I have a beard now, because all the cool brewers have one. I still have, however, the same stupid facial expression.

Today is the second anniversary of Beer and Wine Journal (BWJ). Archived articles go back to June 17, 2013, when the site was being built, but James Spencer and I (Chris Colby) didn’t announce that the site existed until a week later. Over this time, we’ve posted more than 480 articles, mostly related to beer and brewing.

The “Wine” in our site name reflects the fact what we had a “wine guy” on board at the start, but he dropped out shortly before we launched. Consequentially, I’m thinking of renaming the site to make if reflect the content better — Beer and Brewing Journal, maybe? — sometime down the road.

[Read more…]

Homebrew Heroics Contest Essays

brewsupsdLast week, I posted the winners of our Homebrew Heroics contest. Here are the runners up and a few “editors choice”  entries. Thanks to everyone who entered.  [Read more…]

Homebrew Heroics Contest Winners

brewsupsdToday, the winners of the Beer and Wine Journal/Basic Brewing Radio Homebrew Heroics Contest were first announced on Basic Brewing Radio. The top two winners received passes to the 2015 National Homebrew Conference (NHC) in San Diego. (In a twist of fate, one of the winners declared himself ineligible, so the prize was passed on to the next runner up.)

Below are the essays from the two original winners (Benjamin Grupe and Greg Niznik), plus the winning runner up (Tim Wang). Tomorrow, I will post a few of the other runners up. Thanks to everyone who entered and hope to see you at the NHC!

[Read more…]

Top 10 Articles of 2014

BWJlogoIn 2014, James and I posted over 200 articles to Beer and Wine Journal. Here are the top 10 reader favorites. (And below that, just because some articles “have legs,” are the top 10 articles that were posted in 2013, but read in 2014.) Let us know what you’re looking forward to seeing in 2015.

[Read more…]

Top 10 Homebrewing Recipes of 2014

BWJlogoWe post a fair amount of recipes on Beer and Wine Journal. Here are the ten that got the most traffic in 2014.

[Read more…]

10 Advanced Brewing Articles from 2014

BWJlogoAs 2014 draws to a close, here’s a look back at some of the things James and I posted this year. We try to post articles that appeal to every type of homebrewer. This includes articles that are aimed at advanced brewers, including articles that contained information on brewing science or were the results of scientific experiments. Here, in no particular order, are ten “advanced” homebrewing articles from 2014.

[Read more…]

We’re One Year Old Today!


Chris Colby, with Mike Simmons in the background.

On June 24, 2013, James Spencer and I launched Beer and Wine Journal, a website covering home beer brewing and . . . something else. I forget. It’ll come to me soon. That makes us one year old today. In the 365 days since then, we’ve managed to post 384 articles, an average of slightly more than 7 per week. We’ve taken a “just the facts” approach to explaining the nuts and bolts of homebrewing, with opinion pieces few and far between (and hopefully with enough humor to justify publishing them). We’ve garnered a lot of readers, and are having fun doing it.

In the fall, we are going to make a couple changes. For one thing, by then we should have a makeover — or at least a logo. We’re homebrewers making a website, not website folks or graphic designers doing a homebrew site, and we know the site looks a bit “plain Jane” right now. More importantly, we’re going to start adding video segments occasionally. But don’t worry, the full text of every article will be posted along with any of these segments. So, you won’t have to sit through a video to get the information if you’d rather just read (or skim) the article.


James Spencer (left) and Steve Wilkes (right).

As we begin to plan for “brewing season” in the fall, we’re curious to hear what you’d like to see covered. Write to me or James and let us know if there’s some topic that you’re curious about. Also, what do you want to see more of in general? (Recipes? Brewing techniques? Ingredient profiles? Equipment? Brewing science? Beer styles? Experiments? Adventurous brews? Reader questions? Uranus jokes?)

And finally, if you enjoy reading Beer and Wine Journal and would like to help us out, here are some things you can do. First and foremost, keep reading! The more traffic the site gets, the better. Secondly, if you think one of our articles might be of interest to any of your brewing friends, share it on social media and help us get the word out. [You can also “like” our page on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter (@BeerWineJournal). We average one post/tweet a day, so you don’t have to worry about us clogging up your feed.] Thirdly, if you’re shopping online, start at our site and (if possible) navigate to the website of your choice by clicking on one of the ads on our pages. And finally, you can support us directly, if you’d like. In the right column of our website, there are buttons that let you donate or subscribe (for as low as a buck a month – far less than the cost of a pint these days). Every little bit helps and will contribute to bringing you bigger, better website. (And a huge thanks to everyone who is already supporting us. James and I raise our glasses to you!)

Now, let our second year begin!


Related articles

Welcome to Beer and Wine Journal


Top 10 Articles From Our First Year

birthday-party-suppliesTo celebrate our first year of existence, I’m pulling together some lists of articles we’ve published and I’ll post them throughout the week. I’ll have lists of articles for extract brewers. all-grain brewers, hop lovers, and more. Today, I’ll start with the obvious list. Here’s our most-read articles from our first year of publication.

[Read more…]