Home brewing 101

Make your own beer.

Brooklyn Brew Shop's Erica Shea and Stephen Valand

Brooklyn Brew Shop's Erica Shea and Stephen Valand Photograph: Roxana Marroquin

Home-brew kits

Brooklyn Brew Shop Beer-Making Kits Newbies can get their toes wet with these one-gallon starter kits. The apartment-friendly sets are the brainchild of Brooklyn Flea darlings Erica Shea and Stephen Valand. Each one comes with your choice of brew-ready mixes featuring grain, hops and yeast; choose from recipes such as the Everyday IPA or a Honey Sage Seasonal. Check out free instructional videos on the shop's website to help you along the way. Available online and at locations throughout the city; visit brooklynbrewshop.com. $40.

Brooklyn Homebrew Equipment Kits A full assortment of five-gallon kits is available at this dedicated home-brew storefront in Park Slope. Husband-and-wife team Benjamin Stutz and Danielle Cefaro offer everything from a $45 bare-bones setup to a $395 styled-out colossal kit including every accoutrement on a master brewer's mind. The shop also carries hops, grains, yeast and flavorings. Available at Brooklyn Homebrew, 163 8th St between Third and Fourth Aves, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-369-0776, brooklyn-homebrew.com). $45-$395.

Brewer's Best Kits These top-of-the-line sets are the gold standard for serious brewers. The equipment boxes don't include ingredients, but you can pick those up in the store, and visit brewersbestkits.com for recipe ideas. Available at Whole Foods Bowery Beer Room, 95 E Houston St at Bowery (212-420-1320). $97.99.

Home-brew classes

Brewshop 101: Brewing Essentials at City Brew Shop Early adopters can get a taste of New York's first home-brewing educational facility before it opens. Suds enthusiasts Douglas Amport and John LaPolla are running their classes out of a hacker collective's space in Brooklyn until they settle on a location for their own brick-and-mortar shop. Learn how to make beer from start to finish, and pick up easy fixes for common brewing problems. NYC Resistor, 87 Third Ave between Bergen and Dean Sts, fourth floor, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn (917-453-6616, citybrewshop.com). Next class: Sun 20 2--4pm; $55

Intro to Homebrewing at Brooklyn Kitchen Aspiring brew geeks can get schooled at the hub of Williamsburg's DIY food scene. Ray Girard (former president of the New York City Homebrewers Guild) gives all the basics on brewing, from milling grains to bottling. Plus, attendees get to take home some goodies: a few bottles brewed in class and an equipment starter kit. 100 Frost St at Meeker St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-389-2982, thebrooklynkitchen.com). Next class: Sun 20 2-4pm; $125.

Look for classes at Whole Foods Bowery Beer Room starting this summer.

Home-brew socializing

New York City Homebrew Tour Malt voyeurs can get a peek inside some of NYC's best amateur setups when beer scribe (and TONY contributor) Joshua Bernstein takes guests into the apartments of three superlative local brewers. Taste their concoctions, talk about their process, and see how they make it all happen in the confines of their NYC abodes. The next tour is tentatively planned for Mar 12; e-mail josh.bernstein@gmail.com for more details. $25.

Beer Table Homebrewer's Meetup All are welcome at this tavern's monthly home brewer meet-up. DIYers gather on the last Monday of every month to share their homemade suds, sample others' creations and trade notes. You don't have to bring your own to participate, but empty-handed attendees often reward the beer makers with some grub from Beer Table's hearty menu. 427B Seventh Ave between 14th and 15th Sts, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-965-1196, beertable.com). Last Monday of the month 9pm; free.

Brooklyn Wort: Brooklyn Homebrew Competition Taste 30 varieties of homemade beer at this biannual brew-off. Sip your way through the competitors' quaffs and vote on the winner. Judges—including borough brew luminaries Justin Philips (Beer Table), Kelly Taylor (Kelso) and Ben Granger (Bierkraft)—choose a second victor to share the $1,000 prize with the crowd favorite. The Gowanus Studio Space, 166 7th St between Second and Third Aves, Gowanus, Brooklyn (347-351-5753, brooklynwort.com). Feb 26. Two sessions: 2:30, 4:30pm. $30; sold out.

Home-brew books

Chris Cuzme, president of the New York City Homebrewers Guild, gives us his top three picks for instructional brew manuals.

The Complete Joy of Homebrewing, by Charlie Papazian "Charlie is the godfather of home brewing. He started the American Homebrewers Association. The whole book is [about how to] relax and have home brew. The book's been around for [more than] 20 years." (Harper Paperbacks, $15.99)

How to Brew, by John J. Palmer "You can go online and get [the first edition of] his whole book.If you don't want to pay, [this is the one to get.] John Palmer is good and easy to follow." (Brewers Publications, $19.95; free at howtobrew.com)

Dave Miller's Homebrewing Guide, by David G. Miller "[This book is] clean, clean, clean. I started with it. I've never had [a brewing] infection because I've been so scared. It's very thorough. It all comes out to be clean beer." (Storey Publishing, $16.95)