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Best Brews to Drink to Celebrate Session Beer Day

Best Brews to Drink to Celebrate Session Beer Day


Favorite low-alcohol brews to drink April 7

It just seems so fitting that Session Beer Day (April 7) should fall on a Saturday in spring.

After all, these are beers generally characterized as flavorful, interesting brews with a low enough alcohol content to allow you to drink several at a time and no regret it the next morning. (OK, maybe make that several within reason.) For those unfamiliar with the genre, session beers are those that clock in around 4- to 5- percent alcohol by volume — a relative drop in the barrel when compared to the many popular high-alcohol brews with ABVs that hang out in the teens.

In short, these are perfect all-day-drinking beers. Better yet, they're not restricted to just one style of beer — you can find everything from pale ales and nut brown ales to dry stouts and lagers — so there's sure to be a great choice no matter your preference.

Here are recommendations for 12 favorites to celebrate the day!


Brewing up community: Beer crafters take a day to celebrate their hoppy hobby

Members of the Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) — the area’s local homebrew club (left to right) Travis Laibl, Aaron Grenier, Chris Lamb, Meghan Lamb, Ruben Vela, Raymond Chavez, Keith Coburn, Matt Hibbs, Emma Donner and Barley the “brew dog” — raise their glasses to toast National Homebrew Day on Saturday in front of Squirrel Fight Artisan Brewing in Moses Lake.
Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald

Chris Lamb stirs a pot of wort on Saturday during the local homebrew club’s celebration of National Homebrew Day on Saturday.

Travis Laibl (right) shows off a piece of brewing equipment to fellow Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) club member Raymond Chavez on Saturday during the club’s commemoration of National Homebrew Day.

MOSES LAKE — Aaron Grenier is honest about why he started brewing beer at home.

“I just like the process, and I needed a hobby,” Grenier said.

It’s Saturday, but Grenier isn’t at home. He is standing in the Vista Village shopping mall parking lot in front of Squirrel Fight Artisan Brewing at 530 W. Valley Road, Suite N. He is one of nine local home brewers and members of the Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) — zymurgy being the science of fermentation — gathered here to celebrate National Homebrew Day by brewing beer.

“We’re all brewing our own recipes today,” said Chris Lamb, who works for SGL Carbon when he’s not busy brewing beer. “There are four of us here making beer, all in different stages of the process, and we’re making different beers.”

It’s the club’s first meeting in more than a year, and it is hoping to start its monthly meetings again.

Because while everyone here likes beer — both making it and drinking it — they also like the community they have formed around beer making. And the MUGZ members have missed being together, swapping ideas and helping each other.

“One of the best parts of this hobby is getting together,” Lamb said. “Whether it’s around a kettle, or sharing beers, it’s the opportunity to get together, and COVID-19 has really been a hindrance to that.”

Beer making is an ancient art practiced by the earliest civilizations, and involves turning malted barley — barley that has been allowed to sprout and then dried or roasted to stop germination — into an alcoholic beverage through various cooking steps, including with hops to add bitterness, cooling the resulting mixture and fermenting it for a couple of weeks with yeast.

After that, beer is typically aged in bottles or kegs for another few weeks before it can be drunk.

“It’s a simple hobby,” Lamb added. “All you need is a stove and a 3-gallon kettle.”

Except when you brew from grain, as all of the gathered MUGZ members are this day, it’s a little more complicated than throwing malt extract into water and boiling it for an hour. Lamb has an impressive, three-burner portable stove setup to heat, cook and hold his brewing kegs in place.

“My setup wasn’t this fancy,” said Ruben Vela, one of the owners of Squirrel Fight Artisan Brewing, who started out as a home brewer. “My setup was a couple of pots, and I started the stove.”

In fact, it’s the gear — the pots with thermometers, the burners — that costs money, Grenier said.

“You can make a 5-gallon batch for $30,” he said. “Making the beer is cheap. Grain is cheap, water is cheap. But the equipment, that’s what gets you.”

Lamb is currently running hot water through a giant kettle of malted barley that had been steeping in warm water. It’s called sparging, he said, and the goal is to stop the process of converting starches to sugar. At which point, Lamb will boil the remaining liquid — the wort — for about an hour.

“This will be a Kolsch beer, a very light kind of beer, mildly hoppy,” he said.

Grenier also said he likes being a part of the community of homebrewers, and notes home brewed beer has become a form of currency for some transactions.

“I’ve used it to pay a guy who sprays my house for spiders,” he said. “He told me, ‘I just want a six-pack of your home brew.’”

The club’s regular meetings on the second Thursday of every month have been on hold since the start of the pandemic, but several members said they hope with this year’s National Homebrew Day, the club will start meeting again.

“This is our kickoff to resume meeting,” said Travis Laibl, who is busy brewing a raspberry-infused beer called, “Honey, I Got the Covid Blonde Ale.” “We’ve had to brew from a distance and not really hang out or share beer.”

It doesn’t help that the local home brew club is losing the local beer supply place with the closure of Tri-State Outfitters in Moses Lake.

“They were the local home brew shop and they supplied us with the grain and yeast and hops and stuff,” Lamb said. “So we’re real bummed that they’re closing out on us and we won’t have a local home brew store.”

Lamb and Laibl both said they hope someone steps up and replaces Tri-State as the county’s home brewing supplier.

Until then, Laibl said they’ll order brewing supplies by mail and keep doing what they all like doing best — brewing beer, drinking beer and sharing beer.

“We prefer home brew, but we just love beer,” he said.

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached at [email protected]

Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald

Travis Laibl (right) shows off a piece of brewing equipment to fellow Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) club member Raymond Chavez on Saturday during the club’s commemoration of National Homebrew Day.

Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald

Chris Lamb stirs a pot of wort on Saturday during the local homebrew club’s celebration of National Homebrew Day on Saturday.


Brewing up community: Beer crafters take a day to celebrate their hoppy hobby

Members of the Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) — the area’s local homebrew club (left to right) Travis Laibl, Aaron Grenier, Chris Lamb, Meghan Lamb, Ruben Vela, Raymond Chavez, Keith Coburn, Matt Hibbs, Emma Donner and Barley the “brew dog” — raise their glasses to toast National Homebrew Day on Saturday in front of Squirrel Fight Artisan Brewing in Moses Lake.
Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald

Chris Lamb stirs a pot of wort on Saturday during the local homebrew club’s celebration of National Homebrew Day on Saturday.

Travis Laibl (right) shows off a piece of brewing equipment to fellow Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) club member Raymond Chavez on Saturday during the club’s commemoration of National Homebrew Day.

MOSES LAKE — Aaron Grenier is honest about why he started brewing beer at home.

“I just like the process, and I needed a hobby,” Grenier said.

It’s Saturday, but Grenier isn’t at home. He is standing in the Vista Village shopping mall parking lot in front of Squirrel Fight Artisan Brewing at 530 W. Valley Road, Suite N. He is one of nine local home brewers and members of the Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) — zymurgy being the science of fermentation — gathered here to celebrate National Homebrew Day by brewing beer.

“We’re all brewing our own recipes today,” said Chris Lamb, who works for SGL Carbon when he’s not busy brewing beer. “There are four of us here making beer, all in different stages of the process, and we’re making different beers.”

It’s the club’s first meeting in more than a year, and it is hoping to start its monthly meetings again.

Because while everyone here likes beer — both making it and drinking it — they also like the community they have formed around beer making. And the MUGZ members have missed being together, swapping ideas and helping each other.

“One of the best parts of this hobby is getting together,” Lamb said. “Whether it’s around a kettle, or sharing beers, it’s the opportunity to get together, and COVID-19 has really been a hindrance to that.”

Beer making is an ancient art practiced by the earliest civilizations, and involves turning malted barley — barley that has been allowed to sprout and then dried or roasted to stop germination — into an alcoholic beverage through various cooking steps, including with hops to add bitterness, cooling the resulting mixture and fermenting it for a couple of weeks with yeast.

After that, beer is typically aged in bottles or kegs for another few weeks before it can be drunk.

“It’s a simple hobby,” Lamb added. “All you need is a stove and a 3-gallon kettle.”

Except when you brew from grain, as all of the gathered MUGZ members are this day, it’s a little more complicated than throwing malt extract into water and boiling it for an hour. Lamb has an impressive, three-burner portable stove setup to heat, cook and hold his brewing kegs in place.

“My setup wasn’t this fancy,” said Ruben Vela, one of the owners of Squirrel Fight Artisan Brewing, who started out as a home brewer. “My setup was a couple of pots, and I started the stove.”

In fact, it’s the gear — the pots with thermometers, the burners — that costs money, Grenier said.

“You can make a 5-gallon batch for $30,” he said. “Making the beer is cheap. Grain is cheap, water is cheap. But the equipment, that’s what gets you.”

Lamb is currently running hot water through a giant kettle of malted barley that had been steeping in warm water. It’s called sparging, he said, and the goal is to stop the process of converting starches to sugar. At which point, Lamb will boil the remaining liquid — the wort — for about an hour.

“This will be a Kolsch beer, a very light kind of beer, mildly hoppy,” he said.

Grenier also said he likes being a part of the community of homebrewers, and notes home brewed beer has become a form of currency for some transactions.

“I’ve used it to pay a guy who sprays my house for spiders,” he said. “He told me, ‘I just want a six-pack of your home brew.’”

The club’s regular meetings on the second Thursday of every month have been on hold since the start of the pandemic, but several members said they hope with this year’s National Homebrew Day, the club will start meeting again.

“This is our kickoff to resume meeting,” said Travis Laibl, who is busy brewing a raspberry-infused beer called, “Honey, I Got the Covid Blonde Ale.” “We’ve had to brew from a distance and not really hang out or share beer.”

It doesn’t help that the local home brew club is losing the local beer supply place with the closure of Tri-State Outfitters in Moses Lake.

“They were the local home brew shop and they supplied us with the grain and yeast and hops and stuff,” Lamb said. “So we’re real bummed that they’re closing out on us and we won’t have a local home brew store.”

Lamb and Laibl both said they hope someone steps up and replaces Tri-State as the county’s home brewing supplier.

Until then, Laibl said they’ll order brewing supplies by mail and keep doing what they all like doing best — brewing beer, drinking beer and sharing beer.

“We prefer home brew, but we just love beer,” he said.

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached at [email protected]

Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald

Travis Laibl (right) shows off a piece of brewing equipment to fellow Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) club member Raymond Chavez on Saturday during the club’s commemoration of National Homebrew Day.

Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald

Chris Lamb stirs a pot of wort on Saturday during the local homebrew club’s celebration of National Homebrew Day on Saturday.


Brewing up community: Beer crafters take a day to celebrate their hoppy hobby

Members of the Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) — the area’s local homebrew club (left to right) Travis Laibl, Aaron Grenier, Chris Lamb, Meghan Lamb, Ruben Vela, Raymond Chavez, Keith Coburn, Matt Hibbs, Emma Donner and Barley the “brew dog” — raise their glasses to toast National Homebrew Day on Saturday in front of Squirrel Fight Artisan Brewing in Moses Lake.
Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald

Chris Lamb stirs a pot of wort on Saturday during the local homebrew club’s celebration of National Homebrew Day on Saturday.

Travis Laibl (right) shows off a piece of brewing equipment to fellow Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) club member Raymond Chavez on Saturday during the club’s commemoration of National Homebrew Day.

MOSES LAKE — Aaron Grenier is honest about why he started brewing beer at home.

“I just like the process, and I needed a hobby,” Grenier said.

It’s Saturday, but Grenier isn’t at home. He is standing in the Vista Village shopping mall parking lot in front of Squirrel Fight Artisan Brewing at 530 W. Valley Road, Suite N. He is one of nine local home brewers and members of the Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) — zymurgy being the science of fermentation — gathered here to celebrate National Homebrew Day by brewing beer.

“We’re all brewing our own recipes today,” said Chris Lamb, who works for SGL Carbon when he’s not busy brewing beer. “There are four of us here making beer, all in different stages of the process, and we’re making different beers.”

It’s the club’s first meeting in more than a year, and it is hoping to start its monthly meetings again.

Because while everyone here likes beer — both making it and drinking it — they also like the community they have formed around beer making. And the MUGZ members have missed being together, swapping ideas and helping each other.

“One of the best parts of this hobby is getting together,” Lamb said. “Whether it’s around a kettle, or sharing beers, it’s the opportunity to get together, and COVID-19 has really been a hindrance to that.”

Beer making is an ancient art practiced by the earliest civilizations, and involves turning malted barley — barley that has been allowed to sprout and then dried or roasted to stop germination — into an alcoholic beverage through various cooking steps, including with hops to add bitterness, cooling the resulting mixture and fermenting it for a couple of weeks with yeast.

After that, beer is typically aged in bottles or kegs for another few weeks before it can be drunk.

“It’s a simple hobby,” Lamb added. “All you need is a stove and a 3-gallon kettle.”

Except when you brew from grain, as all of the gathered MUGZ members are this day, it’s a little more complicated than throwing malt extract into water and boiling it for an hour. Lamb has an impressive, three-burner portable stove setup to heat, cook and hold his brewing kegs in place.

“My setup wasn’t this fancy,” said Ruben Vela, one of the owners of Squirrel Fight Artisan Brewing, who started out as a home brewer. “My setup was a couple of pots, and I started the stove.”

In fact, it’s the gear — the pots with thermometers, the burners — that costs money, Grenier said.

“You can make a 5-gallon batch for $30,” he said. “Making the beer is cheap. Grain is cheap, water is cheap. But the equipment, that’s what gets you.”

Lamb is currently running hot water through a giant kettle of malted barley that had been steeping in warm water. It’s called sparging, he said, and the goal is to stop the process of converting starches to sugar. At which point, Lamb will boil the remaining liquid — the wort — for about an hour.

“This will be a Kolsch beer, a very light kind of beer, mildly hoppy,” he said.

Grenier also said he likes being a part of the community of homebrewers, and notes home brewed beer has become a form of currency for some transactions.

“I’ve used it to pay a guy who sprays my house for spiders,” he said. “He told me, ‘I just want a six-pack of your home brew.’”

The club’s regular meetings on the second Thursday of every month have been on hold since the start of the pandemic, but several members said they hope with this year’s National Homebrew Day, the club will start meeting again.

“This is our kickoff to resume meeting,” said Travis Laibl, who is busy brewing a raspberry-infused beer called, “Honey, I Got the Covid Blonde Ale.” “We’ve had to brew from a distance and not really hang out or share beer.”

It doesn’t help that the local home brew club is losing the local beer supply place with the closure of Tri-State Outfitters in Moses Lake.

“They were the local home brew shop and they supplied us with the grain and yeast and hops and stuff,” Lamb said. “So we’re real bummed that they’re closing out on us and we won’t have a local home brew store.”

Lamb and Laibl both said they hope someone steps up and replaces Tri-State as the county’s home brewing supplier.

Until then, Laibl said they’ll order brewing supplies by mail and keep doing what they all like doing best — brewing beer, drinking beer and sharing beer.

“We prefer home brew, but we just love beer,” he said.

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached at [email protected]

Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald

Travis Laibl (right) shows off a piece of brewing equipment to fellow Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) club member Raymond Chavez on Saturday during the club’s commemoration of National Homebrew Day.

Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald

Chris Lamb stirs a pot of wort on Saturday during the local homebrew club’s celebration of National Homebrew Day on Saturday.


Brewing up community: Beer crafters take a day to celebrate their hoppy hobby

Members of the Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) — the area’s local homebrew club (left to right) Travis Laibl, Aaron Grenier, Chris Lamb, Meghan Lamb, Ruben Vela, Raymond Chavez, Keith Coburn, Matt Hibbs, Emma Donner and Barley the “brew dog” — raise their glasses to toast National Homebrew Day on Saturday in front of Squirrel Fight Artisan Brewing in Moses Lake.
Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald

Chris Lamb stirs a pot of wort on Saturday during the local homebrew club’s celebration of National Homebrew Day on Saturday.

Travis Laibl (right) shows off a piece of brewing equipment to fellow Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) club member Raymond Chavez on Saturday during the club’s commemoration of National Homebrew Day.

MOSES LAKE — Aaron Grenier is honest about why he started brewing beer at home.

“I just like the process, and I needed a hobby,” Grenier said.

It’s Saturday, but Grenier isn’t at home. He is standing in the Vista Village shopping mall parking lot in front of Squirrel Fight Artisan Brewing at 530 W. Valley Road, Suite N. He is one of nine local home brewers and members of the Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) — zymurgy being the science of fermentation — gathered here to celebrate National Homebrew Day by brewing beer.

“We’re all brewing our own recipes today,” said Chris Lamb, who works for SGL Carbon when he’s not busy brewing beer. “There are four of us here making beer, all in different stages of the process, and we’re making different beers.”

It’s the club’s first meeting in more than a year, and it is hoping to start its monthly meetings again.

Because while everyone here likes beer — both making it and drinking it — they also like the community they have formed around beer making. And the MUGZ members have missed being together, swapping ideas and helping each other.

“One of the best parts of this hobby is getting together,” Lamb said. “Whether it’s around a kettle, or sharing beers, it’s the opportunity to get together, and COVID-19 has really been a hindrance to that.”

Beer making is an ancient art practiced by the earliest civilizations, and involves turning malted barley — barley that has been allowed to sprout and then dried or roasted to stop germination — into an alcoholic beverage through various cooking steps, including with hops to add bitterness, cooling the resulting mixture and fermenting it for a couple of weeks with yeast.

After that, beer is typically aged in bottles or kegs for another few weeks before it can be drunk.

“It’s a simple hobby,” Lamb added. “All you need is a stove and a 3-gallon kettle.”

Except when you brew from grain, as all of the gathered MUGZ members are this day, it’s a little more complicated than throwing malt extract into water and boiling it for an hour. Lamb has an impressive, three-burner portable stove setup to heat, cook and hold his brewing kegs in place.

“My setup wasn’t this fancy,” said Ruben Vela, one of the owners of Squirrel Fight Artisan Brewing, who started out as a home brewer. “My setup was a couple of pots, and I started the stove.”

In fact, it’s the gear — the pots with thermometers, the burners — that costs money, Grenier said.

“You can make a 5-gallon batch for $30,” he said. “Making the beer is cheap. Grain is cheap, water is cheap. But the equipment, that’s what gets you.”

Lamb is currently running hot water through a giant kettle of malted barley that had been steeping in warm water. It’s called sparging, he said, and the goal is to stop the process of converting starches to sugar. At which point, Lamb will boil the remaining liquid — the wort — for about an hour.

“This will be a Kolsch beer, a very light kind of beer, mildly hoppy,” he said.

Grenier also said he likes being a part of the community of homebrewers, and notes home brewed beer has become a form of currency for some transactions.

“I’ve used it to pay a guy who sprays my house for spiders,” he said. “He told me, ‘I just want a six-pack of your home brew.’”

The club’s regular meetings on the second Thursday of every month have been on hold since the start of the pandemic, but several members said they hope with this year’s National Homebrew Day, the club will start meeting again.

“This is our kickoff to resume meeting,” said Travis Laibl, who is busy brewing a raspberry-infused beer called, “Honey, I Got the Covid Blonde Ale.” “We’ve had to brew from a distance and not really hang out or share beer.”

It doesn’t help that the local home brew club is losing the local beer supply place with the closure of Tri-State Outfitters in Moses Lake.

“They were the local home brew shop and they supplied us with the grain and yeast and hops and stuff,” Lamb said. “So we’re real bummed that they’re closing out on us and we won’t have a local home brew store.”

Lamb and Laibl both said they hope someone steps up and replaces Tri-State as the county’s home brewing supplier.

Until then, Laibl said they’ll order brewing supplies by mail and keep doing what they all like doing best — brewing beer, drinking beer and sharing beer.

“We prefer home brew, but we just love beer,” he said.

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached at [email protected]

Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald

Travis Laibl (right) shows off a piece of brewing equipment to fellow Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) club member Raymond Chavez on Saturday during the club’s commemoration of National Homebrew Day.

Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald

Chris Lamb stirs a pot of wort on Saturday during the local homebrew club’s celebration of National Homebrew Day on Saturday.


Brewing up community: Beer crafters take a day to celebrate their hoppy hobby

Members of the Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) — the area’s local homebrew club (left to right) Travis Laibl, Aaron Grenier, Chris Lamb, Meghan Lamb, Ruben Vela, Raymond Chavez, Keith Coburn, Matt Hibbs, Emma Donner and Barley the “brew dog” — raise their glasses to toast National Homebrew Day on Saturday in front of Squirrel Fight Artisan Brewing in Moses Lake.
Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald

Chris Lamb stirs a pot of wort on Saturday during the local homebrew club’s celebration of National Homebrew Day on Saturday.

Travis Laibl (right) shows off a piece of brewing equipment to fellow Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) club member Raymond Chavez on Saturday during the club’s commemoration of National Homebrew Day.

MOSES LAKE — Aaron Grenier is honest about why he started brewing beer at home.

“I just like the process, and I needed a hobby,” Grenier said.

It’s Saturday, but Grenier isn’t at home. He is standing in the Vista Village shopping mall parking lot in front of Squirrel Fight Artisan Brewing at 530 W. Valley Road, Suite N. He is one of nine local home brewers and members of the Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) — zymurgy being the science of fermentation — gathered here to celebrate National Homebrew Day by brewing beer.

“We’re all brewing our own recipes today,” said Chris Lamb, who works for SGL Carbon when he’s not busy brewing beer. “There are four of us here making beer, all in different stages of the process, and we’re making different beers.”

It’s the club’s first meeting in more than a year, and it is hoping to start its monthly meetings again.

Because while everyone here likes beer — both making it and drinking it — they also like the community they have formed around beer making. And the MUGZ members have missed being together, swapping ideas and helping each other.

“One of the best parts of this hobby is getting together,” Lamb said. “Whether it’s around a kettle, or sharing beers, it’s the opportunity to get together, and COVID-19 has really been a hindrance to that.”

Beer making is an ancient art practiced by the earliest civilizations, and involves turning malted barley — barley that has been allowed to sprout and then dried or roasted to stop germination — into an alcoholic beverage through various cooking steps, including with hops to add bitterness, cooling the resulting mixture and fermenting it for a couple of weeks with yeast.

After that, beer is typically aged in bottles or kegs for another few weeks before it can be drunk.

“It’s a simple hobby,” Lamb added. “All you need is a stove and a 3-gallon kettle.”

Except when you brew from grain, as all of the gathered MUGZ members are this day, it’s a little more complicated than throwing malt extract into water and boiling it for an hour. Lamb has an impressive, three-burner portable stove setup to heat, cook and hold his brewing kegs in place.

“My setup wasn’t this fancy,” said Ruben Vela, one of the owners of Squirrel Fight Artisan Brewing, who started out as a home brewer. “My setup was a couple of pots, and I started the stove.”

In fact, it’s the gear — the pots with thermometers, the burners — that costs money, Grenier said.

“You can make a 5-gallon batch for $30,” he said. “Making the beer is cheap. Grain is cheap, water is cheap. But the equipment, that’s what gets you.”

Lamb is currently running hot water through a giant kettle of malted barley that had been steeping in warm water. It’s called sparging, he said, and the goal is to stop the process of converting starches to sugar. At which point, Lamb will boil the remaining liquid — the wort — for about an hour.

“This will be a Kolsch beer, a very light kind of beer, mildly hoppy,” he said.

Grenier also said he likes being a part of the community of homebrewers, and notes home brewed beer has become a form of currency for some transactions.

“I’ve used it to pay a guy who sprays my house for spiders,” he said. “He told me, ‘I just want a six-pack of your home brew.’”

The club’s regular meetings on the second Thursday of every month have been on hold since the start of the pandemic, but several members said they hope with this year’s National Homebrew Day, the club will start meeting again.

“This is our kickoff to resume meeting,” said Travis Laibl, who is busy brewing a raspberry-infused beer called, “Honey, I Got the Covid Blonde Ale.” “We’ve had to brew from a distance and not really hang out or share beer.”

It doesn’t help that the local home brew club is losing the local beer supply place with the closure of Tri-State Outfitters in Moses Lake.

“They were the local home brew shop and they supplied us with the grain and yeast and hops and stuff,” Lamb said. “So we’re real bummed that they’re closing out on us and we won’t have a local home brew store.”

Lamb and Laibl both said they hope someone steps up and replaces Tri-State as the county’s home brewing supplier.

Until then, Laibl said they’ll order brewing supplies by mail and keep doing what they all like doing best — brewing beer, drinking beer and sharing beer.

“We prefer home brew, but we just love beer,” he said.

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached at [email protected]

Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald

Travis Laibl (right) shows off a piece of brewing equipment to fellow Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) club member Raymond Chavez on Saturday during the club’s commemoration of National Homebrew Day.

Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald

Chris Lamb stirs a pot of wort on Saturday during the local homebrew club’s celebration of National Homebrew Day on Saturday.


Brewing up community: Beer crafters take a day to celebrate their hoppy hobby

Members of the Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) — the area’s local homebrew club (left to right) Travis Laibl, Aaron Grenier, Chris Lamb, Meghan Lamb, Ruben Vela, Raymond Chavez, Keith Coburn, Matt Hibbs, Emma Donner and Barley the “brew dog” — raise their glasses to toast National Homebrew Day on Saturday in front of Squirrel Fight Artisan Brewing in Moses Lake.
Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald

Chris Lamb stirs a pot of wort on Saturday during the local homebrew club’s celebration of National Homebrew Day on Saturday.

Travis Laibl (right) shows off a piece of brewing equipment to fellow Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) club member Raymond Chavez on Saturday during the club’s commemoration of National Homebrew Day.

MOSES LAKE — Aaron Grenier is honest about why he started brewing beer at home.

“I just like the process, and I needed a hobby,” Grenier said.

It’s Saturday, but Grenier isn’t at home. He is standing in the Vista Village shopping mall parking lot in front of Squirrel Fight Artisan Brewing at 530 W. Valley Road, Suite N. He is one of nine local home brewers and members of the Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) — zymurgy being the science of fermentation — gathered here to celebrate National Homebrew Day by brewing beer.

“We’re all brewing our own recipes today,” said Chris Lamb, who works for SGL Carbon when he’s not busy brewing beer. “There are four of us here making beer, all in different stages of the process, and we’re making different beers.”

It’s the club’s first meeting in more than a year, and it is hoping to start its monthly meetings again.

Because while everyone here likes beer — both making it and drinking it — they also like the community they have formed around beer making. And the MUGZ members have missed being together, swapping ideas and helping each other.

“One of the best parts of this hobby is getting together,” Lamb said. “Whether it’s around a kettle, or sharing beers, it’s the opportunity to get together, and COVID-19 has really been a hindrance to that.”

Beer making is an ancient art practiced by the earliest civilizations, and involves turning malted barley — barley that has been allowed to sprout and then dried or roasted to stop germination — into an alcoholic beverage through various cooking steps, including with hops to add bitterness, cooling the resulting mixture and fermenting it for a couple of weeks with yeast.

After that, beer is typically aged in bottles or kegs for another few weeks before it can be drunk.

“It’s a simple hobby,” Lamb added. “All you need is a stove and a 3-gallon kettle.”

Except when you brew from grain, as all of the gathered MUGZ members are this day, it’s a little more complicated than throwing malt extract into water and boiling it for an hour. Lamb has an impressive, three-burner portable stove setup to heat, cook and hold his brewing kegs in place.

“My setup wasn’t this fancy,” said Ruben Vela, one of the owners of Squirrel Fight Artisan Brewing, who started out as a home brewer. “My setup was a couple of pots, and I started the stove.”

In fact, it’s the gear — the pots with thermometers, the burners — that costs money, Grenier said.

“You can make a 5-gallon batch for $30,” he said. “Making the beer is cheap. Grain is cheap, water is cheap. But the equipment, that’s what gets you.”

Lamb is currently running hot water through a giant kettle of malted barley that had been steeping in warm water. It’s called sparging, he said, and the goal is to stop the process of converting starches to sugar. At which point, Lamb will boil the remaining liquid — the wort — for about an hour.

“This will be a Kolsch beer, a very light kind of beer, mildly hoppy,” he said.

Grenier also said he likes being a part of the community of homebrewers, and notes home brewed beer has become a form of currency for some transactions.

“I’ve used it to pay a guy who sprays my house for spiders,” he said. “He told me, ‘I just want a six-pack of your home brew.’”

The club’s regular meetings on the second Thursday of every month have been on hold since the start of the pandemic, but several members said they hope with this year’s National Homebrew Day, the club will start meeting again.

“This is our kickoff to resume meeting,” said Travis Laibl, who is busy brewing a raspberry-infused beer called, “Honey, I Got the Covid Blonde Ale.” “We’ve had to brew from a distance and not really hang out or share beer.”

It doesn’t help that the local home brew club is losing the local beer supply place with the closure of Tri-State Outfitters in Moses Lake.

“They were the local home brew shop and they supplied us with the grain and yeast and hops and stuff,” Lamb said. “So we’re real bummed that they’re closing out on us and we won’t have a local home brew store.”

Lamb and Laibl both said they hope someone steps up and replaces Tri-State as the county’s home brewing supplier.

Until then, Laibl said they’ll order brewing supplies by mail and keep doing what they all like doing best — brewing beer, drinking beer and sharing beer.

“We prefer home brew, but we just love beer,” he said.

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached at [email protected]

Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald

Travis Laibl (right) shows off a piece of brewing equipment to fellow Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) club member Raymond Chavez on Saturday during the club’s commemoration of National Homebrew Day.

Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald

Chris Lamb stirs a pot of wort on Saturday during the local homebrew club’s celebration of National Homebrew Day on Saturday.


Brewing up community: Beer crafters take a day to celebrate their hoppy hobby

Members of the Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) — the area’s local homebrew club (left to right) Travis Laibl, Aaron Grenier, Chris Lamb, Meghan Lamb, Ruben Vela, Raymond Chavez, Keith Coburn, Matt Hibbs, Emma Donner and Barley the “brew dog” — raise their glasses to toast National Homebrew Day on Saturday in front of Squirrel Fight Artisan Brewing in Moses Lake.
Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald

Chris Lamb stirs a pot of wort on Saturday during the local homebrew club’s celebration of National Homebrew Day on Saturday.

Travis Laibl (right) shows off a piece of brewing equipment to fellow Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) club member Raymond Chavez on Saturday during the club’s commemoration of National Homebrew Day.

MOSES LAKE — Aaron Grenier is honest about why he started brewing beer at home.

“I just like the process, and I needed a hobby,” Grenier said.

It’s Saturday, but Grenier isn’t at home. He is standing in the Vista Village shopping mall parking lot in front of Squirrel Fight Artisan Brewing at 530 W. Valley Road, Suite N. He is one of nine local home brewers and members of the Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) — zymurgy being the science of fermentation — gathered here to celebrate National Homebrew Day by brewing beer.

“We’re all brewing our own recipes today,” said Chris Lamb, who works for SGL Carbon when he’s not busy brewing beer. “There are four of us here making beer, all in different stages of the process, and we’re making different beers.”

It’s the club’s first meeting in more than a year, and it is hoping to start its monthly meetings again.

Because while everyone here likes beer — both making it and drinking it — they also like the community they have formed around beer making. And the MUGZ members have missed being together, swapping ideas and helping each other.

“One of the best parts of this hobby is getting together,” Lamb said. “Whether it’s around a kettle, or sharing beers, it’s the opportunity to get together, and COVID-19 has really been a hindrance to that.”

Beer making is an ancient art practiced by the earliest civilizations, and involves turning malted barley — barley that has been allowed to sprout and then dried or roasted to stop germination — into an alcoholic beverage through various cooking steps, including with hops to add bitterness, cooling the resulting mixture and fermenting it for a couple of weeks with yeast.

After that, beer is typically aged in bottles or kegs for another few weeks before it can be drunk.

“It’s a simple hobby,” Lamb added. “All you need is a stove and a 3-gallon kettle.”

Except when you brew from grain, as all of the gathered MUGZ members are this day, it’s a little more complicated than throwing malt extract into water and boiling it for an hour. Lamb has an impressive, three-burner portable stove setup to heat, cook and hold his brewing kegs in place.

“My setup wasn’t this fancy,” said Ruben Vela, one of the owners of Squirrel Fight Artisan Brewing, who started out as a home brewer. “My setup was a couple of pots, and I started the stove.”

In fact, it’s the gear — the pots with thermometers, the burners — that costs money, Grenier said.

“You can make a 5-gallon batch for $30,” he said. “Making the beer is cheap. Grain is cheap, water is cheap. But the equipment, that’s what gets you.”

Lamb is currently running hot water through a giant kettle of malted barley that had been steeping in warm water. It’s called sparging, he said, and the goal is to stop the process of converting starches to sugar. At which point, Lamb will boil the remaining liquid — the wort — for about an hour.

“This will be a Kolsch beer, a very light kind of beer, mildly hoppy,” he said.

Grenier also said he likes being a part of the community of homebrewers, and notes home brewed beer has become a form of currency for some transactions.

“I’ve used it to pay a guy who sprays my house for spiders,” he said. “He told me, ‘I just want a six-pack of your home brew.’”

The club’s regular meetings on the second Thursday of every month have been on hold since the start of the pandemic, but several members said they hope with this year’s National Homebrew Day, the club will start meeting again.

“This is our kickoff to resume meeting,” said Travis Laibl, who is busy brewing a raspberry-infused beer called, “Honey, I Got the Covid Blonde Ale.” “We’ve had to brew from a distance and not really hang out or share beer.”

It doesn’t help that the local home brew club is losing the local beer supply place with the closure of Tri-State Outfitters in Moses Lake.

“They were the local home brew shop and they supplied us with the grain and yeast and hops and stuff,” Lamb said. “So we’re real bummed that they’re closing out on us and we won’t have a local home brew store.”

Lamb and Laibl both said they hope someone steps up and replaces Tri-State as the county’s home brewing supplier.

Until then, Laibl said they’ll order brewing supplies by mail and keep doing what they all like doing best — brewing beer, drinking beer and sharing beer.

“We prefer home brew, but we just love beer,” he said.

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached at [email protected]

Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald

Travis Laibl (right) shows off a piece of brewing equipment to fellow Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) club member Raymond Chavez on Saturday during the club’s commemoration of National Homebrew Day.

Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald

Chris Lamb stirs a pot of wort on Saturday during the local homebrew club’s celebration of National Homebrew Day on Saturday.


Brewing up community: Beer crafters take a day to celebrate their hoppy hobby

Members of the Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) — the area’s local homebrew club (left to right) Travis Laibl, Aaron Grenier, Chris Lamb, Meghan Lamb, Ruben Vela, Raymond Chavez, Keith Coburn, Matt Hibbs, Emma Donner and Barley the “brew dog” — raise their glasses to toast National Homebrew Day on Saturday in front of Squirrel Fight Artisan Brewing in Moses Lake.
Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald

Chris Lamb stirs a pot of wort on Saturday during the local homebrew club’s celebration of National Homebrew Day on Saturday.

Travis Laibl (right) shows off a piece of brewing equipment to fellow Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) club member Raymond Chavez on Saturday during the club’s commemoration of National Homebrew Day.

MOSES LAKE — Aaron Grenier is honest about why he started brewing beer at home.

“I just like the process, and I needed a hobby,” Grenier said.

It’s Saturday, but Grenier isn’t at home. He is standing in the Vista Village shopping mall parking lot in front of Squirrel Fight Artisan Brewing at 530 W. Valley Road, Suite N. He is one of nine local home brewers and members of the Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) — zymurgy being the science of fermentation — gathered here to celebrate National Homebrew Day by brewing beer.

“We’re all brewing our own recipes today,” said Chris Lamb, who works for SGL Carbon when he’s not busy brewing beer. “There are four of us here making beer, all in different stages of the process, and we’re making different beers.”

It’s the club’s first meeting in more than a year, and it is hoping to start its monthly meetings again.

Because while everyone here likes beer — both making it and drinking it — they also like the community they have formed around beer making. And the MUGZ members have missed being together, swapping ideas and helping each other.

“One of the best parts of this hobby is getting together,” Lamb said. “Whether it’s around a kettle, or sharing beers, it’s the opportunity to get together, and COVID-19 has really been a hindrance to that.”

Beer making is an ancient art practiced by the earliest civilizations, and involves turning malted barley — barley that has been allowed to sprout and then dried or roasted to stop germination — into an alcoholic beverage through various cooking steps, including with hops to add bitterness, cooling the resulting mixture and fermenting it for a couple of weeks with yeast.

After that, beer is typically aged in bottles or kegs for another few weeks before it can be drunk.

“It’s a simple hobby,” Lamb added. “All you need is a stove and a 3-gallon kettle.”

Except when you brew from grain, as all of the gathered MUGZ members are this day, it’s a little more complicated than throwing malt extract into water and boiling it for an hour. Lamb has an impressive, three-burner portable stove setup to heat, cook and hold his brewing kegs in place.

“My setup wasn’t this fancy,” said Ruben Vela, one of the owners of Squirrel Fight Artisan Brewing, who started out as a home brewer. “My setup was a couple of pots, and I started the stove.”

In fact, it’s the gear — the pots with thermometers, the burners — that costs money, Grenier said.

“You can make a 5-gallon batch for $30,” he said. “Making the beer is cheap. Grain is cheap, water is cheap. But the equipment, that’s what gets you.”

Lamb is currently running hot water through a giant kettle of malted barley that had been steeping in warm water. It’s called sparging, he said, and the goal is to stop the process of converting starches to sugar. At which point, Lamb will boil the remaining liquid — the wort — for about an hour.

“This will be a Kolsch beer, a very light kind of beer, mildly hoppy,” he said.

Grenier also said he likes being a part of the community of homebrewers, and notes home brewed beer has become a form of currency for some transactions.

“I’ve used it to pay a guy who sprays my house for spiders,” he said. “He told me, ‘I just want a six-pack of your home brew.’”

The club’s regular meetings on the second Thursday of every month have been on hold since the start of the pandemic, but several members said they hope with this year’s National Homebrew Day, the club will start meeting again.

“This is our kickoff to resume meeting,” said Travis Laibl, who is busy brewing a raspberry-infused beer called, “Honey, I Got the Covid Blonde Ale.” “We’ve had to brew from a distance and not really hang out or share beer.”

It doesn’t help that the local home brew club is losing the local beer supply place with the closure of Tri-State Outfitters in Moses Lake.

“They were the local home brew shop and they supplied us with the grain and yeast and hops and stuff,” Lamb said. “So we’re real bummed that they’re closing out on us and we won’t have a local home brew store.”

Lamb and Laibl both said they hope someone steps up and replaces Tri-State as the county’s home brewing supplier.

Until then, Laibl said they’ll order brewing supplies by mail and keep doing what they all like doing best — brewing beer, drinking beer and sharing beer.

“We prefer home brew, but we just love beer,” he said.

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached at [email protected]

Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald

Travis Laibl (right) shows off a piece of brewing equipment to fellow Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) club member Raymond Chavez on Saturday during the club’s commemoration of National Homebrew Day.

Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald

Chris Lamb stirs a pot of wort on Saturday during the local homebrew club’s celebration of National Homebrew Day on Saturday.


Brewing up community: Beer crafters take a day to celebrate their hoppy hobby

Members of the Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) — the area’s local homebrew club (left to right) Travis Laibl, Aaron Grenier, Chris Lamb, Meghan Lamb, Ruben Vela, Raymond Chavez, Keith Coburn, Matt Hibbs, Emma Donner and Barley the “brew dog” — raise their glasses to toast National Homebrew Day on Saturday in front of Squirrel Fight Artisan Brewing in Moses Lake.
Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald

Chris Lamb stirs a pot of wort on Saturday during the local homebrew club’s celebration of National Homebrew Day on Saturday.

Travis Laibl (right) shows off a piece of brewing equipment to fellow Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) club member Raymond Chavez on Saturday during the club’s commemoration of National Homebrew Day.

MOSES LAKE — Aaron Grenier is honest about why he started brewing beer at home.

“I just like the process, and I needed a hobby,” Grenier said.

It’s Saturday, but Grenier isn’t at home. He is standing in the Vista Village shopping mall parking lot in front of Squirrel Fight Artisan Brewing at 530 W. Valley Road, Suite N. He is one of nine local home brewers and members of the Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) — zymurgy being the science of fermentation — gathered here to celebrate National Homebrew Day by brewing beer.

“We’re all brewing our own recipes today,” said Chris Lamb, who works for SGL Carbon when he’s not busy brewing beer. “There are four of us here making beer, all in different stages of the process, and we’re making different beers.”

It’s the club’s first meeting in more than a year, and it is hoping to start its monthly meetings again.

Because while everyone here likes beer — both making it and drinking it — they also like the community they have formed around beer making. And the MUGZ members have missed being together, swapping ideas and helping each other.

“One of the best parts of this hobby is getting together,” Lamb said. “Whether it’s around a kettle, or sharing beers, it’s the opportunity to get together, and COVID-19 has really been a hindrance to that.”

Beer making is an ancient art practiced by the earliest civilizations, and involves turning malted barley — barley that has been allowed to sprout and then dried or roasted to stop germination — into an alcoholic beverage through various cooking steps, including with hops to add bitterness, cooling the resulting mixture and fermenting it for a couple of weeks with yeast.

After that, beer is typically aged in bottles or kegs for another few weeks before it can be drunk.

“It’s a simple hobby,” Lamb added. “All you need is a stove and a 3-gallon kettle.”

Except when you brew from grain, as all of the gathered MUGZ members are this day, it’s a little more complicated than throwing malt extract into water and boiling it for an hour. Lamb has an impressive, three-burner portable stove setup to heat, cook and hold his brewing kegs in place.

“My setup wasn’t this fancy,” said Ruben Vela, one of the owners of Squirrel Fight Artisan Brewing, who started out as a home brewer. “My setup was a couple of pots, and I started the stove.”

In fact, it’s the gear — the pots with thermometers, the burners — that costs money, Grenier said.

“You can make a 5-gallon batch for $30,” he said. “Making the beer is cheap. Grain is cheap, water is cheap. But the equipment, that’s what gets you.”

Lamb is currently running hot water through a giant kettle of malted barley that had been steeping in warm water. It’s called sparging, he said, and the goal is to stop the process of converting starches to sugar. At which point, Lamb will boil the remaining liquid — the wort — for about an hour.

“This will be a Kolsch beer, a very light kind of beer, mildly hoppy,” he said.

Grenier also said he likes being a part of the community of homebrewers, and notes home brewed beer has become a form of currency for some transactions.

“I’ve used it to pay a guy who sprays my house for spiders,” he said. “He told me, ‘I just want a six-pack of your home brew.’”

The club’s regular meetings on the second Thursday of every month have been on hold since the start of the pandemic, but several members said they hope with this year’s National Homebrew Day, the club will start meeting again.

“This is our kickoff to resume meeting,” said Travis Laibl, who is busy brewing a raspberry-infused beer called, “Honey, I Got the Covid Blonde Ale.” “We’ve had to brew from a distance and not really hang out or share beer.”

It doesn’t help that the local home brew club is losing the local beer supply place with the closure of Tri-State Outfitters in Moses Lake.

“They were the local home brew shop and they supplied us with the grain and yeast and hops and stuff,” Lamb said. “So we’re real bummed that they’re closing out on us and we won’t have a local home brew store.”

Lamb and Laibl both said they hope someone steps up and replaces Tri-State as the county’s home brewing supplier.

Until then, Laibl said they’ll order brewing supplies by mail and keep doing what they all like doing best — brewing beer, drinking beer and sharing beer.

“We prefer home brew, but we just love beer,” he said.

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached at [email protected]

Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald

Travis Laibl (right) shows off a piece of brewing equipment to fellow Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) club member Raymond Chavez on Saturday during the club’s commemoration of National Homebrew Day.

Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald

Chris Lamb stirs a pot of wort on Saturday during the local homebrew club’s celebration of National Homebrew Day on Saturday.


Brewing up community: Beer crafters take a day to celebrate their hoppy hobby

Members of the Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) — the area’s local homebrew club (left to right) Travis Laibl, Aaron Grenier, Chris Lamb, Meghan Lamb, Ruben Vela, Raymond Chavez, Keith Coburn, Matt Hibbs, Emma Donner and Barley the “brew dog” — raise their glasses to toast National Homebrew Day on Saturday in front of Squirrel Fight Artisan Brewing in Moses Lake.
Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald

Chris Lamb stirs a pot of wort on Saturday during the local homebrew club’s celebration of National Homebrew Day on Saturday.

Travis Laibl (right) shows off a piece of brewing equipment to fellow Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) club member Raymond Chavez on Saturday during the club’s commemoration of National Homebrew Day.

MOSES LAKE — Aaron Grenier is honest about why he started brewing beer at home.

“I just like the process, and I needed a hobby,” Grenier said.

It’s Saturday, but Grenier isn’t at home. He is standing in the Vista Village shopping mall parking lot in front of Squirrel Fight Artisan Brewing at 530 W. Valley Road, Suite N. He is one of nine local home brewers and members of the Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) — zymurgy being the science of fermentation — gathered here to celebrate National Homebrew Day by brewing beer.

“We’re all brewing our own recipes today,” said Chris Lamb, who works for SGL Carbon when he’s not busy brewing beer. “There are four of us here making beer, all in different stages of the process, and we’re making different beers.”

It’s the club’s first meeting in more than a year, and it is hoping to start its monthly meetings again.

Because while everyone here likes beer — both making it and drinking it — they also like the community they have formed around beer making. And the MUGZ members have missed being together, swapping ideas and helping each other.

“One of the best parts of this hobby is getting together,” Lamb said. “Whether it’s around a kettle, or sharing beers, it’s the opportunity to get together, and COVID-19 has really been a hindrance to that.”

Beer making is an ancient art practiced by the earliest civilizations, and involves turning malted barley — barley that has been allowed to sprout and then dried or roasted to stop germination — into an alcoholic beverage through various cooking steps, including with hops to add bitterness, cooling the resulting mixture and fermenting it for a couple of weeks with yeast.

After that, beer is typically aged in bottles or kegs for another few weeks before it can be drunk.

“It’s a simple hobby,” Lamb added. “All you need is a stove and a 3-gallon kettle.”

Except when you brew from grain, as all of the gathered MUGZ members are this day, it’s a little more complicated than throwing malt extract into water and boiling it for an hour. Lamb has an impressive, three-burner portable stove setup to heat, cook and hold his brewing kegs in place.

“My setup wasn’t this fancy,” said Ruben Vela, one of the owners of Squirrel Fight Artisan Brewing, who started out as a home brewer. “My setup was a couple of pots, and I started the stove.”

In fact, it’s the gear — the pots with thermometers, the burners — that costs money, Grenier said.

“You can make a 5-gallon batch for $30,” he said. “Making the beer is cheap. Grain is cheap, water is cheap. But the equipment, that’s what gets you.”

Lamb is currently running hot water through a giant kettle of malted barley that had been steeping in warm water. It’s called sparging, he said, and the goal is to stop the process of converting starches to sugar. At which point, Lamb will boil the remaining liquid — the wort — for about an hour.

“This will be a Kolsch beer, a very light kind of beer, mildly hoppy,” he said.

Grenier also said he likes being a part of the community of homebrewers, and notes home brewed beer has become a form of currency for some transactions.

“I’ve used it to pay a guy who sprays my house for spiders,” he said. “He told me, ‘I just want a six-pack of your home brew.’”

The club’s regular meetings on the second Thursday of every month have been on hold since the start of the pandemic, but several members said they hope with this year’s National Homebrew Day, the club will start meeting again.

“This is our kickoff to resume meeting,” said Travis Laibl, who is busy brewing a raspberry-infused beer called, “Honey, I Got the Covid Blonde Ale.” “We’ve had to brew from a distance and not really hang out or share beer.”

It doesn’t help that the local home brew club is losing the local beer supply place with the closure of Tri-State Outfitters in Moses Lake.

“They were the local home brew shop and they supplied us with the grain and yeast and hops and stuff,” Lamb said. “So we’re real bummed that they’re closing out on us and we won’t have a local home brew store.”

Lamb and Laibl both said they hope someone steps up and replaces Tri-State as the county’s home brewing supplier.

Until then, Laibl said they’ll order brewing supplies by mail and keep doing what they all like doing best — brewing beer, drinking beer and sharing beer.

“We prefer home brew, but we just love beer,” he said.

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached at [email protected]

Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald

Travis Laibl (right) shows off a piece of brewing equipment to fellow Moses Lake Union of Great Zymurgists (MUGZ) club member Raymond Chavez on Saturday during the club’s commemoration of National Homebrew Day.

Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald

Chris Lamb stirs a pot of wort on Saturday during the local homebrew club’s celebration of National Homebrew Day on Saturday.


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