Although homebrewing was once a hobby reserved for only the most dedicated of hopheads, it’s since become an approachable project even for novice beer enthusiasts. With ready-made kits featuring simple ingredients and all of the essential equipment, it’s easier than ever to make your own beer — just follow a series of step-by-step instructions and you’ll have a product to be proud of.
So, given that after-work happy hours have been replaced by virtual video hangouts and taproom tastings have turned into hours of Untappd scrolling, it’s as good a time as ever to give brewing beer a shot. Not only is it a good project to keep the present boredom at bay; it’s also an activity that will entertain you for years to come (quarantine or not). For once you’ve dipped your toes into the world of homebrewing, it’s only a matter of time before you’re experimenting with your own recipes in the search for pint perfection. From basic bag kits to high-tech brew bots, we’ve scoured the net to bring you a superior selection of DIY beer-making setups. So sit back, crack open a cold one, and have a read to see what we’ve picked for the best home brewing kits.
Muntons Craft Beer in a Bag
Developed as a collaborative effort between Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham in England, this option from Muntons is easily the simplest home brewing kit on the market. It comes ready to go with a pre-tapped bag full of hopped malt extract and dried yeast — just add water and you’ll get 25 pints worth of beer after 30 days of fermentation. Whether you’re a first-time brewer or you’re just looking for an easy, no-equipment alternative, it makes for a compelling choice. However, it’s worth noting that Muntons designed this particular kit to yield a dark ale at 4.2% ABV; if you want to get creative with your brew, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
Mr. Beer Classic American Light Beer Starter Kit
This kit from Mr. Beer is another option for new and time-crunched brewers, taking only 30 minutes of set-up before it gets going. In the box, it comes with a fermenter modeled after professional brewing equipment, as well as a can of concentrated malted barley and hops, a no-rinse cleanser, and a packet of carbonation drops. Simply follow the step-by-step instructions and you’ll have ready to drink craft beer in as little as 3 weeks. Although the option pictured here yields 2 gallons of American style light beer, Mr. Beer has options for everything from a Bewitched Amber Ale to a Diablo IPA. With minimal equipment and simple ingredients, this kit from Australia’s oldest family-owned brewery makes for a great hassle-free brew experience while still being more involved than the above feature.
Brooklyn Brew Shop Bruxelles Blonde
Brooklyn Brew Shop was founded in 2009 with the aim of creating simple, easy-to-brew beer kits in a package suitable for even the tiniest of New York studio apartments. Since that time, they’ve expanded their offerings to include collaborations with well-known names like Mikkeller, BrewDog, and Evil Twin in order to make great kits for stouts, IPAs, and even the odd Gose. The key to Brooklyn Brew Shop’s success has been the quality of its ingredients; you won’t find any extracts here, just hops, yeast, and grain (and maybe some secret adjuncts). What’s more, each kit includes all of the necessary equipment to get you started and because it’s reusable, it’ll even keep you going long after you’ve brewed your first batch. This Bruxelles Blonde kit makes 1 gallon of Belgian-style ale, clocking in around 6% abv.
Northern Brewer Starter Set
Made by actual brewmasters for aspiring brewmasters, Northern Brewer’s Starter Set is the product of years of industry experience and expertise. From novice brewers to seasoned pros, you’re guaranteed to get a great beer with every batch. Designed to yield 5 gallons of finished beer, each kit comes with a specially crafted recipe, a fermenter as well as a host of bottling essentials. Should you spring for the upgraded kits, you’ll get a stainless steel brew kettle and all the testing equipment to take your brews to the next level. This particular Block Party kit results in an amber ale featuring flavors of bread crust and caramel, topped off by floral and herbal hop notes.
BrewDemon Craft Beer Brewing Kit Pro
BrewDemon’s kits differ from the others on this list in that they make use of a conical filter system — the same tech used by breweries across the globe, scaled-down for at-home use. However, despite its ultra-compact footprint, this little fermenter is capable of producing some 2 gallons of beer. Along with all the key brewing essentials, each kit ships with a set of 8 logoed PET bottles, caps, an 18″ heat-tolerant plastic mixing spoon, as well as a professional bottle filler system. The Prophecy Ale recipe included in this kit makes for a refreshing all-malt beer that clocks in around 4.6% ABV with 18 IBU.
MoreBeer Deluxe Homebrewing Kit
This option from MoreBeer comes highly regarded for its quality equipment. For instance, the included Fermonster fermenter is a piece actually designed for brewing beer (unlike buckets or glass carboys) with a scratch-resistant construction, a pre-tapped spigot, and a large lid for mixing ingredients. But that’s not all — MoreBeer also ships this premium kit with a stainless-steel brew kettle, an add-on that ensures you have ample room to brew. Top it off with details like reusable mesh bags for easy grain removal and a stainless steel spoon for stirring, and you get a kit that’s perfect for the homebrewer who wants more out of their experience. Although this one comes with an American Pale Ale kit, it’s a great launch point for a lifetime of brewing experimentation — just supplement as you go.
PicoBrew Pico C
The PicoBrew Pico C offers a solid entry into the world of high-tech brewing. Sure, it’s a bit more of an investment than the above picks, but you’re paying for access to a wide variety of craft recipes and a hassle-free experience — well worth it if you want the most from your homebrewing experience. The Pico C brews 5 liters of beer from pre-packaged mixes of hops, yeast, and grains called PicoPaks. They’re available directly from PicoBrew with craft beer recipes from over 180 different breweries around the world. With the ability to control the alcohol content and bitterness level of any PicoPak, the PicoBrew Pico C is not only easy to use; it’s also incredibly customizable. Should you want to go it alone and try your own recipe it’s also possible to create custom freestyle PicoPaks.
As the world’s first fully-automated personal brewer, the BrewArt BeerDroid takes care of the hard stuff so that you can focus on enjoying the end result: great beer with less work. It comes with an LCD screen to view the status of your brew, change the temperature, and customize the final product. What’s more, it features Wi-Fi connectivity so that you can monitor your beer in real-time through the BrewAart app and receive push notifications signaling your brewing milestones. And thanks to BrewArt’s patented end-of-fermentation technology, the BeerDroid can automatically detect when your beer is ready for bottling. Each pre-programmed beer guides or “BrewPrint” has been designed by one of BrewArt’s master brewers and includes only 100% natural preservative-free ingredients. All in all, this is a great option that makes 2.6 gallons of premium beer at the push of a button.
The 12 Best Beer Growlers
After you’ve brewed a batch of homemade beer, you’ll need a vessel to show off your handiwork. But any old bottle won’t do; rather, you have to choose carefully if you want your brew to deliver a draft-esque experience. Be sure to check out our guide to the best beer growlers for a collection of containers suited specifically to beer transport.