A year in a French vineyard: May 2019

Making your own beer is more involved than winemaking but you need not wait for the grape harvest to try it

Hop to it! Can a vigneron make beer? Jonathan Hesford swaps grapes for grain as he tried his hand at home-brewing

The current increase in craft beers, even in France, has revived my interest in brewing some beer at home and perhaps transferring some of my winemaking skills to the craft of the grain.

There are three levels of home-brewing. The entry-level is to use a kit which contains all the ingredients required to make a particular style of beer. These are simple to use but do not allow any experimentation.

The second level is to buy some pre-prepared ingredients such as malt-extract syrup and hop pellets. Finally, those who want to get as close to being a real brewer can use malted grain and whole hops. Each level involves more equipment, more time and more things that can go wrong.

Being a “proper” winemaker and having already made beer from kits as a student, I wanted to skip the first level and experiment with grain and hops. After shopping around on the internet I found two good sources. Brewstore in the ...

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