Home beer brewing has been gaining popularity, and Ryan Cunningham decided now is as good of a time as any to capitalize on his hoppy hobby.
A Robbinsdale resident, Cunningham has been brewing beer for a handful of years. After talking to his cousin and brother-in-law, the trio decided to launch a website geared toward brewing fanatics: homebrewingblog.com.
The men launched a Facebook group to build a following a year ago. Once the fan-page reached 1,600 subscribers, Cunningham designed the website knowing that they already had a built-in fan base. The blog went live in January.
“We built our blog around the Facebook page for a reason,” Cunningham said. “Our traffic was great right from the get-go. We’ve been able to get thousands of people on it right away and we’ve been growing that way.”
Cunningham and his partners felt there was a need for a brew blog after seeing the rise in popularity of home brewing.
“I think people in the past thought to buy beer at a store, but what’s becoming more clear with online resources, is that beer is not that hard to make,” Cunningham said. “It’s not a laborious project and it can be really enjoyable.”
With their blog, the brew boys have made it easier for other beer enthusiasts to find information on kit and all-grain brewing, recipes, brewing equipment, ingredients and brewing for fun.
“So many guys love beer and this can take it to another level,” Cunningham said. “You know your own taste and you can develop your own beer. You can tweak a beer 15 times to develop your own beer.”
Blog visitors can share their experiences and trade tips and tricks on how to create the perfect beer. Cunningham said it’s as easy as changing the amount of hops or yeast to gain a different flavor of brew.
“We have some guys who have brewed for 10, 15 years and are experts and we have some guys brewing for two years that are telling them things they didn’t know,” Cunningham said. “Sharing tips can be great. It’s been really cool seeing a community develop around Facebook and the website, and seeing the same guys coming back and developing relationships with local people.”
Cunningham hopes that the brew blog will help show enthusiasts that making your own beer isn’t as difficult as they may think.
“The reason guys stay away is they think it’s complicated,” he said. “It [brewing] works so well because it’s entry level and very, very easy. You can have fun and it can get as scientific and complicated as you want. There are so many variations that possibility and outcomes for beer are endless.”
The future is uncertain for homebrewingblog, but Cunningham said they would like to see the blog grow and become a bigger part of the local home brewing community.
He and his partners are trying to put together a number of events to get the fan base together so everyone can meet and exchange brews. The trio is also working to release an introduction to brewing book that will be available on their website in the spring.
“It’s a fun thing to do on the side,” Cunningham said on the blog. “Nobody has their houses riding on it. We figure if it fails, we aren’t out too much and it was fun while it lasted.”
Contact Anna Woodwick at firstname.lastname@example.org