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Homebrewing craze takes hold in Milwaukee

CREATED Jan 4, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - It's part of Wisconsin's history:  Beer. Making it, selling it, drinking it. But some here in the Milwaukee area don't rely on breweries to fill their mugs.

The Beer Barons have been around for almost 25 years. It's basically a club that makes and drinks a lot of beer.

"I also enjoy sharing the beer. I can't drink it all. I have to share it!" says Ken Megal with the Beer Barons.

The group also hosts monthly meetings and numerous homebrewing competitions. And the group is growing.

"People want to have stuff that is well made. And when you can make your own beer, you can really make it however you want," says Megal.

Having brewed barrels and barrels of beer, The Beer Barons aren't just beer enthusiasts, they're beer experts.

"It's art and science," explains Jason Heindel with Beer Barons.

The recipe calls for just the right amount of grain. Then, hops, and brewed by slow fermentation. It can be complicated but The Beer Barons say it can also be quite simple.

"If you can boil water, you can make beer. There is ways of making beer that don't involve as elaborate equipment as Ken back here," says Heindel.

It's a hobby that's been brewing for a while. And now, is a way of life for The Beer Barons.

"At this point I almost feel like I am a craft beer evangelist. Any family function, I am trying to make sure I am enlightening everybody to good beer," says Megal.

The Beer Barons allow anyone to join (just as long as they are at least 21-years-old). You can learn more about the local beer making organization at its website, beerbarons.org.