“Interest in craft beer and homebrew is at an all-time high,” write the proprietors of BrewCrate, a brand new New York-based brew-kit delivery system. “New breweries are opening at a rate of over 1 per day in the US, but very few would-be homebrewers make it past the first batch,” they note, claiming instructions and decent recipe components are hard to come by. But all that’s about to change.
Launching on November 15, BrewCrate will bring quality homebrew ingredients and equipment to your front door each month with the hope that anyone who likes making things will like brewing from BrewCrate. We talked with CEO and co-founder Samuel Gimbel — who shares the company with two other co-founders, CTO Michael Porter and COO Daniel Earle — to learn more about the startup.
So tell me, what is BrewCrate?
BrewCrate is an online subscription homebrewing company. We sell high-quality, accessible homebrew kits and ship them to your door monthly. The focus is on providing our customers with the easiest way possible to make delicious beer, month after month. Our kits contain everything you need to brew one gallon of beer from start-to-finish. And if you’re a complete beginner, we also offer an equipment kit that contains everything you need to get started.
What’s your history with beer?
I became enthusiastic about beer during college due to our one bar on campus having this fantastic Tuesday night microbrew special. Virginia is a fantastic state for microbreweries, and I was pretty spoiled. Then, upon moving to Brooklyn, I realized I hadn’t even scratched the surface. It’s been a great ride since then.
How did you come up with this concept?
I’ve been brewing beer since I was 21. It wasn’t always successful. By winter 2012 I was frustrated with the serious lack of good resources for up-and-coming brewers. I was being forced to choose between inferior recipes targeted at beginners and complex, arcane processes geared toward experts. I was stuck in the middle, and this resonated with most of the brewers I spoke with.
BrewCrate was formed out of an effort to remove the frustration and confusion surrounding this hobby. By providing curated recipes and really simple instructions (and videos on the website), we have tried to make the process all about honing a craft and enjoying the fruits of your labor and less about troubleshooting a stubborn recipe. Basically, we built it for us and brewers like us. Regardless of your skill level, you’ll find joy in receiving a ready-made recipe on your doorstep, and that’s really our goal. We deliver the joy of beer!
What’s satisfying about brewing beer?
What ISN’T satisfying about it? It’s an ancient craft with tons of history, and it’s truly a scientific pursuit. There’s a saying: “Brewers make wort (non-alcoholic barley tea). Yeast makes beer.” By brewing you are participating in one of the coolest biological ecosystems imaginable: fermentation. Plus, the end result is delicious. Brewing couples the fun and accomplishment of cooking with the zen-like aspects of building skill with a hobby. And, because of the recent explosion of interest in craft beer, it’s a great talking point at parties. I think most importantly, though, it allows the brewer to create something much more delicious and personal than the faceless bottles and cans you find at a grocery store.
Why use BrewCrate?
It’s easy. In fact, it’s the easiest product for homebrew kits out there today. You sign up, you wait a couple days, and a box with everything you need to brew shows up on your doorstep. And just as you’re finishing the last bottle, the next recipe arrives, right on time. It’s as simple as that. If you’ve never brewed before, you’ll have no trouble with our kits, and you’ll love the recipes we choose. If you’re an expert brewer, our small size makes us a great choice for test batches and trying new flavors. And finally, we’re new to the business but not new to beer — we are growing with our customers, so you can expect tons of new features in the coming months.