In 1978 President Jimmy Carter legalized the practice of home fermentation, and it has come a long way since. The American Homebrewers Association estimates that there are more than a million homebrewers in America and the hobby continues to grow.
The Central Valley’s only homebrew and winemaking supply shop is Barley & Wine located in Modesto, specializing in homebrew education and events.
“We offer beer making classes year-round because it’s nonseasonal. It’s a great way for a first timer to learn what it’s all about and get the general information about homebrewing,” said John Vigil, store manager for Barley & Wine.
The Modesto store offers necessary supplies and information needed to make beer, but it doesn’t stop there.
Barely & Wine also features information and necessities in order to make cider, mead, wine and even cheese.
“A lot of people aren’t sure about what we do,” said Vigil. “They’ll see our graphics in the window saying ‘make your own beer’ and that’s when they come in and learn more about the concept.”
Vigil explained that they offer beginner, intermediate and advanced classes about homebrew and that there’s also hands on seminars at the site to learn about making wine.
“We offer sit-down type classes in early summer and then actually have a hands-on winemaking class,” he said.
Depending on the local grape harvest it can be anywhere from late August to early September.
“It’s a fully-fledged, hands dirty type experience,” said Vigil. “They’ll make five gallons of wine with professional grade equipment.”
Barley & Wine has been under the ownership of Steve Leandres since 2010, and these hobbies and classes are a huge driver for their store.
“Our market tends to be directly affected by the craft market,” he said. “The homebrew community is sort of the ‘younger brother’ to the craft beer industry.”
Leandres added that it helps to be detail oriented, but that anyone can accomplish the relatively easy steps of brewing with their homebrew education and series of Brew U classes at Barley & Wine.
Barley & Wine is located at 2307 Oakdale Rd., #402, in Modesto. The store is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
For information about upcoming craft beer events, coupons, promotions and deals, visitbarleyandwine.com
, call 209-523-BREW or follow Barley & Wine on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.