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Business

New Berlin store provides tools for home beer brewers

12/19/13 | By Sheila R. Cherry, Associate Editor

BERLIN—If you blinked you missed it, but a new supply store for home craft beer brewers and winemakers has opened and, owner Tony Hilligoss is offering the creatively inclined the opportunity to create their own concoctions with “brew on premise” classes.

The new venture, Brews Up, is located on U.S. Route 113 near the intersection with South Main Street, near Pitt Stop Beer & Wine. Hilligoss plans to lend his 30 years of culinary expertise to individuals who want to try their hands at the growing beer and winemaking trend, with their own personal coach.

Craft beer preparation classes cost $40 for a 1 hour, 20 minute session, and winemaking classes cost $30 for classes that can take up to 45 minutes.

The company will operate in soft opening mode until the grand opening in early spring, 2014, as Hilligoss continues setting up the kitchen; grain, fermentation, and tasting rooms; and brewing and winemaking stations, in the commercial-styled preparation area in the back.

Free winemaking classes will be held on Wednesday nights and free craft beer brewing classes will be scheduled for Saturdays at 11 a.m.  Similar to gourmet meal prep companies, which are becoming popular with urban hipsters, the classes at Brews Up allows attendees to pick their own ingredients from a wide selection of special flavors, aromas, sugars, grains and hops.

Hilligoss has worked as a chef all his professional life and teaches culinary arts at Parkside High School in Salisbury. He is also the president of the Delmarva Chefs & Cooks Association.

Hilligoss noted that the store sells supplies like bottles, kegs, taps, and a la carte products that can be infused to add aromas and flavors to match the season or personal tastes. Pumpkin is a popular flavor for craft beer during the fall, he said, adding that special ingredients like star anise proved easier to find as a beer additive than as a gourmet food condiment.

During the class sessions students can choose the types of beer and wine they want from a selection of pre-packaged kits—like ales versus lagers, or cabernets  versus a shiraz—and can then customize to taste. Brews Up provides the equipment, work stations, clean up and specialty services, like the boiling process and on-site fermentation.

The fermentation process can take up to four week to complete and Brews Up can either store the completed beers or wine on the premises, or package them in specially-equipped sealed buckets to allow the fermentation process can continue at home.

Molly Hilligoss is the marketing director for the company and handles inquires. The address for Brews Up is 9028 Worcester Hwy., Building C.

For more information, contact Brews Up by telephone at 443-513-4744, by e-mail at homebrew@brewsup.net, or visit the Web site  www.brewsup.net or www.facebook/BrewsUpBOP.

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