Brauhaus; a members-only club founded by Neustadt Brewery sales rep Doug Appeldoorn, Beer Writer and Cicerone Crystal Luxmore, self-proclaimed Beer Evangelist Carlos Santos, and Scott and Nicole Stewart, a brewer at Amsterdam Brewery and his social-justice advocate partner. Between them they share three Prud'Homme Beer Certifications and obvious passion for beer.
The stated purpose of their organization is no less lofty than to throw a great party featuring home-brew and food pairings, and to maybe even turn a few non-beer drinkers into believers. The free-to-join club invites its members to semi-regular, small-batch homebrew events that bring together homebrewers, local food vendors, and, ostensibly, the people who like homebrewed beer and food from local food vendors.
Previous events have featured a slew of beers you're unlikely to find elsewhere but that are sure to get true beer nerds drooling. Their first event in November featured a gose (a German-style beer made with salt), and a curried stout with hot peppers, cumin, and kafir lime leaves, while their sophomore event in February, which focused on beer and candy pairings, saw Brauhaus members drinking blood-orange Belgian wit, a rose-hipsaison and a handful of chocolate stouts and porters.
In keeping with the theme of showcasing undiscovered local talent, the glassware for every Brauhaus event is unique.The organizers put out a call to emerging artists — usually OCAD students — and rifle through portfolios to find a good fit. Once they have, they work with the artist to develop unique glass art that suits each event's theme.
But don't let the artsy stuff fool you: the focus here is beer.
"The quality of brewers we choose for our events is so amazing that some of them have gone on to become pros," jokes co-founder Scott Stewart. "[former participant] Brad Clifford set up his own nano-brewery at Get Well, and the guys from 5 Paddles in Whitby were also part of a Brauhaus event," he says. "We'd like to think we had a hand in that, but the reality is for our first couple events, we invited certain home-brewers that have a reputation for brewing really great stuff," he says, although the strategy seems to have worked.