BYO Magazine July-August Issue

Brew Your Own (BYO) magazine has dubbed themselves ‘The How-to Homebrew Beer Magazine’. Maybe. I like BYO enough, it’s the lighter fluffier read of the beer rags I receive, and I guess it can’t be too awful if I’m on like my fourth years subscription, but it just seems to be missing depth or something. It is like talking to someone who has an education or job authority that should make them appear to  have superior knowledge to you on a subject, but they talk without confidence so it is hard to rely on or trust everything they say. Kind of a weak analogy, but that’s what I’m talking about.


This issue was supposed to be about great summer homebrew recipes. It also had the annual editors picks best label contest winners. Basically, per usual, I am going to go over what I feel are the highlights from this issue.  Right off the bat in the ‘Replicator’ section we get a happy vibe, there staring me back is a clone recipe for Dogfish Head’s Shelter Pale Ale! Sweet! Not that the Shelter is my favorite DFH beer or anything, but I love seeing DFH get props even if they are getting bigger than the state of Delaware. Next, we get to their ‘Style Profile’ section with the man Jamil Z busting out a nice little profile on Witbiers. This dude know what he’s talking about, so I always take note to read his stuff. Second time in a row that BYO seems to be putting their magazine out late or I’m brewing the style early (also happened with my EPA), but it would be nice if we could get more aligned on our brewing. Next is the ‘Label Contest Winners’, I entered this two times I think like two and three years ago, and I’ll tell you, the years I entered some of my labels were better – but whatever. The Grand Champion label was definitely nice with a sweet Willy Wonka themed chocolate bar type label for a Triple Chocolate Stout, the rest – not awful. After that there was an odd little article on ‘Small Scale Brewing’ and they meant small, like a six-pack per batch, that reminds me of the coffee-maker method! Anyway, I can see the attraction of being able to do an experiment on a smaller scale so as not to ‘ruin’ a full batch, but it seems like a lot of work to get back such little results. Though not the same, I think I liked the idea of the Oatmeal Stout Experiment better where I split a five gallon batch five ways and tinkered with each of those. The rest of the magazine from there just felt boring, repeatative, and down-hill. They had a section with 15 beer recipes donated by readers and shops, OK but personally I would have liked to seen 15 clone recipes from the breweries. They also had a section again on how to build a stir plate and how to build a yeast starter (didn’t they just run those articles, yawn). So, per usual, BYO was an OK to read but nothing I’d adjust my style over.

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