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Featured Shop: Urban Brewery

Jun 6, 2013

by John Hruska

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Greetings from Beer City, USA — the home of Urban Brewery. My name is John Hruska, and I’m an avid home brewer, craft beer junkie, cook, husband, and father.

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After years of home brewing my hobby got increasingly complex, with full days devoted to making beer. I finally came to the conclusion that there had to be an easier, quicker, and less expensive way to make a great-tasting beer.

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My goal when I started Urban Brewery was to create an easy-to-use, space-saving brewing system that allowed a beginner to start with a bag of grain, a handful of hops, and a packet of quality yeast and end with a great tasting, hand-crafted beer. I also wanted to bring the home brewing experience to a larger audience that may never have had the opportunity to try their hand at brewing their own.

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The process starts from a selection of malted barley grains, precisely measured to the nearest gram then freshly milled to order. Hops are measured to the nearest tenth of a gram – about the weight of a grain of rice! Each ingredient is hand selected to match the authenticity of the recipe. If you order a German-style beer you will receive grain and hops grown in Bavaria, as well as a yeast strain originating from the region.

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I believe Urban Brewery has the simplest and truest form of all the small, all-grain brewing kits out there. I am loyal to classic beer styles – you will never see an extreme beer, like “Imperial Smoked Cherry Bourbon Wood-Infused Stout” listed as one of our offerings (although that does sound downright tasty). The classic beer styes are the best to build a beginner’s initial experience, and working with them helps ensure that our customers have a successful brewing experience even on their first try. If you happen to catch the brewing bug after brewing the 1-gallon kit and want to step up to a larger system, there is no learning curve as the brewing process is much the same.

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My time on Etsy has been a fascinating journey. Sure, I love making beer, trying new beer, and watching Urban Brewery grow, but I also love the customer interactions, sharing my passion with others, helping introduce someone new to a creative hobby, and teaching the craft of home brewing along the way. Etsy has created a true community, reminiscent of the days of a thriving small-town retail economy where anyone with a passion and the willingness to work hard can succeed. The support and camaraderie of the sellers and devoted buyers here have made Urban Brewery what it is today.

Maker and process photographs by Melissa Hruska, product shots by Urban Brewery.

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