As a self-proclaimed “beer nerd,” I’ve taken my fair share of dives into the frothy, hop-filled world of home brewing. From the first seductive whiff of malt to the last satisfying “pop” of a successfully capped brew, there’s a euphoria to the process that, dare I say it, rivals the taste of the final product. Yet, as any homebrewer worth their yeast will tell you, the journey from grain to glass can be as complex as a quadruple IPA. Enter Brewer’s Friend.
Brewer’s Friend is like that classmate who always had their notes organized in colour-coded binders, ready to help you make sense of that complex algorithm or Shakespearean sonnet. With the level of detail and organizational prowess, this app offers, it’s the Yeast Whisperer of the digital brewing world. I’ve been a paid subscriber of Brewer’s Friend for a few years.
Brewer’s Friend sports a robust suite of tools; it doesn’t take a brewmaster to get the hang of them. Calculators for everything from ABV (alcohol by volume) to SRM (Standard Reference Method – a measure of beer colour for the uninitiated) are right at your fingertips.
Once you’ve had your fill of calculations (or while waiting for your kettle to reach that magic number), you can peruse the extensive library of recipes. From lagers to lambics, this app has a veritable smorgasbord of brewing blueprints, complete with user ratings to guide you toward the best brews.
The recipe creation tool is as smooth as a well-crafted stout. It guides you through the process, prompting for inputs like grain bill, hop schedule, and yeast type. The user interface is as intuitive as they come – a breath of fresh air in a world where some apps seem to be designed by engineers who’ve had one too many homebrews themselves.
We all know that brewing isn’t just about ingredients and recipes. It’s also about timing. If your fermentation takes longer than a Tolkien trilogy, something’s gone awry. Luckily, Brewer’s Friend’s Brew session and fermentation tracking tools will keep you on top of your brewing game. It’s like having a personal assistant who alerts you when it’s time to add hops or check the fermentation temperature instead of reminding you of meetings.
The logging feature deserves a shout-out too. Documenting your every move might seem overkill, but trust me, when you’ve crafted the perfect brew and can’t remember if you added that extra 250 grams of Centennial hops, you’ll wish you’d taken notes. Brewer’s Friend makes this process as simple as tapping your screen.
Gone are the days of frantically searching through sticky note hieroglyphs to find that elusive recipe or piece of paper you scribbled on; the amounts now faded. With Brewer’s Friend, your brewing bible is always at your fingertips, accessible on any device.
However, despite its features, Brewer’s Friend is not without its quirks. Sometimes, the sheer amount of information can feel like being hit with a hops bine. And while the app is mostly intuitive, there are moments when it feels like you’re trying to navigate a maze while wearing beer goggles. The UI isn’t the prettiest, but it gets the job done. I would recommend taking the time to understand everything before creating recipes; there’s a lot there.
But let’s be honest – perfection is as elusive as a clove note in a Bud Light. Brewer’s Friend might not be perfect, but it’s close enough to warrant a hearty cheers. It’s a tool designed by beer lovers for beer lovers, and that passion shows.
In the grand scheme of homebrewing, Brewer’s Friend is more than just an app; it’s a brewing partner that takes the guesswork out of the process, allowing you to focus on what truly matters: crafting that delicious, thirst-quenching, soul-satisfying brew.
To sum it up, Brewer’s Friend is a comprehensive, easy-to-use, and fun tool that’ll have you believing in magic – the magic of homebrewing. If you’re a brewing newbie or a seasoned suds slinger, this app is a must-have addition to your brewing arsenal.
You can sign up for Brewer’s Friend here.