On Tap Central New York: From Home Brewer To Brew Master

By Kody Fisher

Published 04/22 2014 10:48PM

Updated 04/23 2014 03:15PM

We show you two home brewers.

One that is still in the kitchen brewing beer and one that is out of the kitchen and a full blown brewery.

"There’s a lot of science that goes into beer.  There’s a lot of math, there’s a lot of engineering principles. That’s how you get the consistency in all of those activities," said home brewer Glen Carroll.

The process of making beer is a long one.

It takes many steps from boiling water, adding grains, and making sure the beer is at the right temperature through the process.

"It’s like any hobby would begin. You start it because it sounds like something fun to do and slowly as you start to see success in what it is that you you're attempting to accomplish you want to start doing more and more and start trying more variations," said Carroll.

There’s a lot of moving parts to home brewing from the choice of the hops to use of equipment like this, the wart chiller, but he says a five gallon brew is manageable, but making the leap to a five hundred gallon brew is more difficult.

"When you’re growing into a business the biggest thing is you have to have that startup capital," said Carroll.

Carrie Blackmore and Matt Wahlen got that capital funding and took the leap to a full blown brewery that just turned two years old in early January.

"We're self-funded, we have no investors.  This is truly a mom and pop operation.  I’m still not really sure when I think back to that time.  I'm still amazed that we were even able to get financed for the initial startup," said Good Nature Brewing co-founder Carrie Blackmore.

The financing isn’t the only challenge the couple faced in the transition from kitchen to brewery.

“I think the biggest challenge I think learning the dangers of everything. You know, when you're on a home brew scale, sure there’s some hot liquid, however all of a sudden I'm using caustic chemicals that you dont use as you would as a home brewer," said brew master and co-founder Matt  Wahlen.

Their adjustment period to being a full blown brewery didn’t last long as they quickly hit success.

"We hit our roughly our three year projections in the first four months, so we knew that we need to grow and that wasn’t something that we anticipated," said Blackmore.

That expansion includes a new tap room which allows them to sell their beer by the pint.

Good nature brewing is making big leaps in the amount of barrels they brew each year.  From year one to their projections for this year they plan to brew roughly a thousand more barrels of beer.

That’s nothing compared to the big breweries in Central New York.

Wednesday we’ll take you inside the brewery Omegang in Cooperstown and Saranac right here in Utica.

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