Craft beer craze is spreading to home brewers in Tampa Bay

Home brew kits a popular Holiday gift

TAMPA - Cold beer is a hot trend these days.  Craft breweries and pubs are popping up like Starbucks and more and more  amateur brewers are whipping up their own batches in home kitchens.

Southern Brewing and Winemaking in Seminole Heights not only stocks everything you need to become a home brewer, from roasted barley to bottle caps,  it's also a neighborhood pub.

"One of people's favorite things about shopping here is that you can grab a beer at the bar  and drink while you get all your stuff together" said Cindy Lyons of Southern Brewing.

This year, Christmas shoppers are snapping up home brew kits in a box that start at about 30 dollars for the ingredients.

You'll need a few pieces of hardware, but for a small investment you can join a worldwide craze   that's converting people like Trey Ashmore of Clearwater to  the art of the brew.
"You spend a couple hours on a weekend afternoon and month or so later, you get to enjoy that beer with your close friends and family. It's very rewarding" said Ashmore.  

More advanced brewers can pick out exotic hops and choose from a hundred different types of  grain.  But unless you're mixing up mass quantities, you probably won't see much in the way of savings.  The fun is in making the kind of beer you like however sweet, dry, light or strong.

"All you have to do is add more sugars and it's really going to ramp up the alcohol content" said Lyons.
It is legal in Florida to brew up to 200 gallons a year if there are two adults in the household- 100 gallons for a single person household. You can't legally sell home brew, but it does make a nice gift for friends and family all year long.

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