Just over two years ago, I wrote about a group of Oak Park beer enthusiasts and their informal group of brewmeisters.

Now, brew bros Jeff Sobczynski and Steve Lorenz are inaugurating the Oak Park Homebrewers.

“After many years of being craft beer fanatics,” explain Sobczynski, “we brought the equipment together, and now three years and 50 different batches of beer later, we’re hooked.  Our most important club goal is to encourage others to try homebrewing.”

According to co-founder Lorenz, the homebrewing club is “an opportunity to pool a collection of interesting and talented people together so that we can learn from each other, have fun, and give back to our community while acting as advocates for that community. We have a number of projects in the works that just would not be possible without a group of people with various backgrounds and skills.”

If this sounds like something you might be interested in, Sobczynski confirms that “The Oak Park Homebrewing Club is open to everyone, not just Oak Parkers.   The Oak Park name is based on the fact that the founding members are located in Oak Park.  There are several great homebrew clubs in the Chicago area, but not one on the west side of Chicago or the western suburbs.  The idea was to offer an alternative for West siders. Sure we want to become better homebrewers, but the main goal is to share beer with friends.   I have found the best way to learn about brewing is to brew with others and learn in a hands-on method.  The club will also host events like club competitions, trips to breweries, invite guest speakers to talk about brewing techniques – but most of all this is about camaraderie and having fun.”

“We would be happy for you join us at meetings,” Lorenz assures, “even if you never plan on making a beer. As long as you enjoy a good beer, are curious about how it’s made, and don’t make fun of Jeff (too much) you’re welcome to join us. We think it’s fun to learn and collaborate.”

There are no membership fees.

 If you’re not that into making the stuff yourself, Sobczynski  suggests you check out Kinderhook Tap. “Chris Withey, is a beer lover himself and goes out of his way to have a great selection of rotating taps from the best craft brewers.   Chris puts an emphasis on local craft brewers, but also hunts down unique craft beers from around the country and the world.”

If this club sounds like something you’d enjoy becoming a part of, go to their website: http://www.ophb.org.

You can also send an e-mail to info@ophb.org.

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David Hammond

David Hammond, a corporate communications consultant and food journalist living in Oak Park, Illinois, is a founder and moderator of LTHForum.com, the 8,500 member Chicago-based culinary chat site. David...