Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Home Is Where the Hops Are; Hip Hops -- J2 Brewing, Immediately Adjacent to iTap in Chesterfield, Wants to Encourage Aspiring Homebrewers

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Home Is Where the Hops Are; Hip Hops -- J2 Brewing, Immediately Adjacent to iTap in Chesterfield, Wants to Encourage Aspiring Homebrewers

Article excerpt

Jeff Harlan and Jeff Jones are betting that at least some of you folks causing the boom in craft beer will want to start brewing your own.

They're also hoping that their location will coax more than a few craft-beer fans to take a look at the homebrewing process. Their new storefront, J2 Brewing, opened last week immediately adjacent to the Chesterfield International Tap House.

J2 allows potential homebrewers to go for a test-five, so to speak. Starting at $99, one of the two Jeffs shepherds you through a 2-hour brewing-and-cooling process to make five gallons of beer.

One side of the J2 space consists of corrugated steel about a third of the way up the wall, with copper pipe running the full length and four stainless-steel tables serving as the "brewing stations."

The amount of metalwork is no accident: Harlan and Jones are both sheet-metal fabricators.

Each of the stations houses a Braumeister electric brewing system.

"They're user-friendly and almost foolproof and they're the BMW of homebrewing," says Jones, who eliminates any "Hey, Jeff" confusion by going by "Jonesy."

Customers can bring their own recipes but, more often than not, homebrew neophytes will choose among a portfolio of J2's recipes. J2 can also help you try to clone your favorite craft beer.

The finished batch is transferred into two cases of 22-ounce bottles. J2 then sets it aside to ferment in a temperature- controlled room that it calls its "beer nursery."

"It's all-natural carbonation with no filtering," Jones says.

About two weeks later, the customer returns to pick up the beer. Custom labels are available for an additional fee. …

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