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The American Homebrewers Association published recipes from fifty U.S. breweries.

Mike Pomranz
July 20, 2017

The true joy of homebrewing—just as in other arts like cooking, painting or music—is utilizing your creativity to craft your own original compositions: trying out unique mixes of hops and malts or maybe even tossing in strange ingredients commercial breweries wouldn’t dare to try. But like in any craft, before you get to the creative step, you need to know the basics. So when practicing their techniques, homebrewers often make “clone” beers. These “cover songs” of the brewing world use recipes that are intended to mimic existing beers. Beyond the fun of making your favorite commercial beer at home, clones can also be compared to their authentic counterparts to see just how accurately your brewing went down.

Clones come in two forms. The most common type is unofficial clone recipes: These versions are developed by skilled homebrewers who can recreate a beer to the best of their knowledge, similar to how there are guitarists who can figure out how to play “Stairway to Heaven” without ever having met Jimmy Page. Less common are official clone recipes: Recipes released by the brewers themselves to help spread goodwill among the homebrewing community.

So this latest announcement from the American Homebrewers Association can be considered a bit of a windfall. America’s largest homebrew organization has released its first ever “50-State Commercial Beer Clone Recipes Guide.” To compile the list, the AHA reached out to brewers in every state until they were able to publish a recipe from every homebrewers’ home turf – with each beer scaled down to standard homebrew-sized 5 to 10 gallon batches. “Just about every one of the 1.2 million people in the country who brew their own beer, has considered making a career of brewing,” Gary Glass, Director of the American Homebrewers Association, said in a statement. “Many professional craft brewers got started as homebrewers in their kitchens and backyards—and by sharing these recipes, we are thrilled to spread the love of beer and the art of making it.”

With over 5,000 breweries nationwide, this kind of list could have easily been an exercise in obscurity, but instead, the AHA did its members proud and hunted down some of the most famous recipes from some of the industry’s top guns. Russian River Pliny the Elder, Left Hand Milk Stout, Bell’s Two Hearted Ale, Brooklyn Lager, Victory Prima Pils and The Alchemist Focal Banger are just some of the huge names on the list.

In the press release, the AHA called this its “inaugural” list. This first iteration is so solid, we can’t even quite imagine where they’d go from here, but we're sure homebrewers will be eagerly anticipating the next batch.