Saturday was a big day for homebrewers across the country, as they gathered at respective events to participate in the American Homebrewers Association’s Big Brew Day.

Taking part in the event, the recently formed Marquette Homebrewers braved the rain and gathered at Blackrocks Brewery to do what they love: brew beer.

Mark Wilson, Activities Director of the Marquette Homebrewers, said, “We have a fair range of folks out there today brewing; they’re all brewing all grain today. One gentleman, it’s the first time he’s ever brewed all grain and the couple that’s brewing has been brewing for 15 years so it’s a good place for people to get comfortable with a different style than they’ve done before, to learn about styles; some of the people here aren’t brewing but are still picking up pieces and parts to advance their brewing.”

The Marquette Homebrewers is an inclusive group and anyone is invited to join, even those who don’t brew. Wilson described the significance of the brewing community as threefold.

“One part of it is just the camaraderie and the fun of getting together as a group,” Wilson said. “Part of it is the advancement of the beer culture. Craft beer in the U.S. has blown up, and across the world has blown up over the last few years; and the third part of that is just individual improvement.”

At 1 p.m. homebrewers at over 300 events around the country raised a collective toast and even ABC 10’s Kevin Terpstra stepped in to lift a pint.

The Marquette Homebrewers also held a competition recently in which members submitted beers for judging. Judges included Ore Dock’s Nick VanCourt and Blackrocks’ David Manson. The winners will be announced Wednesday, which happens to be National Homebrew Day, at Ore Dock Brewing Company.

The Marquette Homebrewers meet every second Wednesday of the month. More information can be found on their Facebook page; just search Home Brewers.

And as a side note, Michigan will be in the national spotlight this year as the AHA’s National Homebrew Conference will be hosted in Grand Rapids, otherwise known as Beer City, USA. The conference runs June 12th through the 14th.