A while back I was contacted about reviewing the Beginning Homebrew DVD. I jumped at the chance because…
A) I have tried to brew and failed (twice)
B) I find the process fascinating
I preface my review with the fact that I am not the guy to review this for detailed, step by step accuracy. I am reviewing the production and the way the material is presented from the standpoint of someone who has tried and would like to try again.
Overall the presentation was very good, for two reasons. First, it was paced extremely well. A tutorial with this many steps could easily bog down in the picky details to the point where people would lose track of what was going on. Each step was clear and led to the next one.
Second, the host had an approachable quality and was easy to listen to for the duration of the lesson. A little bit more comedic touches might have helped keep the proceedings more lively but he did a commendable job talking and doing at the same time which is not easy. Try making an omelette while describing it without saying “ummm” every other word.
Here are my constructive criticisms. At the beginning, I would have like to learned more about the host and his beer history. Maybe even a bit on what he was brewing now. A quick primer on tools and equipment and ingredients needed at the start would have been good too. Lastly, a bit more history of the beer that was being shown would have been fun and invested the viewer in the process some more.
Pop up information on the screen could have been utilized more without distracting the viewer. Information about the types of hops and yeasts could be conveyed to add a second layer of help to the home brewer.
The DVD comes with an instructional disc as well to help the beginner with the journey and adventure that is home brewing.
UPDATE: If you want to win a DVD go to the A Beer in the Hand website and try your luck!