Carolina BrewMasters

The two general recommendations I would make to any new home brewer would be to join the nearest home brew club, and volunteer to steward or judge at competitions.  Clubs share information and speed up the learning curve, and I would join one even if you cannot attend their meetings.  Most clubs have a forum or email list on which you can ask questions and converse with other members. Participating at comps offers one the ability to taste a flight of very similar beers and objectively measure how one thinks those beers hit the mark or fall short in meeting the style guidelines.  There is no better way to figure out, for example, the Schwarzbier and Munich Dunkel styles than tasting 12 of them while reading the guidelines and learning their nuances from experienced brewers and judges. My homebrew club is the Carolina BrewMasters in Charlotte.  We meet on First Wednesdays at Dilworth Neighborhood Grille.