The Homebrew Retailer’s Guide to 2021

A complete guide to 70+ holidays, events, deadlines, and days of observance in the homebrew and home winemaking world in 2021

We can finally put 2020 behind us, and start looking forward to what is to come in 2021, and BSG HandCraft wants to help our customers make 2021 the best year ever for your homebrew or home winemaking retail establishment. We have outlined some key dates to plan for in 2021 and offered some advice on how to engage your customers surrounding these events and holidays.

Before we start, we recommend you take a look at the list of upcoming homebrew competitions in your area and determine which ones you would like to be involved in. In addition to the homebrew holidays outlined below, local homebrew competitions are a great way to get in front of your customers, so be sure to keep an eye on the BJCP Competition Schedule.

January 10 – Homebrew Con Seminar Proposals are Due

The American Homebrewers Association’s annual Homebrew Con (formerly known as the National Homebrewers Conference) will take place in June – but those interested in giving a presentation must submit their proposal by Sunday, January 10.

More info: Presentation Guidelines & Requirements

January 16 – Baltic Porter Day

We don’t know much about Polish blogger Marcin Chmielarz, but we know that he loves Baltic Porters. He initiated Baltic Porter Day in 2016, and we happily join him in celebrating this classic hybrid beer style. Thanks for keeping the spirit of Baltic Porter Day alive and well, Marcin!

January 23 – Charlie Papazian’s Birthday

Widely known as the ‘Father of Homebrewing’ in the United States, Charlie Papazian is the founder of the American Homebrewers Association and is known for his famous catchphrase, “Relax, Don’t Worry, Have a Homebrew”.

Be sure to have an authentic Charlie recipe at the ready for your customers who want to toast in honor of the OG: Rocky Racoon’s Honey Lager recipe by Charlie Papazian

January 24 – Beer Can Appreciation Day

National Beer Can Appreciation Day honors the first day that beer was sold in a can in 1934 when Krueger’s Finest and Krueger’s Cream Ale were sold to customers in Richmond, VA. 

February 1 – 28 – Stout Month

Originating from the renowned Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery in Boulder, CO in 1993, Stout Month has grown into an international month-long celebration honoring one of the most iconic beer styles. We recommend browsing the 4,800+ recipes for American Porter and Stout in the Grainfather Community.

February 3 – 5 – Cider Con

The American Cider Association’s annual Cider Con will be held virtually in 2021. The three-day online event features educational seminars and panels from experts on cider production.

February 17 – March 3 – National Homebrew Competition Registration & Payment Window

The AHA National Homebrew Competition is the world’s largest homebrew competition and an excellent conduit for encouraging your customers to keep brewing. The competition has been consolidated from 13 first-round judging sites to one central location (Denver, CO) this year.

More info: National Homebrew Competition

February 18 – National Drink Wine Day

Not only is it one of our favorite days of the year – but it’s also one that gets a lot of attention on social media and through news publications. We suggest contacting one of your local media outlets to pitch a story about making wine at home, using an RJS wine kit available at [your homebrew shop].

March 8 – International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day

Held annually to coincide with International Women’s Day; the international collaboration brew day for women brewers all over the world has been hosted since 2014.

More info: International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day

March 13 – Riesling Day

Riesling Day was announced as an official day by Wines of Germany in 2019. The annual day of celebration falls on March 13 annually.

→ See our full portfolio of RJS Riesling Wine Kits

March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day

The perfect day for a Dry Irish Stout, or an Irish Red Ale – St. Patrick’s Day is one of the favorite holidays of homebrewers everywhere.

March 20 – Bock Beer Day

Whether you encourage customers to don their lederhosen or not – Bock Beer Day is a great time to highlight some recipes for those strong German lagers.

March 20 – Orval Day

Orval Trappist Ale Orval was the first Brett beer to land on US shores and has become the favorite beer for many star American brewers. A great clone recipe is available via Milk the Funk.

March 21 – Anniversary of the signing of the Cullen-Harrison Act

The Cullen-Harrison Act was enacted on March 21, 1933 and signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt the next day. The Cullen-Harrison Act legalized the sale of 3.2% beer and was the first step towards the 21st Amendment, which repealed Prohibition.

March 27 – Michael Jackson’s Birthday (The Beer Hunter)

Required disclaimer: not THAT Michael Jackson.

Michael Jackson was a world-renowned author who famously became known as “The Beer Hunter”. Jackson is considered one of the pioneers of the craft beer industry in America, and one of the most important writers in the beer industry.

March 31 – Radegast Club of the Year Nominations are Due

Homebrew clubs are one of the most important customer bases for homebrew shops, and it will benefit you to ensure that your local club is thriving. The AHA’s Radegast Homebrew Club of the Year is awarded to the club that makes exceptional efforts to promote the homebrewing hobby. Be sure to encourage your local club to nominate themselves before the March 31 deadline.

More info: Radegast Club of the Year

April 7 – National Beer Day

Homebrewers don’t need a holiday to celebrate the beverage we all love – but we aren’t opposed to it either. National Beer Day celebrates the anniversary of the Cullen-Harrison Act taking effect in 1933.

April 14 – Saison Day

Originated by Allagash Brewing Co. in Portland, ME – Saison Day is held annually on April 3 to celebrate the farmhouse-style ale. Your customers can easily find a recipe by choosing from one of the 2,500+ Saison recipes in the Grainfather Community platform.

April 17 – Malbec World Day

Malbec World Day was established by Wines of Argentina, an organization responsible for promoting Argentinian wine globally. It is celebrated on April 17 to commemorate the day that President Domingo F. Sarmiento committed himself to enhance the national wine industry in Argentina.

→ See our full portfolio of RJS Malbec Wine Kits

April 23 – German Beer Day

This renowned holiday is celebrated every year in honor of the Reinheitsgebot, which went into effect on April 23, 1516. Commonly referred to as the “German Purity Law”, the Reinheitsgebot dictates that all beer in Germany can only be made with four ingredients; water, malt, yeast, and hops.

April 24 – 25 – Women’s International Beer Summit

The organizers of the Queen of Beer and SheBrew PDX are joining forces to create a virtual, global and interactive homebrew summit dedicated to women homebrewers. Details on this new initiative are forthcoming.

More info: Women’s International Beer Summit

May 1 – Big Brew

The Biggest Day in Homebrewing is celebrated on the first Saturday in May. Intended to commemorate National Homebrew Day on May 7, Big Brew is held on a Saturday to allow homebrewers the opportunity to brew together globally. Over 4,600 people brewed more than 29,700+ gallons in all 50 US states and in 77 different countries in 2020.

More info: Big Brew for National Homebrew Day

May 5 – Cinco de Mayo

A perfect day for encouraging your customers to brew a classic Mexican Lager, Cinco de Mayo is a holiday that celebrates the date of the Mexican army’s May 5, 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War

May 7 – National Homebrew Day

On May 2, 1988, Representative David Skaggs (D) of Colorado announced before Congress that May 7 would be recognized as National Homebrew Day. Since May 7 doesn’t always fall on a day that many people can homebrew, the American Homebrewers Association celebrates Big Brew for National Homebrew Day on the first Saturday in May annually.

More info: Big Brew for National Homebrew Day

May 7 – International Sauvignon Blanc Day (First Friday in May)

The first Friday in May is International Sauvignon Blanc Day, which was established by Wine Marlborough, an organization dedicated to promoting wines from the Marlborough region of New Zealand.

→ See our full portfolio of RJS Sauvignon Blanc Wine Kits

May 9 – Mother’s Day

We recommend encouraging your customers to brew up a nice coffee-infused homebrew recipe in honor of Mother’s Day. We all know how much moms need coffee (and beer!) to keep up with the lack of sleep that accompanies parenthood.

May 10 – 16 – American Craft Beer Week

The Brewers Association established American Craft Beer Week to support local, independent breweries. The BA keeps a running tab on of people who have pledged to buy beer from their local brewery.

More info: American Craft Beer Week

May 10 – Fred Eckhart’s Birthday

If there was ever a Mount Rushmore of homebrewers, Fred Eckhart would be the first person we would nominate to be on it. Fred’s renowned book A Treatise on Lager Beers: How to Make Good Beer at Home was published in 1977 – a year before homebrewing was federally legalized in the US. Fred was a pioneer for homebrewers everywhere and continues to be an inspiring luminary of the hobby even after he passed away at the age of 89 in 2015.

May 11 – Entries due for the 2021 WineMaker International Amateur Wine Competition

The annual WineMaker International Amateur Wine Competition is the world’s largest competition for hobby winemakers, and a great opportunity to keep your customers winemaking. If your customers are keen on bringing home a medal in the competition, they might want to consider making a kit that has previously won gold.

More info: 2021 WineMaker Competition

May 20 – Chardonnay Day (Thursday before Memorial Day)

Every day is a great day to celebrate Chardonnay – but it is officially celebrated on the Thursday before Memorial Day.

→ See our full portfolio of RJS Chardonnay Wine Kits

May 21 – Homebrew Shop of the Year Award Nominations Due

The Homebrew Shop of the Year award is determined by a panel of judges from the American Homebrewers Association Governing Committee who review nominations from your customers. So be sure to get the word out to your customers early and often to nominate your shop. It’s a major award!

More info: Homebrew Shop of the Year Award

May 24 – Anniversary of the Judgement of Paris

The Paris Wine Tasting of 1976 was the event that brought American wines to the forefront of the wine world when California wines swept the blind judging competition over their French counterparts.

May 25 – National Wine Day

With over 30 kits in the WineMaker Top 100 Kits of the year last year, we’ve got you covered with great wine kits from RJ Spagnols that your customers can pick up to celebrate #NationalWineDay.

June 3- World Cider Day

The World Cider Day was launched by the members of the Association of Apple Wine and Fruit Juice Press Houses. The best way to celebrate is by offering your customers an easy way to make delicious hard cider at home from our range of Mangrove Jack’s hard cider kits.

→ See our full portfolio of Mangrove Jack’s Cider Pouches

June 5 – Canadian Homebrew Day (first Saturday in June)

The Canadian Homebrewers Association declared the first annual Canadian Homebrew Day in 2019. Celebrated on the first Saturday in June, Canadian Homebrew Day is observed by homebrew shops, clubs, and craft breweries all over the country. Participants are encouraged to brew one of the official recipes.

→ Learn more about Canadian Homebrew Day

June 12 – Rosé Day (second Saturday in June)

In 2014, Bodvár- House of Rosés founded National Rosé Day to share their love of rosé and give rosé lovers a day to unite together and celebrate.

→ See our full portfolio of RJS Rosé Wine Kits

June 17 – 19 – Homebrew Con

The American Homebrewers Association’s annual conference is the largest gathering of homebrewers in the world. The event travels around the country every year and features 3 days of educational seminars and an impressive shopping expo where the latest and greatest advancements in homebrewing are on display. This year’s event will be in San Diego, CA, June 17 – 19.

More info: Homebrew Con

June 19 – Senator Alan Cranston’s Birthday

Though Former President Jimmy Carter gets much of the praise for federal homebrew legalization, California Senator Alan Cranston is one of the unsung heroes of the effort. Senator Cranston (D) who served in the Senate for 24 years and made a run for president in 1984, was the lead sponsor of the bill along with Wisconsin Rep. William Steiger (R).

June 20 – Father’s Day

Dads have lots of hobbies outside of their “Honey Do” lists, and homebrew kits are always top-of-the-list for the Dad in your customer’s lives. We suggest stocking up on homebrew equipment kits in the weeks before Father’s Day.

→ See our full portfolio of TrueBrew Starter Kits

July 1 – September 1 – AHA Club Insurance Open Enrollment

The American Homebrewers Association’s Club Insurance is the only program of its kind in existence. Homebrew clubs can get 12-month coverage for up to $1 million per occurrence for less than $4 per person. The open enrollment period starts July 1 and ends September 1 every year.

More info: AHA Club Insurance

July 1 – Anniversary of Mississippi Statute §67-3-11 Enactment

Though homebrewing became federally legal with the signing of US HR 1337, each state had to ratify their own constitution to make the hobby legal in their state. This did not happen until 2013, when Mississippi became the 50th state to legalize homebrewing with the enactment of Mississippi Statute §67-3-11.

Fun fact: Though Mississippi was the 50th state to enact homebrew legalization, it was the 49th state to sign legislation to legalize the hobby. Former Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed §67-3-11 on March 19, 2013, but the law did not take effect until July 1, 2013. During the 104 days between signage and enactment in Mississippi, Alabama became the 50th state to sign legislation to legalize homebrewing when Governor Robert Bentley passed Alabama HB9 on May 9, 2013. The law went into effect upon signage, making Alabama the 49th state to enact legislation making homebrewing legal.

July 3 – National Independent Beer Run Day

The Brewers Association (BA) initiated National Independent Beer Run Day in 2019 as a way to entice consumers to purchase craft beers produced by small and independent breweries for their Independence Day festivities.

More info: National Independent Beer Run Day

July 4 – Independence Day (US)

The perfect day for paying homage to our nation’s founders by encouraging your customers to brew up a batch of the famous Poor Richard’s Ale, which was created by Tony Simmons of Pagosa Brewing Co. to honor Benjamin Franklin’s 300th birthday in 2006.

July 15 – 18 – WineMaker Conference

*Postponed until June 2022*

The annual WineMaker Conference brings together hobby winemakers from across North America for full days packed with dozens of seminars and special events. This year’s event will be in beautiful San Luis Obispo – Paso Robles, CA.

More info: WineMaker Conference

August 3 – National White Wine Day

It’s a good thing that this day falls on a Tuesday this year, because that is precisely the day of the week when we start feeling like a nice glass of white wine would help us get to Friday more easily.

August 5 – IPA Day

It probably comes as no surprise that a survey conducted last year by our friends at Brülosophy revealed that 55% of homebrewers who took the survey identified a variant of IPA as the style that they brew most frequently. So stock up on your hop varieties in honor of IPAs!

→ See our full portfolio of hops

August 6 – International Beer Day

Prost! Salut! Santé! Cheers! One of the stated purposes of International Beer Day is “to unite the world under the banner of beer, by celebrating the beers of all nations together on a single day.” We can’t think of a better reason to celebrate!

August 7 – Mead Day (first Saturday in August)

Mead Day is always celebrated on the first Saturday in August. The American Homebrewers Association publishes an official recipe every year for hobbyists to get in on the Mead Day buzz.

More info: Mead Day

August 18 – Pinot Noir Day

The National Day Registry lists August 18 as Pinot Noir Day. We recommend featuring the RJS Grand Cru Pinot Noir, which was named in the Top 15 of WineMaker‘s annual list of Top Wine Kits of the Year in 2020.

→ See our full portfolio of RJS Pinot Noir Kits

August 21 – National Honey Bee Day

We wouldn’t have mead without honey, and we wouldn’t have honey without the beloved honey bee. Your urban beekeeping customers will appreciate the advocacy for honey bee environmental health that comes on this holiday, and so will your meadmakers.

More info: National Honey Bee Day

August 28 – National Red Wine Day

Merlot, Cab Sauv, Pinot Noir… all red styles are welcome to celebrate one of our favorite days of the year!

September 2 – Cabernet Sauvignon Day (Thursday before Labor Day)

One of the most popular wine varieties in the world, Cabernet Sauvignon Day is officially celebrated on the Thursday before Labor Day every year. Be sure to check our portfolio of Cab Sauv kits for your customers enjoyment.

→ See our full portfolio of RJS Cabernet Kits

September 8 – Sour Beer Day

The term “sour beer” is a catch-all for many styles of beer that homebrewers love to make. Whether it’s a light and tart Berliner Weisse, or a fruit-laden Flanders Red, September 8 is the day to celebrate those beers with bugs.

September 17 – Grenache Day (third Friday of September)

Grenache is a red wine that is known for its food pairing versatility. We suggest picking up a few extra kits of the RJS En Primeur Spain Grenache Syrah kit, which won a medal at the WineMaker International Amateur Competition in 2013 and again in 2015.

September 18 – October 3 – Oktoberfest

The Munich Oktoberfest in Germany is the largest public festival in the world, and many cities around the world have adopted their own celebrations to coincide with the famous festival. Many of your customers will be eager to celebrate by brewing their own Oktoberfest-style Vienna Lagers at home.

October 1 – President Jimmy Carter’s Birthday

Former US President Jimmy Carter was born October 1, 1924. Though he is known for many accomplishments throughout his administration, homebrewers honor him for signing HR 1337 on October 14, 1978, which federally legalized homebrewing. The bill did not go into effect until February 1, 1979.

October 14 – Homebrew Legalization Day

On October 14, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed HR 1337 into law, which federally legalized homebrewing. Though the federal legalization of homebrewing was included in the bill, HR 1337 was primarily used to address manufacturing taxes on public transportation vehicles. You can read the full text of the bill on the US Congress website.

Read the full bill: HR 1337

November 4 – International Stout Day

Though the entire month of February is already dedicated to this iconic beer style, we can’t object to having another day dedicated to stout.

November 6 – Learn to Homebrew Day (first Saturday of November)

Formerly known as “Teach a Friend to Homebrew Day”, the first Saturday in November is always observed as Learn to Homebrew Day by the American Homebrewers Association. The holiday has introduced thousands of homebrewers to the hobby over the years.

More info: Learn to Homebrew Day

November 7 – Merlot Day

Merlot is a wine style that is loved by many all over the world. We recommend picking up a few extra kits of the RJS Cru International Washington Merlot, which was in the Top 25 of WineMaker‘s Top 100 wine kits of 2020.

→ See our full portfolio of RJS Merlot Kits

November 17 – Zinfandel Day (third Wednesday of November)

An annual holiday celebrating the Zinfandel grape and the popular Zinfandel style of wine.

→ See our full portfolio of RJS Zinfandel Kits

November 18 – Apple Cider Day

Apple Cider Day is held annually on November 18, right in the middle of the cider drinking season when the Autumn days are crisp. The best way to celebrate Apple Cider Day is by whipping up a batch of hard cider!

→ See our full portfolio of Mangrove Jack’s Cider Pouches

November 26 – Black Friday

Be sure to sign-up as a BSG HandCraft customer to get exclusive deals that are offered to homebrew retailers every year during our annual Black Friday Sale to homebrew retailers.

November 27 – Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday encourages consumers to shop at local brick & mortar stores, as opposed to large big box stores that typically see much of the discretionary spending during Black Friday. Be sure to check out the resources offered by American Express, a sponsor of Small Business Saturday.

November 28 – Small Brewery Sunday

Founded by the Brewers Association (BA) to encourage consumers to pick up beer from their local small and independent brewery, Small Brewery Sunday is held on the Sunday following Thanksgiving every year.

More info: Small Brewery Sunday

November 29 – Cyber Monday

Be sure to sign-up as a BSG HandCraft customer to get exclusive deals that are offered to homebrew retailers every year during our annual Cyber Monday Sale to homebrew retailers.

December 3 – 4 – NanoCon

NanoCon is presented by Brew Your Own magazine and features two full days of in-depth live online learning about both the business and brewing sides of running – or starting up – a small-scale craft brewery.

More info: Nano Con

December 5 – End of Prohibition Day

The 21st Amendment ended Prohibition in the US by repealing the 18th Amendment and the Volstead Act. The United States Congress first proposed the 21st Amendment in February 1933, but it would take 10 months to get the 36 states (two-thirds majority as required by the Constitution) to vote in favor of it.

December 10 – National Lager Day

Once considered a “last frontier” for homebrewers, lagers are now as easily achievable as homebrewed ales with equipment advancements such as the Grainfather Conical Fermenter, which allows your customers to easily cold crash and ferment their beer at lager temperatures.

December 20 – Sangria Day

An excellent way to kick off the holiday season, Sangria Day celebrates this beverage that is typically made with wine and fruit. We recommend picking up a few extra kits of the RJS Orchard Breezin’ White Sangria, or the Seville Orange Sangria for your customer’s enjoyment.

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