The Best Home Beer Brewing Kits for Each Type of Beer: IPAs, Lagers, Stouts, & More
Want to brew up a batch of your favorite beer at home? You're not alone. Craft brewing itself has exploded in popularity, with many beer fans wanting to try their hand at brewing at home.
We took a look at the best home brewing kits for several styles of beer, and brought back the goods — whether your favorite is a stout or porter, IPA, Pilsner or pale ale, come check out the best beer making kits for each of the most popular styles of beer.
Not sure what your favorite style is? For an overview of the world's major beer styles and their sub-styles, take a peek here at a list used for competition by the American Homebrewers Association.
Some of these are perfect for beginners, but some are best done in the presence of an experienced brewer. We've organized them from light to dark as well — enjoy!
Best home brew kit: American Lager
Next stop on our tour is one of the best home brewing kits for lagers, and a number one best seller on Amazon, the American Lager Starter Kit from Mr. Beer.
You'll get everything you need to whip up a 'case' of beer at time (appx 2 gallons), with easy to clean, refillable containers and thorough instructions.
Mr. Beer's kits are a popular place to start up home brewing — millions have ventured into the hobby via Mr. Beer. This kit comes with its own shatterproof, wide-mouth topped brewing barrel with a locking spigot for easy pouring.
But wait — Does Mr. Beer offer kits for any other types of beer?
Why yes, yes they do!
Or, you could try their Oktoberfest Lager here.
Or their Aztec Mexican Cerveza style brew here.
Now back to the American Lager Kit:
Price: The Mr. Beer American Lager Starter Kit is $44.95. (Subsequent Mr. Beer refill kits are priced above.)
Is this kit good for beginners? Yes, as instructions are clearly understandable, easy to follow, and explanations are provided at each step.
Anything else cool about this? You can reuse the kit supplies with most refills of Mr. Beer's home brewing ingredients, such as several suggested above.
- Fun to make with easy to follow instructions
- Excellent equipment for small amounts of beer
- Resulting beer, if made correctly, is delicious and great quality
- A perfect gift
- Some say the flavor was much richer malt-wise than expected, but still good and they still drank it
Plan out your brewing and give yourself the space and time you need. If you have no clue, look at some tutorials on the subject here before you get started. Some users reportedly couldn't wait and drank their home brew before it was officially ready - and, of course, they disliked the flavor. Rule #1 with home brews: don't rush it, follow directions precisely!
You can also find Mr. Beer promo codes here. Mr. Beer Support Promo codes and Offer codes on their websites.
Best home brew kit: American Pale Ale
The first of our brew kits results in an American Pale Ale creation described as, "a crisp, hoppy and bitter pale ale with light malt flavors."
They also include a brewer's guide to teach you how to brew, and all the fixings for the Craft-A-Brew American Pale Ale recipe.
Is this kit good for beginners? Yes, it is listed to be so.
Anything else cool about this? Sign up for emails from Craft-A-Brew and you could win in their weekly gift card giveaways (hint: free beer!).
- Easy to follow instructions
- Kits include only 100% malt extract, world-class specialty grains, fresh hops and high quality yeast
- The kit also states that fans of the Sierra Nevada pale ale will love this recipe
- Responsive customer service
- Some reported there are a lot of steps to this beer-making process
- Some disliked the taste of the beer upon completion
Follow the instructions carefully and you'll have a delicious product. Beginners may do well to read through the entire brew guide before starting. (Helpful hint: You'll need bottles to put your beer in when it's done — and a capper, unless you have something else in mind.)
You can also find Craft-A-Brew promo codes here.
Best home brew kit: Sour Beer
This kit makes a tart, sour, and fruity red Belgian-style ale once its aging process is complete at the end of 6 months (or if you can't wait that long, at least 8 weeks).
Due to their rich, red color and fruity tones, Flanders Red Ale was once named the 'Burgundy of Belgium', and is often described as having a 'wine-like' flavor. Pair this beer with some roast duck or a simple vinaigrette salad, per suggestion here.
Where can I buy this? Get it here.
Is this kit good for beginners? No.
Anything else cool about this? It dates back at least 200 years into the beer-making history of Belgium.
- Excellent beer kit for those who know what they're doing and like Flanders Red Ale
- Uniquely delicious sour, fruity flavor
- 5-7% alcohol content
- Takes at least 8 weeks to 6 months to age properly
- Complicated process
This is a complex beer for an experienced palate to enjoy by the pint. Rich, red, sour, and fruity, pair it well as directed. It also takes a long time to complete its process in the home-making kit - so be patient!
You can also find More Beer discount codes here. More Beer Supports Promo Codes and Offer codes on their website.
Best Home Brew Kit: Cream Ale
According to BeerAdvocate, cream ales were spun out of the light lager style, all falling within the "pale straw to pale gold in color" spectrum when poured. The flavor is smooth with a balance of malty sweet and bitter, perfect to pair with spicy Asian foods, chili, or hot jalapeño salsa.
This Cream Ale Home Brew Kit comes with everything you need for a 5-gallon batch.
Boasting of the "most streamlined, straight-forward, brewing experience ever", this kit from Midwest Supplies is surely a win for beginners and advanced home brew enthusiasts alike.
Where can I buy this? Grab it here.
Anything else cool about this? Use Promo Code TAKE20 at the checkout to get 20% off your order.
Is this good for beginners? Yes, it definitely is.
- Great for a beginner's first batch
- Excellent value for the buck
- Customers were very happy with the kit and enjoyed giving/receiving as a gift as well
- Some said they needed a bit of guidance from experienced brewers to save their first batch from certain doom
Most felt the contents of the package and instructions included were sufficient to complete the home brew cream ale process. Others, however, needed a bit more hands-on help from some advanced hobbyists. Read over the instructions and some of the cream ale reviews online for Midwest Supplies kits before starting yours to see which kind you are.
You can also find Midwest Supplies coupon codes here.
Best home brew kit: American Amber Ale
Our best home beer brewing kit for an American Amber Ale stands with Northern Brewer's Brewery-In-A-Box kit.
The American Amber Ale Extract Kit lets you enjoy the classic flavor of a brew described as, "not quite a pale ale and not quite a brown," while having a "firm malty base supporting assertive American hops, a reddish-amber hue and a lingering off-white head of foam."
Suggested as versatile enough to serve alongside nearly any dish from pizza to seafood, it takes 6 weeks to bring this tasty brew to fruition — but you'll have a plentiful 5 gallons to sip on after that.
Is this kit good for beginners? Yes, it is categorized that way — but do note that not all kits come with all the necessary equipment. Newbies can also view the site's Knowledge Base for starters, or follow their YouTube channel for video guidance.
Anything else cool about this? Take a look at some of the other Brewery-In-A-Box kits here, like their Goose Island Home Brew starter kit. There's also a fun 'Caribou Slobber' brown ale recipe included with this larger kit (for a bit higher price).
- You'll get free shipping with orders over $30 (read details pertaining to weather-related delays)
- They have a wide selection of options on Amazon, too
- Includes premium Cascade hops
- Pairs well with almost any foods
- Takes 6 weeks to fully brew
Most amber ale lovers will like this flavor. Follow directions precisely for best results. Be sure to review all the kits before making your choice; there are so many variations, i.e. a Smashing Pumpkin Spiced Amber Ale for fall, it's a shame not to give them a proper browse.
You can also find Northern Brewer discount codes here.
Best home brew kit: IPA
We all know that IPA stands for India Pale Ale. But why did it get that name? Here's a brief history of how it got its name for anyone interested.
The kit contains everything you need for your first batch of Everyday IPA, including tubing, a gallon-sized glass fermenter, your all-grain ingredient mix, and more.
Boasted as being one of the best beer brewing kits for beginners, this kit has many cousins — check out this page for more Brooklyn Brew IPA home brew kits, like the Unicorn IPA, the Brew Dog Punk IPA, the Black IPA, and several others.
Is this kit good for beginners? Yes, fantastically so. They even have a whole section on their website for the newbs.
Anything else cool about this? Brooklyn Brew Shop has gift cards in amounts from $15 on up to $150, in case you aren't sure what style of beer your friend likes best.
- Takes about a month from start to finish
- Superb for first-time brewers
- Maintains a solid 4-star rating on Amazon after almost 300 reviews
- Streamlines the process of all-grain brewing
- Some did not feel the instructions were thorough enough for their beginner level
These are highly-rated, top quality home brewing kits remarkably good for beginners. If you're a novice and you just got your first kit: you might want to read up on the process before you consider starting — you'll need some big pots, in addition to what's in the kit, and several hours up front, for starters.
You can also find Brooklyn Brew Shop discount codes here.
Best home brew kit: Porter
Our favorite porter brewing kit from Brewbitz actually combines a chocolate stout and a coffee porter.
Regardless, this box contains the perfect-for-winter, best porter beer brewing starter kit we could find. Why is it the best? Welp, it makes 30 pints of 5.8% ABV mocha porter, for one thing.
Price: £21.95 and £24.95.
Is this kit good for beginners? Unknown, but looks like it might be.
Anything else cool about this? A favorite among the Brits since the 18th century, porters and stouts were combined during the American Craft Beer Movement's inception in the 1970's to make this American classic - the American Mocha Porter.
- High quality ingredients
- Specially selected yeasts sourced from an American craft brewery and Newcastle Dark Ale yeast are used
- Very affordable
- A favorite among chocolate and coffee lovers
- Can't be shipped to the U.S.
Bottom Line: If you can get it delivered to you, order it now. Dark beer lovers will drool over this rich and roasty, sudsy and chocolate-y blend as you pour it into a tall glass, ending with a fat, frothy white head.
You can also find Brewbitz promo codes here.
Best home brew kit: Russian Imperial Stout
According to BrewAdvocate, Russian Imperial Stout was initially brewed in England for Peter the Great of Russia. These brews are higher in alcohol than the regular English stouts, and have aromas of coffee, dark chocolate, or dried fruits, and are often dry.
Russian Imperial Stouts go well with Gorgonzola cheese, fine steaks or burgers, chocolates, or a decadent brownie. And this kit from Brewer's Best makes 5 gallons of the brew.
Is this good for beginners? It seems to be, yes.
Anything else cool about this? Some made slight modifications to theirs and it turned out even more delicious (i.e. adding crushed espresso beans, Jack Daniels, molasses, or bourbon-soaked oak chips to the process)
- Makes a tasty, strong brew
- Affordable for this type of brew
- Good for anyone new to stout flavor
- Maintains 72% high (4 and 5-star) ratings on Amazon
- Some did not like the taste and felt it should have higher alcohol content at the end
Be sure to follow directions precisely, seek the supervision of advanced brewers if possible, and pair this brew appropriately for best results. Peter the Great was no slouch, so be sure to feel grand as you sip this one. According to experts, it's best after having been bottled for 3-4 weeks.
You can also find Brewer's Best coupon codes here.
Best home brew kit: Oatmeal Stout
If you're a stout lover and haven't tried a Rogue Shakespeare Stout, you're in for a treat with this American-style oatmeal stout.
First served in Rogue's Ashland, Oregon pub in 1988, this tasty culmination is their most highly-rated product, and has won 3 sophisticated awards: 1. A Silver in the World Beer Championship of 2017, 2. A Silver in the World Beer Championship of 2016, and 3. A Bronze in the Australian International Beer Awards of 2015.
And now you can make it in your own home!
Is this kit good for beginners? There is no specific answer to this listed, but it looks like you might need some previous knowledge to brew this one.
- Contains all you need for a 5-gallon, all-grain batch
- Superior quality ingredients
- Easy-to-follow instructions
- Rogue supports several charities, and there's a really great story behind why. Read it here, and check out some of the charities:
- Problems may occur with these kits where you cannot ship yeast through the mail; this can be resolved, as suggested on the site, by visiting a local home brew shop
- Some said they ended up with a beer that didn't taste like a Rogue Shakespeare Stout — however it still tasted good, and they drank it anyway
Oatmeal stout lovers will surely savor this blend. They also have some of the best home brewing kits for Rogue's Hazelnut Brown Nectar, Dead Guy Ale, and their Brutal IPA. Support Rogue charities with every purchase from their site, too.
Best home brew kit: American Imperial Stout
This Southern Bourbon Stout Beer Brewing Kit isn't specifically listed as an American Imperial, but it's definitely a stout - and this guide gave us some closely-connected examples of what an American Imperial stout would taste like. So we rest our case.
Anyhoo — BOURBON. This kit from UncommonGoods includes ingredients and supplies sufficient for a one-gallon batch of a tasty Southern Bourbon Stout. You'll need to soak the toasted oak chips provided in your own separately purchased Kentucky bourbon, however — so be sure not to skimp on that end. The end result? It's described as, "rich with vanilla and oak notes." NOM.
We know we're looking forward to it — how about you?
Price: Kits are $45.00. Refills are $20.00.
Where can I buy this? Snag it here.
Is this kit good for beginners? Based on the brewing instructions provided here, it looks like you may be able to brew this one as a beginner. A very, very focused beginner.
Anything else cool about this? Kits are assembled in Orlando, FL, with all U.S.-grown ingredients.
- Makes a great gift (Hint: holidays approaching)
- Arrives on time in great condition
- Simple, easy-to-read instructions
- Kits use 100% malt extract, fresh hops, high quality yeast, and specialty grains
- Maintains a high rating on their own customer website
- None to be found!
This is a super fun gift for the right person, and one of the best stout brewing kits to boot - include some booze to make the kit complete using the bourbon guide here. If you like the brew, keep the equipment and order the ingredient refill for only $20.00. And yes, you'll need bottles and caps (as you likely will with all of these kits. They have some available for purchase on the site.)
Also, you can find Uncommon Goods coupon codes here.
Well, there's a few of the basic beer styles for you to start with. Remember, some home beer brewing kits contain all equipment and all ingredients you need to make the brew; others don't. Read instructions carefully before you start so you'll know if you have everything already or what you still need to get!
Is your favorite beer style in there? Do you prefer a different style? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to tell us if you tried any of these kits! Happy crafting!