I wanted to write-up this opinion piece specifically for those that are thinking about homebrewing. For those that are already homebrewing this post will just confirm that you have chosen an amazing hobby.
I love homebrewing, in fact it is one of my favorite hobbies. I have a ton of hobbies, I enjoy fishing, bee keeping, salsa dancing, hiking, grilling and so others, but homebrewing is just ridiculously fun and simply amazing. I have laid out my 8 reasons why homebrewing is amazing:
1) You are going to drink it anyways
If you already drink beer, might as well get into the hobby of making it. I mean it’s not going to sit on your shelf just collecting dust. If you are a beer drinker might as well pick up a hobby that supports your fun activities, especially around football season.
2) Really not that hard
If you start reading too much stuff online that makes it sound like it’s rocket science, stop reading because they are probably the narcissistic brewer. When I got into homebrewing the line that was told to me which I still will tell anyone thinking about homebrewing is, “If you can make chili, you can make beer.”. Making beer is really that simple. Heat water, steep some stuff, add some stuff, 2 hours later throw it in a fermenter, bottle in a few weeks and wait a bit more – ya it’s really that simple.
3) Your friends and family will support your new hobby
Unlike some hobbies, with homebrewing you will find your friends and family giving you lots of support. Giving away your beer because you are nice or just because you want to puff your chest is an easy way to get unconditional support for your new enjoyment of making beer. Plus it really makes birthday/holiday presents really easy. Just slap a label on it and boom, it’s been customized.
4) Man caves or “women’s lounge” (not sure what women call their version of man caves) can always use a small brewery
Nothing cooler then going into your pocket of the house and seeing a kegerator or a stack of bottles which is YOUR beer. It’s a hobby that you can get to take pride in, you made it, it’s yours. Having your own homebrew is always a nice addition to your lounging space.
5) If you have OCD you’ll love it, if you don’t really care about things you’ll love it.
With homebrewing, you can take it as serious as you would like or not give a damn. Either one works! I’ve seen people who spend a fortune ($15k) on a set up and have it so they know every single measurement down to the, hundredth. And that makes them happy! They feel it keeps them sharp. On the other hand you have people who really couldn’t care less, they just want to make some beer and drink it, no measurements needed, they’ll use second-hand equipment or go as cheap as possible. That makes them happy. No matter what side of the fence you are on, it’s fun! It’s a hobby where you don’t have to go all in at once or ever if you don’t want to.
6) Not that expensive
The most expensive part for brewing is the equipment. But that’s the start-up fee. It cost about $100 for all of the equipment without the pot or bottles. Then you need to get the recipe which ranges in price from $20-$65. So for about $40-$50 per recipe you get 2 cases of beer. And it’s really good beer. I wouldn’t go into the hobby with your objective being, “I will save on beer now” because I really don’t think you will. Homebrew prices cannot compete with the prices of really cheap bad tasting beer. You will make quality beer for a decent price.
7) Keeps you sharp
I know most people wouldn’t think of something that deals with drinking as keeping you sharp but it really does. Not before long, most homebrewers start staying up late reading blogs, reading forums, checking out videos on all of these different aspects of brewing. You work with numbers, you work with different flavors, you keep notes. You really can make this hobby into something that you have to use your head. Personally I’ve learned more about tools and building things then ever before in my life because of brewing. I’m always trying to figure out how to build a piece of equipment or will say, “well I guess I need this tool to build ____, good excuse to buy one”.
8) You do it yourself
You wrap everything up and you know what, you have a hobby where you make something yourself and you can take pride in that. It’s a way to take pride in your own abilities and have some independence from the daily grind. You can go out to get a beer and say, “I like this but I would add just a bit more of ____ to it”. Right after that, you can go and find a clone for the recipe that and add what ever you wanted and it is yours, you did it.
I have a ton of hobbies, but homebrewing has and will always have a special place for me. I’m sure that there are a ton of more reasons why homebrewing is great and I would love to hear yours as well. But these were 8 reasons why I feel that homebrewing is just an amazing hobby.