I started brewing my own beer about 8 years ago and something clicked. I can’t imagine life without it now. I hope my top 5 reasons below will convince you to make homebrewing a fixture in your household.
# 1 – Keg Parties
For me, this is reason alone to homebrew. It is absolutely impossible to beat the look of pure delight on people’s faces when you turn up to a summer party with a keg of cool, hoppy pale ale over your shoulder. PEOPLE LOVE YOU.
Do it. You know you want to!
# 2 – The Magic
Many years ago, when I was young, beer was pale, bright and fizzy and came from a can or perhaps a bottle. It was uniform, boring, but refreshing and thoroughly enjoyable.
I now know, beer comes from plants. Hops and barley to be precise. Beer is just hops, barley, water and yeast.
I have seen this totally magical transformation from frankly unappetizing stinky hops and good old malted barley to gorgeous, fragrant, sparkling beer several hundred times over the years and every time it is magic.
Everyone should see it at least once. You will never hold a can of Carlsberg in the same way ever again!
# 3 – Pigs!
For a long time, I have used homebrewing as an excuse for my future pig plans – and you could too.
I love beer, but I also love pigs – they are super-cute when they are little and super-delicious when they grow up. My dream (and it’s a lot closer than it used to be now!) is to have my little homebrew set up perfectly balanced with a drove (that’s the collective noun for pigs apparently) of pigs. I’ll brew and then feed the waste grains to the pigs. The pigs grow up and then we have an awesome hog roast party, eat the pigs and drink the beer.
It’s the way it should be.
# 4 – Brew What You Love
Homebrewing isn’t that difficult. Once you’ve got the hang of the full mash then you can pretty much make every beer style* imaginable by varying the mix of malt, type and timing of the hops and strain of yeast.
If I fancy some stupidly strong English hopped ESB to match with Christmas cheeseboard then I just brew it.
If I want a US-style dry hopped pale ale for my summer BBQs then I just brew it.
If I want a German-style wheat beer to eat with one of Erin’s tom yums (click here if you don’t know what that is), which is a totally magical combination by the way, then I just brew it.
Just Brew It**
#5 – Save Money
Boring but True – Homebrewing saves you money. When I last did the calculation I concluded the ingredients for homebrewing cost about 30p a pint. You could make it cheaper by buying ingredients in bulk or saving your yeast but in my mind, that’s pretty cheap already. And the basic equipment will cost you maybe £200 if you buy nice new stuff. If you cobble together bits and pieces over time like me it’ll be much less.
Now I drink a lot of beer, and these days I can’t really face drinking the mass produced lager that tends to be at the cheaper end of the market. If I’m buying beer, it’s got to be good. So I drink mainly my own brew and then spend every penny I save on some quality craft beers.