When homebrewers are asked the reason why they brew their own beer, many will mention that it’s a great way to save money. This may be true, but very few will say it’s the real reason to homebrew. Besides, homebrewers often make a sizable investment in new equipment and enjoy expanding their home brewery arsenal with new gadgets and gizmos.
So why do homebrewers brew their own beer? Why go through several hours in the kitchen or garage standing over a boiling brew kettle, followed by several weeks waiting for the beer to be ready to drink? The short answer is because they love it. More extensively, here are the 10 reasons why you should brew your own beer:
- To exercise creativity – Many describe brewing as an art form. In fact, we often refer to it as a “craft” because of the highly demanding, constantly changing nature of the brewing process. The average homebrewer is bound to experience many ups and downs as he modifies past beer recipes and stumbles upon new ones. It is the creativity of the brewing process that provides immense satisfaction.
- To have fun with friends – Home brewing is an extremely social hobby. What better reason to get together with friends, share your passion with them, exchange ideas, and enjoy some cold brews?!
- To get geeky on science – If we’d known chemistry would help us make beer, we would have paid more attention in high school! Homebrewers get to assume the role of mad scientist as they master using complex instruments like hydrometers. You’ll certainly feel like a lab student at times, such as you find yourself calculating IBUs or adjusting brewing water. Homebrewing doesn’t have to be very science intensive, but some people really that part of it!
- To challenge yourself/learn something new – Homebrewing doesn’t have to be difficult, but many brewers enjoy challenging themselves to make better beer as they experiment with new homebrewing equipment, new ideas, and new recipes. There is an endless amount of knowledge to be gained about beer and brewing, and there are countless homebrewing books and online resources on the subject. The best part of it is that you can grab a homebrew and call it “research”!
- To drink beers that can’t be found elsewhere – This is my favorite reason for brewing my own beer. Can’t find a gruit, cranberry lager, or ale infused with papaya? When you’re craving a beer you just read about but can’t seem to get your hands on it, simply brew your own!
- To enjoy a hands-on hobby – Homebrewers are big advocates of DIY projects like building a mash tun or sparge arm. You can really lose yourself in your work, and many homebrewers have described the process as meditative and cathartic.
- To take pride in something you made yourself – “Look mom, I did it!”…We all like to flex our egos from time to time, so why not bask in the glory of your work for a change? Especially when you can drink your work!
- Homebrew makes AWESOME gifts – There’s just nothing better than a homemade, consumable gift. Now you can stop worrying about holiday gifts for friends and family…your beer will make great stocking-stuffers!
- To participate in a timeless tradition – Man has been making beer since before recorded history. In other words, homebrewing has always been fashionable and is certainly not going out of style any time soon…so what are you waiting for?!
- To prepare for armageddon – If !#*! hits the fan, you should know how to make alcohol, plain and simple. Your services will be in high demand!
So, what’s your favorite reason for brewing your own beer?
David Ackley is a beer writer, brewer, and self-described “craft beer crusader.” He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder of the Local Beer Blog.