People love their beer. That is a simple truth. If you’re a beer-lover then you surely imagined of brewing your own beer…
But wait. That’s exactly what many have come to realize. Homebrewing is a time-old tradition that has slowly but surely come back to satisfy anyone’s craving for beer.
Basically, homebrewing is an activity that involves making beer in the confines of one’s home. The production is small scale and kept as non-commercial, as required by the law. Each state has its specific rules regarding homebrewing that must be adhered to. Nevertheless, the homebrewer is normally allowed to brew up to an amount that’s enough for a small party.
Why homebrew, though? Why not simply buy beer for fewer hassles? Of course, that can be done. However, brewing your own beer has its own very special advantages and benefits.
The Dozen Whys of Homebrewing
What are the advantages and benefits of brewing one’s own beer? Homebrewed beer is…
Unlike with commercial beers, one knows all the ingredients put in the brew. No weird chemicals and preservatives. So homebrewed beer is much safer.
Just like most hobbies, brewing as a hobby can be quite therapeutic.
The price of making five gallons of brewed beer usually costs much less than buying a six pack of comparable commercial beer. It definitely depends on the ingredients one buys, but the point is it can be much less expensive as long as the brewing hobbyist knows what to get and how to use the budget properly.
Starting the hobby is not at all pricey especially if the enthusiast uses a starter equipment kit. Once the newbie is re ady, he/she can up the ante for more challenging projects and better results.
The traditional person should take pride in taking part in such a long-lasting tradition. Thousands of years ago, brewing was an important part of daily life. It is a very interesting and wonderful tradition to continue in this modern age.
While it does need one’s commitment, homebrewing is not overly demanding. It is a small-scale production, after all. A homebrewer can work around his/her own schedule. Simply allot a few hours per week for brewing. As long as the process is done properly, it should not be a problem.
Since it’s personal work, the homebrewer is not restricted by certain requirements that big breweries follow. The standards are different. Since a handcrafted brew is a homebrewer’s own design, he/she can use other ingredients and complex techniques that commercial breweries can’t or are limited to using. Therefore, a newly-developed recipe may result in a higher-quality brew suited to the homebrewer’s personal taste.
A quality brew needs to be shared and what better way to do it than to gift someone with it? It could be for a birthday party, a wedding reception, or a Christmas gathering. Actually, the possibilities are endless. Share the fine craft beer for any possible occasion. Create a new occasion, why not!
It feels very satisfying for a hobbyist to create something using his/her own imagination. To be able to finish a challenging task, especially if it’s new or unusual, is already a reward in itself. The ability to experiment can be very empowering. Great results mean double the pleasure. It’s a craft, after all, a work of art, a skill.
Perfect for fewer hangovers.
What reduces hangovers? Vitamin B, which is found in yeast, which homebrews contain a lot of. Filtration and pasteurization in commercial beers remove the vitamin B, ergo, the dreaded hangover. But, of course, remember that homebrews only lessen hangovers, not totally prevent. It is always up to the drinker to be responsible.
A social hobby.
Brewing your own beer is a great way to socialize and create new relationships (unless one’s homebrewing is strictly for individual consumption). It can even improve relationships if the hobby becomes an activity shared with a loved one.
Friends may be invited to come over for a little party. Maybe neighbors can drop in, say hi, and linger longer, then come back the next time, too. Also, there is now a homebrewing community that gives a hobbyist a chance to communicate and exchange ideas with fellow-homebrewers.
Healthy for the body.
Though alcohol has a somewhat bad reputation, it is important to emphasize that it is not bad per se. Everything depends on the drinker’s capacity to hold his/her drink and, well, basically, on his/her self-discipline. That aside, alcohol has many actual health benefits.
Beer has protein, fiber, B vitamins (vitamin B12, folate, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B6) and antioxidants. Take note of the health benefits of drinking beer, in random order:
- boosts brain health
- guards against stroke may
- inhibit obesity
- improves bone density
- results in healthier kidneys
- can lower the risk of getting cancer
- lowers risk of heart disease
- can lower the risk of osteoporosis
- lowers risk of diabetes
- treats restlessness
- treats anxiety
- prevents Type 2 diabetes
- treats sleep disturbances
- clears skin
- improves hair growth
A lot of the nutrients are lost in commercial beers, though, due to filtration. Homebrewing rids of the problem as it gives the brewer more control over the making of the beverage.
In addition, homebrewing allows the use of much more herbs and ingredients that were used in ancient times. They have particular health benefits as well. The hobbyist can try these (ex. chamomile, dandelion, heather, nettles, sage, yarrow), although, he/she must proceed with caution in case any use causes more harm than good.
This is what makes brewing your own beer awesome. There is no limit to what the homebrewer can be exposed to and try to explore (assuming that none of it would be illegal). There are many styles and techniques from other people and places (German, Belgian, Asian countries, etc.) that can be tried, mixed, and tested.
A new herb may be experimented on to make a brand-new beverage. There may be a clone recipe for one’s favorite drink even! That would be both very satisfying and less costly.
For the Love of Brewed Beer
Loving the idea of homebrewing now?
Below are a few quotes from famous people who either love or loved brewed beer like everyone else or are/were fascinated by it all the same.
“An honest brew makes its own friends.” ― John Molson, Founder, Molson Brewery
“If you think about brewing, it is biotechnology. And I would say that I was a technologist at heart. So whether I… fermented beer or whether I fermented enzymes, the base technology was the same.” ― Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairperson & Managing Director, Biocon Limited
“One of the hallmarks of the baby boomer generation is that it doesn’t live like the previous generation. It hasn’t yet given up jeans and T-shirts or beer.” ― Ron Klugman, SVP, Coors Brewing
“So, if people didn’t settle down to take up farming, why then did they embark on this entirely new way of living? We have no idea – or actually, we have lots of ideas,…why people took to living in communities: that they were driven to it by climatic change, or by a wish to stay near their dead, or by a powerful desire to brew and drink beer, which could only be indulged by staying in one place.” ― Bill Bryson, “At Home: A Short History of Private Life”
“Making new petroleum should be as simple and straightforward as brewing beer.” ― George M. Church, American Geneticist, Molecular Engineer, & Chemist
Homebrewing or Not?
Not everyone prefers homebrewed beer. It is still somewhat an acquired taste. Still, for a beer aficionado, it is certainly something to think about. If not for all the advantages given above, at least, think of it as having beer right when it’s wanted. And yeah, brewing your own beer sounds badass!
And what better way to enjoy beer than to have it stored in a kegerator for a much longer shelf life? More and more drinkers now own their kegerators for the sheer love of beer. It’s instant, chilled, and delicious beer right in one’s own home.