A coworker of mine recently asked me if I brew my own beer because its cheaper than purchasing beer. I told him that it is technically cheaper but not the reason I brew. The question made me think. Why do I brew my own beer?
It’s true it has gotten cheaper for me because I brew with all grain. I also wash and reuse my yeast, and seem to regularly have an inventory of hops on hand from previous batches. All those factors make trips to my local home brew shop cost a little less than in my early brew days. Much of savings is probably a wash though. Like any hobby, I’m always looking to upgrade and acquire the next cool gadget or gizmo.
So what keeps me at it? I have always envisioned myself an artist, but unfortunately I don’t draw or paint. I don’t play any instruments, at least not very well. Beer is something that allows me to exercise my inner artist. To use barley, hops, yeast and water and transform it into something delicious. Home brewing allows me the opportunity to create something amazing for myself and others to enjoy.
I brew because I love watching and guiding the process. Home brewing has not lost its magical quality for me yet. I still love watching the fermentation process. I taste the beers throughout the process and am amazed at how each beer evolves from a cloudy, sometimes smelly liquid, into a beautiful elixir.
In a world where everything is pre-made for us and purchased, hand-made anything is becoming a rare commodity. Do we really have any idea where anything comes from? Making beer forces me to be very involved in at least one thing I consume.
These are some of the reasons I brew. In future posts I’ll share what knowledge I have about home brewing. I’ll talk about equipment and processes, recipes and styles. Hopefully I can inspire you to get your hands dirty and join the never ending pursuit to create for yourself the perfect pint.