Hi, my name is Trey, and I’m a recovering homebrewer. I fully intend to fall off the wagon, too. That doesn’t mean I don’t feel like shit about it. I’ve made homebrew off and on for about 8 or so years. I’ve made some really good beer in that time. Honestly, most were “meh” at best. I really enjoy the hobby, so I don’t consider it time wasted at all. That’s the point of hobbies after all, to enjoy yourself right….right? All that being said, how could I ever make a case against something I’ve had lots of fun with over the better part of a decade? I have my reasons, and I think you should actually consider them before you take the plunge and buy your first shitty starter kit.
Your beer probably wont be very good
I used to say that mankind has been brewing beer for thousands of years, I can hardly fuck it up right? Yeah, true, but that doesn’t mean people will want to drink it. You could brew the same beer over and over again and not produce the same results. Beer is a living thing and consistency in production only recently came about with modern equipment and materials. To put the effort into being so meticulous each and every time and produce quality takes a special kind of person. It might be a casual hobby, and you might even just be that meticulous. Even then it’s hard to produce decent beer on equipment cobbled together and haphazardly purchased online. Why spend the effort in making your own when you can go and buy much better just up the street?
It’s damn expensive
It’s very true that a standard starter kit can be purchased for on average $150. Not outrageous by any means. I can’t think of a single homebrewer I know that stuck with their starter equipment for more than a few brew days before they were upgrading. More carboys, kegging setup, better burners, water purification, stir plates, wort chillers, and on, and on, and on. It racks up fast. You could sink a grand in no time and still be wanting for equipment. It’s like a shoe addiction for women. There’s always one more thing you just have to have to make your set up better. Here’s a secret…all the equipment in the world wont make your beer any better.
It takes up boatloads of time
To brew a batch of beer is 5 hours. Minimum. That’s a huge chunk of your weekend. Most of it’s just waiting for things to heat up or cool off, so you can definitely fill the down time. You can fill it with all the cleaning you’re going to have to do. That’s just the act of brewing, too. Then you still have at least another month, month and a half before you can even bottle or keg. Then add a couple of weeks on top of that before you can drink it! No homebrewer worth his mash paddle only has one beer in the pipeline. No, no, no. They have several. Brew day after brew day, spent next to a hot flame in the garage, followed by anxious weeks and months of waiting and sniffing air locks before at long last you get to drink sort of crappy beer. The drive to the market would have taken 20 minutes tops.
It will take up your entire garage
If you even have a garage. I know guys that homebrew in an apartment and every square inch of closet space is taken up by their equipment. Buckets, unwashed bottles, tubing, kettles, and hyrdometers spilling onto the bedroom floor every time they open the door to grab a shirt. They’re all single btw. At least the guitar you never learned to play can fit under your bed. The serious enthusiast homebrewers dedicate their entire garage or even build a “nanobrewery” in their back yard. It’s a garden shed dude. Get over it.
With so many reasons not to, why is homebrewing such a popular hobby among the 25-40 white male demographic? I have a theory. Unlike the guitar under your bed, you can homebrew with a reasonable amount of success right off the bat. Your beer isn’t exactly great, but it isn’t exactly making you vomit either. Success! Hate to break it to you chief, your shitty beer is the alcoholic equivalent of you butchering the chords to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on your thrift store acoustic. The only reason to have a hobby is to get better at it. If you aren’t gonna put in the effort, then please quit dicking around.