People sometimes ask why you would brew your own beer, when there are so many readily available craft brews out there to choose from. That’s a valid question – there are so many inventive brewers out there, you could drink a beer a day for a year and not make a dent in all of the flavor profiles available. If you’re on the fence about homebrewing – or maybe just need to convince your other half it’s beneficial – here are some of the top benefits of getting into homebrewing :
- Expanding Social Circles – Turning to homebrewing opens you up to entirely new circles of social folks. This isn’t just throwing tweets back and forth on the internet, either – this is true social activity. Homebrew clubs will get together and trade beers while trading ideas. Any trip to the homebrew store for a new thermometer can turn into a chat with a new person.
- Working Together – Brewing at home peels you away from the computer or television, and allows you to work with friends or your better half, and spend time on an activity together. This is true interaction and working together, which is something that seems to be dwindling. You’ll talk with each other, learn from each other, maybe even argue with each other – but you’ll be interacting.
- It’s Economical! – An oft-cited reason, after you pop for the start-up expenses, the cost for producing a batch of homebrew that can fill up to 50 bottles is usually no more than the cost of buying a single 24-bottle case of your favorite craft beer. The more you brew, the more you reduce the impact of that initial start-up cost. After 5 or 6 batches, you’ll break even, and all brewing beyond that means more savings.
- Mental Health – Learning to brew at home will help to kick start your brain – it has been shown over time that constantly working on your brain fitness may help to prevent cognitive decline and dementia. Brain fitness comes from learning, and applying that knowledge. Once you get seriously into homebrewing, you will be constantly reading, theorizing, and applying knowledge in trying to make your next batch better, or different. This will help to keep your brain active and fit.
- Develop Your Artistic Side – I’ve always looked at homebrewing as using science to create art. You use processes, interactions, and ingredients that interact on a scientific level, but the final product is a piece of art. Maybe you can’t paint, sculpt, write, or act, but you can still produce a piece of art. You’ll develop your skills, and you will, at the end of it all, produce something for your efforts – much the way a woodworker may end up with a finished chair. Best of all, it is art that can be shared with lots of people – you’ll finish up with 50 or so bottles that you can share with friends and family.
- Physical Health – In moderation, beer is a fairly efficient delivery system for nutrients your body needs – in fact, a few pints a week has been demonstrated to be beneficial to your health. A single bottle of beer contains 12% of your daily B6 and 3% of your daily B12 needs. A bottle of beer contains from .75 to 1.3 grams of soluble fiber, depending on the type. A bottle of beer is one of the most silicon-rich sources available – a diet high in silicon has been linked to stronger bones. A bottle of beer will raise your HDL – good cholesterol – levels, which helps to eliminate the bad cholesterol in your body. A bottle of beer is 95% water – this helps to reduce the likelihood of kidney stones. So brewing your own beer can help to improve your diet and overall physical health.
- Develop a Passion – It seems to be getting more and more difficult to develop passions, with a faster-paced society and more of a push to always be on the move. Homebrewing can become a serious passion for many folks, a creative outlet that doesn’t take up all that much space, time, or money. Everyone should have a passion in life.
- Getting in Touch With History and Culture – There aren’t all that many ways you can easily get in touch with a variety of histories and cultures spanning the globe, while staying in your own home. Brewing, however, is something that has existed across time and cultures – the processes and recipes go back centuries. You can brew a basic lager, just like the Germans of the 1600s. Or brew a Belgian dubbel, just like the monks have done for centuries. Or you can find some old, esoteric recipes from past civilizations. Whatever you choose, you are linking up with traditions and cultures without even realizing it.
These are just some of the reasons why more folks around the world are turning to homebrewing. There’s a lot to be said for taking simple, high-quality ingredients and turning them into a good beer that everyone can enjoy. If you’re just dipping your toe into homebrewing, hopefully you consider these reasons and make the plunge.