I wasn’t satisfied. It was 2007 and I had recently transitioned from poor college kid to poor adult. In an effort to feel like an adult, I bought a 6 pack of beer instead of an 18 or 30 pack. There wasn’t a whole lot to choose from, so I chose local: O’Fallon 5 Day IPA. Sweet. Bitter. “Hoppy.” Different. Different from any other beer I’d ever had. There was a newly formed itch that was unscratchable. I was hooked.
I love beer. I love the taste. I love the experience of trying something new. I love the feeling of purchasing the last 4 pack off the shelf. I love adding something to my beer cellar. I love putting together a recipe with the random grains/hops I have left over from my last few batches. Wait…did I lose you with that last one?
What would you say if I told you that you could have a consistent supply of your favorite brew for roughly a dollar per beer and just 5 hours of your time per month? If you say it’s not worth it, you’re either a liar or you’re not telling the truth. Congratulations! You want to be a home brewer!
When I started brewing with my friend Jake, we weren’t trying to reinvent the wheel. We weren’t trying to brew the next Abraxas or the next Pliny the Younger. In fact, our goal was much more modest: Make a hoppy beer that we could drink and share with a friend that’s cheaper than a gas station 12 pack. That’s it.
A nice 6 pack of craft beer will set you back anywhere from $8 to $14 (and up and up it goes). Even at that price, you can’t have your pick of any beer you want; you’re still limited to what is distributed in your area. In St. Louis, you can’t buy The Alchemist’s Heady Topper, Cigar City’s Hunahpu or Victory’s Prima Pils (although the Prima Pils is just a short drive over to IL). However, as Beer Geeks we have a unique opportunity in that after a $150 initial investment ($75 if you have a buddy to split costs) we can have any beer we want with a trip to the local homebrew shop and a few hours of time.
Whether your motivation is to save money, a need to create, or just boredom, brewing beer is the ultimate hobby. You’ll never run out of beers to brew, you’ll never run out friends to share it with and you’ll never be content. You don’t have to just sip and be satisfied. You can home brew.