Ahhhh beer....

Not everyone in the world is a beerlover.  For those of us that are however there's nothing better than a cold Pilsner on a hot day, or perhaps a pint of stout before bed on a cold winter night.  So as beer drinkers, what could possibly trump these experiences?  How about if the beer you are drinking is one you made yourself.  I'm here to tell you that this is not only achievable, but relatively easy to do.  So sit back and enjoy learning about all of the reasons that you can and should brew your own.

Beautiful sightCredit: Les Hutchins

Reason 1:  Because you can               

If you really enjoy something, learning to create it yourself is the ultimate way to experience it in my opinion.  For example if someone loves basketball, it's great to be sitting front row watching your favorite team play.  However, it doesn't compare to coming down the lane and dunking in someone's face!  Comparatively, drinking a good beer is a pleasant undertaking, but if you made that good beer the experience becomes sublime. 

Reason 2: Ultimate control

If a large brewery wants to change a recipe, they have to ask permission from superiors, survey their customer base, invest in additional supplies, etc.  As a homebrewer, you can usually tweak a recipe for a 5 gallon batch for pocket change.  Having ultimate control over the product that you are producing and will be consuming is a powerful incentive to learn how to produce it yourself.  Also, everyone's tastes are a bit different.  Therefore, if you find a beer you really like but would rather it be a little more bitter or sweet, all you have to do is find a recipe for it and alter it to your liking. Finally, there is much to be said for knowing exactly what is going into the product you will later be quaffing with friends,(no critters in these bottles!).

Reason 3:  Looking out for your health

Healthy beer?  Well maybe not exactly healthy, but definitely healthier.  Homemade beer is usually unfiltered and unpasteurized and therefore contains high levels of brewers yeast.  Brewers yeast is very high in vitamin b, (in fact, it is probably the cheapest source of high quality vitamin b that can be found).  Among other things, vitamin b consumption is an excellent way to prevent hangovers.....You've gotta love when things naturally balance themselves out right?  Knowing everything that goes into the product also ensures complete control over the quality of the ingredients.  Knowing that you are creating a superior product is good peace of mind for when it comes time to do a little consuming.

Reason 4:  Ready made gifts

If you're able to turn out a good product, you'll never have to worry about gifts for any of your beer drinking friends again.  The flip side is, it may be hard to keep up with demand if the beer is too good."Dan, isn't this the third birthday you've had this year"?  Also, you'll never again have to make one of those last second convenience store stops on the way to a party.

Reason 5:  Quality

It's crazy to think that a guy in his garage can turn out beers that are as good or better than some of the world's best commercial ales and lagers.  I can only say that from my experience, some of the best beers that I have ever tasted are ones that good homebrewers have produced.  I believe that this stems from some of the aboved mentioned reasons, ie. control of ingredients, ability to easily change recipes, etc.  Having said this, I think the most important reason may be the passion and pride that many homebrewers have for the product they are producing.

In closing, I can't think of a better hobby for someone looking to spend a little time on a side project.  The process is interesting, the reward is a great product , and you'll be a rockstar among your beer drinking friends.  So go read a book, pickup some supplies and ingredients, slap a "I brew the Beer I Drink Bumpersticker" on the ole rig, and start down the most rewarding road that any beer enthusiast could ever hope to ride.   Now that I'm done trying to be persuasive, I think I'll grab a homebrewed ginger-honey ale and relax awhile!