Pros and Cons of Homebrewing (An Honest Look at the Hobby)

Learning how to brew your own beer at home can be a really fun and rewarding hobby. According to the American Homebrewers Association there are over 1.1 million people currently brewing their own beer.  Are you wondering if you should become a homebrewer too?

Homebrewing is one of the fastest-growing hobbies in the United States and most people that make their own beer find it to be a rewarding and positive experience that can even save money over time. However, relatively high startup costs and a moderately steep learning curve can make it more challenging and expensive than expected.

If you are wondering if home brewing is the right hobby for you we have made a detailed list of the advantages and disadvantages to help you with your decision.

Advantages of homebrewing beer

Brewing beer is one of the oldest and most common practices among people. 

In fact, we have been brewing beer since before we could write, passing down the process and recipes through song and storytelling.  After thousands of years, the process has been simplified and has become a favorite of hobbyists all over the world.

Homebrewing can be a lot of fun

Being a homebrewer can be a ton of fun. 

Whether you are looking for some time alone or to partner up with someone for a collaboration, I don’t think there is a better way to spend your free time than making your own special beer at home. 

From the moment I order my ingredients to the first taste of what I have created, everything about the process of making beer has its own form of anticipation, excitement, and fulfillment.

Homebrewing has a rich history

One of the oldest and most common practices among people throughout history, homebrewing has been done for thousands of years with some of the most famous and distinguished people taking part in the hobby.

  • Ancient Pharaohs of Egypt
  • Past Presidents like Barrack Obama
  • A-list Celebrities such as Wil Wheaton and the Hanson Brothers
  • Famous Inventors

Joining the growing hobby of homebrewing and becoming a part of history is as easy as ordering your first starter kit today.

For a quick peek at how easy you can get started with homebrewing, check out this awesome starter kit!

Learn something new

Homebrewing offers a wide variety of opportunities to acquire new knowledge and skills while not taking much other than the ability to follow directions and a little patience to start. 

Personally, I learn something every time I brew a batch.  Whether it be a piece of history, a secret recipe, or about how and why hops are the way they are, learning through making your own beer only leads you to more discoveries.

Create lasting friendships

Homebrewing is a hobby that brings people together from all walks of life to enjoy the various concoctions and share endless stories of your brewing adventures.

The American Homebrewers Association boasts over 2,000 registered homebrew clubs in the United States.  With many more local and international clubs you will have no problem finding a group that fits well with you.

There are also a variety of brewing competitions at every level creating a wealth of opportunities to meet some new people and create some lasting relationships through a shared love of homebrewing.

Save over time

Although it can be expensive to start homebrewing and sometimes to get specialized ingredients that are from far away or are in high demand, over the course of time you will find that you can save a ton of money brewing beer at home. 

Even some of the more expensive and difficult-to-make beer can cost less than a dollar a bottle.  The bigger the batches you can make and the more ingredients you can buy in bulk greatly affect how much money you will save in the long run.

Control and experiment with your beer.

Have you ever wanted to be a chemist, or better yet a mad scientist? 

Becoming a homebrewer will give you the chance to create your own lab, where you can conduct whatever experiments you like and as long as you follow the basic directions you should come out with a finished product that makes you feel as if you have the ability to reshape the elements to create the best beer in the world. 

Another great aspect of having so much control over your experiments with homebrewing is that you have much more control over the beer you are consuming.  Whether you enjoy a hoppy beer with high alcohol or a smooth beer with a low ABV, with some experience you will have complete control of what you want to create.

Rewarding Feeling

Not only can you win cash and prizes in brewing contests, but you will also be rewarded with the feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction after putting your time, money, and effort into brewing the perfect beer for you. 

There is nothing like the feeling of taking that first sip of the brew that you have created with your own hands.  Having a beer turn out just the way you expected and sharing the experience with friends while putting a few back, can be one of the most rewarding feelings.

Disadvantages of homebrewing beer

While homebrewing is a popular hobby, it is not cut out for everyone.  If you are feeling a little trepidation about becoming a homebrewer then we have made a list of things that commonly cause people to either stop or not enjoy brewing their own beer.

Can be expensive

Although over time you will end up saving a ton of money on the beer you make, as some beers are made for less than $0.50, there are a few costs to think about before deciding if home brewing is the right hobby for you.

  • Start-up
  • Specialty ingredients
  • Bottling/kegging
  • Storage/refrigeration

You can purchase a homebrew starter kit for as little as $45 on Amazon.

In most cases, however, you will quickly find out that the most basic starter kits are not big enough for your needs or wants.  I would recommend spending a little more money to start with on a larger size kit like this one.

It will make it so you don’t have to repurchase as many items and is more cost efficient in the long run.

Takes up space

If you live in a small apartment without much storage space or a tiny kitchen then homebrewing may not be the perfect fit for you at this time. 

There are plenty of options out there for people that are lacking in space but there are a few things to keep in mind when deciding if you can homebrew in a small space.  Try to think of all the space you will need; storage for the equipment, space for making your wort, and a good space that can be used to store your fermenter that has limited changes in the environment.

Sometimes the batch just fails

Unfortunately, there are times that your batch may fail on you no matter what you do.  You can follow instructions to the letter and still sometimes things out of your control will cause the brew to fail. 

Bad or old yeast, too many drastic changes in temperature, changes in lighting, movement during fermentation, and many other things can happen to cause a batch to go bad costing you all the time, energy, and money you put into making the homebrew before it failed.

Can be difficult and frustrating at times

The basic concept of brewing beer is as simple as making a box of macaroni and cheese, but there are a few parts of homebrewing that some people find more difficult than others.  In general, the most difficult part for people is having the patience to wait for things to happen that are out of their control. 

Another difficulty some people find is that there can sometimes be long waits for certain ingredients based on availability or shipping struggles.  When a brew takes a long time or takes some extra effort and then it does not come out the way you are expecting, it can be one of the most frustrating things you will encounter because you know the only way to fix it is to start over and put all that effort in again.

Take up a good amount of time and energy

Some of the activities we do in life take little focus and attention, like watching a movie or playing a game on your phone. 

Being a homebrewer is not like these hobbies, it can take up large amounts of your time that sometimes is on the beer’s time instead of yours and can be somewhat physically demanding with some heavy lifting and a few hours of repetitive motions at various stages of the brewing process.

Final Thoughts

While some people may find homebrewing too expensive to start, or become frustrated by the many obstacles that can make a simple task go wrong, most people really enjoy brewing beer. 

It can be a ton of fun to create your own recipes, share with some wonderful people from all over the world, and have that rewarding feeling of accomplishment while kicking back after a hard day to a bottle of your favorite crew created with your own hands.

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