For beer lovers, the most enjoyable hobbies you can try your hand at is to brew your own beer at home.
Once you get set up with the equipment and basic supplies, it is a fairly affordable hobby and you will get a lot of entertainment out of going through the brewing and fermentation process.
Next you’ll start bringing your own home brewed beer to share with others and you’ll have the sense of pride of this beer made entirely by you.
If you are held back based on perceived costs of this hobby, because you’ve taken a tour of a brewery and you can’t imagine how you can make beer in your own kitchen with just a few simple devices, don’t worry. There is an entire home brewing sub-culture that has risen up based on being able to make beer at relatively low costs.
All that said, it’s true that the initial costs can be pretty intimidating. The cost of the pots, fermenters and other specialized equipment can run into several hundred dollars. It can be risky to sink that kind of money into a new hobby before you even know if you will enjoy making beer, whether the beer you make will be drinkable or if you will stick with it.
One natural solution is to get your first exposure and training in making beer with someone else’s equipment. Once you start poking around home brewing web sites and places where the equipment and supplies to make beer are sold in town, you can find out about clubs and societies that are full of people who have taken the plunge and are making beer all the time right at home like you want to do.
These people not only love home brewing, they can become real evangelists for their hobby and with very little encouragement, you can enjoy some Saturdays in their shop or kitchen learning how to brew beer with someone that already knows how. This kind of experience is priceless because you learn what to look for in equipment and what is essential and what is optional. You can go through the brewing process and learn a lot about how to make actual beer that is drinkable and what pitfalls to avoid. Meanwhile, you may not have spent any more money than to buy your new friend lunch or to bring the pretzels for the tasting party when the beer is done.
Then, when you are ready to get started, your knowledge of what you really need will pay off. You still don’t have to pay top dollar for the equipment to get up and running. Lots of people get started with making beer and for many reasons, their hobby stops suddenly. The outcome is that there is a pretty brisk used home brewing equipment market out there. You can find discounted equipment in new or like new condition out on eBay or Craigslist all the time. Don’t overlook the local sources as those home brewer clubs and associations may have bulletin boards with listings of people who want to sell their equipment.
Another great way to save money is to go together with a friend and buy the equipment together and split the costs all the way down the line. This makes brewing beer more fun and social and each of you can have the equipment and supplies home at different times to get to know it and learn to make good beer separately so you can make great beer together. Who knows? You may get so good at it that you start selling your beer to local pubs and end up making money instead of just spending some.