Earlier today, the blog Michigan Beer Buzz
posed an interesting question for these tough economic times: "Is it cheaper to brew your own?
" They referenced an article on everyman financial advice site, The Simple Dollar
, discussing "A Walkthrough and Cost Breakdown of Brewing Your Own Beer
Let's cut to the anticlimactic chase. The answer: It depends. The Simple Dollar states: "If you are comparing the cost of homebrew to the cost of well-made craft beers...homebrewing is actually quite cost effective. I used $35 worth of ingredients to make seven six packs of porter, a cost of roughly $5 per six pack. [However] this doesn't include...the cost of the equipment."
And again, these saving only translate from homebrew to upmarket craft beer. "If you're content just buying some Miller Genuine Draft," The Simple Dollar continues, "Homebrewing isn't going to save you much money (if it saves you any at all)." Plus this cost analysis is sans equipment (which can be less than you might think, but is still a cost). If you throw down for equipment, or start buying ingredients in bulk, that will save you money in the long run, but if you quickly discover that homebrewing isn't the hobby for you, you'll end up eating that initial investment as a loss.
So my advice: Attempt homebrewing as a hobby first, and then see if savings come in time. The Simple Dollar does a straightforward job of laying out all the basics
-- even providing a recipe for a porter -- and, trust me, plenty more websites are dedicated to homebrewing if you want to get in on the craze.
But also beware of this counterintuitive twist: If you think you'll buy less beer, you might be surprised. As Michigan Beer Buzz says, "In fact, I think I buy more. You tend to want to try all of the new craft beer [because it] inspires you on future batches." If you're really looking to save money, you might just want to give up drinking all together!
[via Michigan Beer Buzz
and The Simple Dollar