Yet again, another friend of mine recently encouraged me to try his homemade beer. I know many assimilated adults will say they genuinely love the craft of home brewing. They consider it an art form of sorts . . . a labor of love. I’d be more easily convinced of the merits of their endeavor if it ever produced something truly lovable, much less drinkable. It rarely does. I’ve tried a lot of lagers in my life, including dozens of homemade beers pushed on me by friends, and not a single one was worth trying again. In fact, most tasted like a glass of room-temperature, day-old coffee with a surprising yet disturbing hint of cough syrup in the aftertaste. So why do they bother? Here’s why I won’t.
The inexplicable popularity of this hobby has sparked an industry that produces some very comprehensive and easy-to acquire beginner’s brew kits and sets of ingredients. The costs of home brewing kits aren’t prohibitive, but the choices are. Which recipe do you want to try first? An English brown ale? Perhaps a German pilsner? How about an amber hybrid beer, or even a classic doppelbock? I’ve heard the ladies like a fun spiced-herb beer, but shouldn’t you offer them a sour ale first? By the time you sort out all the choices and finally pick your poison, you could’ve downed a six of Sam Adams already.
Another challenge to consider is where you are going to store your fermenting buckets of liquid fun. Of course, if you’re married, this decision is likely not yours to make, which means you can expect your recreational choice will be relegated to the basement crawlspace. Quite the endorsement of a worthwhile hobby.
Granted, there was a time when mixing up a batch of homebrew in your dorm room closet was daring, exciting and worthy of BMOC status. But that was back when you were underage, perpetually broke and looking for a challenge to outsmart those lame-ass nosy hall directors. So what’s the point now?