Why We Brew

Why did we start brewing? Because we thought it would be diverting and entertaining. (It turned out to be frustrating and difficult.)

Why did we stick with it? Because, from day one, it helped us understand beer better. When we spoke about malt and hops, we were no longer thinking in abstract terms, but had handled the raw materials. We began to understand what effect they had, and could suddenly detect them in the beer we were drinking in the pub. We learned how hard it is to brew great beer and gained a new appreciation for the brewer’s art.

Why are we brewing more now than ever? Like the man says, it’s “a reaction… to what is otherwise available in the marketplace”. We simply can’t get the kind of beer we want to drink in Penzance for a price we can afford. We love cask ale in the pub but, sometimes, we want Belgian, American or German-style beers. Sure, we can order bottles online, with a hefty delivery charge, and do so as an occasional treat; but, now we’ve more-or-less got the hang of it, brewing at home is far, far cheaper, and has finally become as much fun as we’d hoped it would be.

4 replies on “Why We Brew”

I started brewing out of curiosity more than anything else… 40 pints of beer from a 1.5kg can of gloop? surely not! Once I understood this stage, I progressed through to all grain brewing and as you say, it lends a better understanding to the beers that we enjoy, or not as the case may be. I did at one point brew thinking it would save me money, but I’m not sure it has yet, mainly because homebrewing introduced me to the choice of beer available out there….and I buy a fair bit! Having said that, brewing your own beer and brewing a beer that you really like has the edge over buying beer that you really like 🙂

Good for you. As an important leader in American home brewing famously says, relax, don’t worry, have a homebrew. You brew for sport, as I did when I lived in Oregon years ago, but now I brew out of necessity.

Incidentally, my last batch of the month is boiling away in the garden shed nicely even as I write this: a dark, dry mild for May. (Big flavour hop addition will make it non-traditional though. Oh well.)

There’s a reason why I don’t home-brew and it’s the same reason why I rarely drink beer at home.
I’ve always associated beer with being out.Finding new pubs and new beers.Meeting up with old friends and total strangers.
I don’t know why but whist I’m happy drinking wine at home there’s something about supping beer at home that’s not quite right.
I can’t really put my finger on the reason why but there it is.
Once, and only once, I purchased a barrel of beer for Christmas. Timothy Taylor’s Landlord.
I even borrowed a pint glass from my local to enjoy it properly.
I hated it.Not the Landlord,which was superb, but drinking out of a pint glass at home.It felt like sacrilege.
To solve the problem I got a gang of mates round to demolish the contents of the barrel and then we all fucked off to the pub to drink proper pints.
I knew the instant that I walked into the pub and called a pint that I’d never ever drink another one at home.
And I never have.

Good for you – home brewing still reminds me of my Dad and his demijohns full of Boots recipe paint stripper, good that you’re having better successes. From memory his brews loitered in the attic until my mum shouted at him enough to tip it away – no one was ever suicidal enough to try drinking the stuff!!

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