skeptical homebrew kid

So my partner, Erin, called me out this morning.  As I was racking an American Blonde Ale into the keg, we had a little convo that went something like this:

Erin: “Remember when you said that homebrewing is cheaper than buying beer?”
Me: Eyes getting shifty and I pretended not to hear her.
Erin: “Don’t act like you didn’t hear me.”
Me: “Huh?”
Erin: “Remember when you said that homebrewing is cheaper than buying beer?”
Me: “When did I ever say that?  Besides, can you really put a price on passion?”
Erin: She laughs out loud and then goes “uhhhhh…yeah”
Me: Smiles and goes back to racking my brew

That got me thinking and I came to a conclusion that she would love for me to admit more often, she is right.  Homebrewing is damn expensive!  Now, that is not to say that it can’t be done on the cheap.  There are plenty of brewers out there who make fantastic beer without fancy equipment, but even their stuff comes at a cost.  Here is why homebrewing is not cheap:

  1. Time: You should value your time.  Not to say that you shouldn’t invest in hobbies, but brewing takes a lot of time.  This includes brewery prep, actual brewing, a ton of cleaning, racking, bottling/kegging, and more damn cleaning.  It takes many hours to brew one batch from start to finish, which can be measured in time/money.  This is time that could be spent making money on a side-hustle, having fun with the family or completing that honey-do list.
  2. Equipment: Unless you got everything for free on craigslist, brewing equipment costs mucho dinero.  As mentioned above, you can do it on the cheap, but staying with your first set-up is unlikely.  As you grow as a brewer, learn more and gain more experience, you will likely grow into newer and better equipment.  You may start wanting that shiny new brew kettle, a kegging setup, a conical fermenter, and the list goes on.  Brewing costs are too damn high!
  3. Ingredients: Have you seen the cost of hops?! Ingredients can add up real quick.  Granted, brewing a cream ale will be significantly cheaper than a double IPA, but unless you are growing and processing all your own ingredients, the costs associated with a batch of beer will quickly add up.

So, when your lovely significant other says “Brewing is expensive” you should respond by a “I know. I love you and thank you for always supporting me and my interests.”  Then immediately go buy their favorite beer/wine, a movie to watch later that evening and a little something special because here is the deal … homebrewing is expensive.


Here are some tips from Jason that helps you ease the pain: 5 Ways to Upgrade Your Homebrew Equipment Without Breaking The Bank!