Sure, having beer or wine isn’t a NEED, but homebrewing is a lot of fun, and it creates little waste.
We have been brewing our own beer for over a year, and we will be starting our first batch of wine after Christmas. Homebrewing creates much less waste than buying pre-made beverages. You re-use the bottles directly, rather than sending them back to the plant to be repurposed. There is much less fuel involved. Wine bottles are generally recycled, and re-using them instead expends a lot less energy.
Other than the “green” aspect, there are other reasons to homebrew:
1. It’s a fun social activity! We have friends who also homebrew, and when we get together, we exchange 6-packs. Christmas, too, involves exchanging our creations…
2. It’s fun to experiment and try to emulate our favorite micro-brews.
3. People are ALWAYS flattered when you give them a bottle of your creation. We love to have bottles to hand out at marinas. Next year, we’re going to develop some creations that involve our boat. Perhaps we’ll make “Moonraker Ale,” “Devil’s River Stout,” or “Making Port Port.” We’ll make labels with a picture of Moonraker on them, and tell about our family on the back. How fun!
So, if you want to get started making your own creations…
–Start with beer. It’s much less fussy.
–Get a kit, to begin with. You don’t need one with a glass fermenter, but it is more convenient to have a separate bucket and fermenter. That way, you can eventually have multiple creations going at once!
–Start with brew mixes. Then, use them but elaborate on your own. We buy the mixes, but add our own ingredients. For example, we replace some of the dextrose with malt extract, for a richer flavor.