Do you remember your first swig of the amazingly robust nectar? Chances are, it was ceremonious in some way. As an American, I chose to wait until I was of legal age (didn’t we all?) and make it a special occasion. God knows why I chose to buy a sixer of Rolling Rock. It might as well have been piss from the likeness of the horse on the bottle. However, I found absolute truth in the friendly suggestions that beer would become an acquired taste, and that drinking it would eventually mean so much more than simply sipping on a beverage.
For any beer lover, there’s a quest to try them all, enjoy the complexities of different ales and lagers, and experience how each can be manipulated with a variety of brewing styles, ingredients and new creations within the craft. At some point, you’ll want to make your own.
Here are a few great ways to make that happen.
Buy a beer kit
There are dozens of ways to go about brewing your first batch of beer. You could buy a book and follow the instructions to the best of your ability, while buying all the various supplies at a hardware store, and the ingredients at a brewing shop or specialty grocer. You could watch any number of videos like the one you’ll see below and try to follow along.
Or you could do yourself a favor, and just buy a beer kit.
This is the fastest way to get you into the game. There are many kits to choose from. These kits are easy to use, they come with all the supplies and ingredients you’ll need, and they offer step by step instructions in regards to cooking up your first batch of home brew.
Follow in the footsteps of other home brewers
The Internet is rife with examples of home brewing. Here are a few videos presenting the DIY spirit. These videos are diverse in nature, providing various recipes and complexities — take what you want and leave what you don’t.
Local micro breweries are full of brewing wisdom
Look no further than your nearest city to find a great micro brewery. Having been (and lived) all over the United States, and tasted the best of the best, I’ve found a particular sweet spot for the crew in Durango, Colo., at SKA Brewing.
Additionally, I’m ever-so-fond of the offerings of the brewery team at Charleville Vineyard and Microbrewery located in the greater St. Louis, Mo. area. Yep. We all know STL is a beer town. Charleville never disappoints.
Most of these microbreweries started on a kitchen stove. These brewers and master brewers are passionate about beer and they love to share their passion, knowledge and wisdom with those who are eager to learn. Tap their brain kegs, and drink in everything they have to offer.
The benefits of brewing your own beer
Sure. If you’re under 21 in the United States of America, you can cook up beer in your kitchen. I don’t know if I can get in trouble for saying that, but I’m claiming ignorance. Just keep this in mind, youngsters: you will have to store it somewhere as it ferments. Your folks and/or your roommates may not be keen on your new hobby… or they may love you for it.
Brewing your own beer will enhance you appreciation of the craft. You will stop saying you “hate” any beer, because you’ll understand the work that goes into it. You’ll refine your perspective and your palate, and you’ll begin to taste the subtle and complex differences in what goes into various beers.
As your maturity grows in the home brew process, you can begin to experiment with ingredients, as well as the alcohol levels of your beers (this is a great topic to chat with the microbrewery crews about). You can move from bottling to kegging your brew — and creating your perfect ideas of seasonal selections.