|**Borrowed from an email blog**
Why do we brew? A thread from our discussion forum some time back about “why we brew” got me thinking about the advantages that home brewing as a hobby bestows.
Intrinsic Rewards- Brewing beer has its own intrinsic value. There is something people find inherently rewarding the creative process. Its not just any beer, its your beer that you designed and created with your own two hands. In a sense, the ability to do something new, unusual, challenging and rewarding is the basis for all hobbies including this one.
Limited Time Needed – Brewing is a great hobby for busy people, as it really does not take that much work to brew a batch of beer. Extract brewing consumes perhaps a few hours of time spread out over several weeks, and even all grain brewing adds only a few hours of additional work. You can adjust the amount of time as needed to match your schedule.
Quality over Quantity – Home brewed beer is hand crafted, which means the home brewer can use ingredients and techniques that are commercially infeasible for the big breweries. In home brewing, all malt full bodied beer is the standard, and cheap additives are the exception.
Imagination Unleashed – Brewing beer opens up a world of possibilities. Home brewers can experiment with ingredients, styles and techniques spanning the entire world. The possibilities are limited only by the brewer’s imagination.
Reduced Hangovers – Home brewed beer contains a large quantity of yeast with Vitamin B. Vitamin B reduces the effects of a hangover naturally. Commercial beers are filtered and pasteurized, both of which strip the vitamin B from the beer and lead to hangovers.
The Cost Advantage – Though the malt and hops shortage have temporarily raised the price of home brewing, penny pinching all grain home brewers can still brew 5 gallons of beer for less than the cost of comparable commercial beer. Over time, I’m confident prices will come back down as the market balances supply with demand.
The Social Aspect – Home brewing is inherently a social hobby. Brewers are passionate about their beer, and the home brewing community is vibrant and growing. In addition, you may find your neighbors are fond of your latest creation and start dropping by more often to sample your beer. The internet and Web 2.0 sites like BrewPoll have made sharing the hobby even easier.
Health Benefits – A number of medical studies indicate that alcohol, properly used in moderation at 1-2 drinks per day can provide a number of health benefits. Obviously drinking too much can have a huge negative effect, so we recommend drinking in moderation always. In addition, dark beers provide many of the same benefits as dark wines with regards to high flavinoid content to promote a healthy heart. All natural ingredients including a solid dose of brewer’s yeast provide secondary health benefits. A recent article by Charlie Papazian points out that a 12 oz glass of beer has less calories than 12 ounces of juice, milk or soda.
The Challenge – Making commercial quality beer at home using recipes you developed is a challenge. However the challenge is part of the charm. There is a wonder in sharing a beer you created by hand with friends that is made even better if it is a difficult style or complex technique. Pushing the limits of the hobby to create the perfect brew is part of the fun.
Unlimited Variety – Home brewing takes us outside the narrow limits of popular commercial beer, and exposes the home brewer to a world of beer styles and possibilities. Home brewed beer gives you the opportunity to explore German, English, Belgian and other styles that an average drinker would rarely be able to access.
Thank you again for your continued support!
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By Jester Goldman from Craft Beer & Brewing (beerandbrewing.com)
Brewing is, without a doubt, the world’s best hobby. The satisfaction of enjoying and sharing your own fluid creativity is hard to beat. If you’ve recently started or even if you’re just thinking about brewing, joining your local homebrew club is one of the smartest choices you can make. With a nominal investment of time and annual dues, you can immediately reap the rewards of education, connections, and, of course, beer. There are also a few side benefits to sweeten the deal.
Education is one of the biggest advantages of joining a brew club. Nothing will improve your skills like spending time with other homebrewers. Clubs are full of experienced people who are happy to share their knowledge, give you good constructive criticism of your beer, and help you understand more about the process of brewing. You can partner with others to try out experiments, such as making SMaSH. (single malt and single hops) beers or trying out different yeast strains against the same wort. Even better, you can pick up almost as much from other club members when they share their results, saving you some effort.
Beyond those informal educational perks, many clubs also offer structured activities, such as bringing in guest speakers or setting up BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) study sessions. Brewing is such a big field that you can still learn more from your club long after you’ve shed your beginner status.
Like any kind of hobbyist group, brew clubs connect you with a bunch of people who share your interest. The truth is that you can only bore your non-brewer friends for so long before they get tired of drinking with you. Club meetings and parties are the perfect place to get your beer geek on with a crew who really understands you. Brewers tend to be a gregarious lot—the beer may have something to do with that—and it’s fairly easy to make friends who might have more in common with you than just a love of fermented beverages. But even if you’re a bit of an introvert, things are usually relaxed enough for you to manage the social interaction at your own comfort level.
Brew clubs also offer other ways to tap into the larger brewing community. They usually have good relationships with the breweries in the area, in part because the owners and brewers may be or may have been members. This can lead to special access for club members, from insider brewery tours to Pro-Am brewing sessions. Clubs may also sponsor or help promote beer dinners, community outreach, and service opportunities.
This may be ridiculously obvious, but there’s no question that you’ll be exposed to all different kinds of beer when you’re in a brew club. Most club meetings set aside some time for tasting, where people can show off their latest batch and get feedback. Clubs may also have presentations on beer styles, which certainly require samples to assist your understanding. On top of that, you’ll be expanding your social circle to include a bunch of fellow brewers, and the more brewers you know, the more likely someone will offer you a beer.
Most clubs will easily deliver on the benefits above, but individual groups can sweeten the deal even more. Many groups run competitions, where you can participate as a steward or judge in addition to entering your beer. Others organize bulk purchasing of ingredients or local discounts, which can save you some money. The club may also have specialized resources, such as yeast banks and equipment for loan, or they may host special events such as brew trips or camping. These frills may not come up casually during a meeting, but they’re worth asking about.
Take the Plunge
If you need to find a club, drop by your local homebrew supply shop; they should be familiar with the groups in your area. You can also look online. The American Homebrewers Association has a page dedicated to helping you with finding a local club. Find out when the next meeting is and drop in on it. You’ll meet some great people and get a chance to see what you’ve been missing.
We are going to have a brew day session in the back parking lot of RECESS BREWING in Edwardsville, Illinois. If you’ve ever wanted to learn about brewing in depth, feel free to join us and ask as many questions as you like. If you’re already a brewer and wish to join us, feel free to contact one of us to see if we can accommodate you.
Please contact Chris or Jen Davinroy at firstname.lastname@example.org or Greg Bridwell at email@example.com
Man, if you didn’t make it to the February meeting – you don’t know what you missed! We picked up a couple of new members and went over the newly revised schedule of events. We have some awesome things coming up.
If you haven’t already, please expect a phone call from me as we are trying to update all of our records. It’ll be nice to revise the member list and start adding people to our private group where we can share brew days and other various stuff. Lots coming up. Essentially:
Tom Grieve has the mobile version of our website up and running properly now.
There is a brew demo happening soon at G1’s place
Next meeting is 4/10 at Recess Brewing
Brew Day coming up at Recess Brewing
We are going to participate in the Heritage Festival – we will need a lot of volunteers.
Plus much much more!
Come join in the fun!!!!!
Homebrew Contest Fall 2013 and Spring 2014
Congrats to our own Andy Sanders for winning the last contest with his American Roggen Weizen.
Alpha Brewing Company is having another contest due in little over a month. Its an anything but pumpkin Squash Ale. Basically they are looking for a squash beer, but no pumpkin. That contest is for this winter. Due October 26th.
The second contest is for Spring 2014. Its a 100% Brett Brux fermentation beer.
Check out the site for more details and entry forms.