Not just any beer, but real beer. You can keep your watery mass-produced quasi-pilsneresque lagers that were once the pride of Milwaukee but now come to us from every friggin' corner of the lower 48. You can keep your microbrews and imports to - and you know why?
Real men drink homebrew.
Yep. The weather has cooled down enough where I can start up another batch of homemade ale (I don't have lagering equipment, yet. Can't justify the expense.), and this time I'm going for a tried and true stout.
I'd been toying with the idea of brewing my own beer for years, but it was not until my girlfriend (who is now my wife) bought me a starter kit for my birthday, one year. There's been no turning back, ever since. Every fall through very early spring I can usually crank out one to three batches (roughly five to fifteen gallons) each year.
For those of you unfamiliar with brewing beer, it's really no more complicated than making bread. And only slightly more dangerous. Brewing your own beer will not make you go blind, will not poison you and will not lead to a drinking problem.
Believe it or not, some people are under the impression anyone who brews their own must have an alcohol dependency issue. Trust me: at five gallons of beer for one to two months' work, homebrewing is not the way to negotiate your liver into a state of cirrhosis.
But home brewing does have its hazards. The one that readily come to mind:
Reeking Kitchen Syndrome.
If there is one thing brewing your own will do, it will force you to keep your kitchen sparkling clean. You have to boil what basically comes down to malt soup on your stove for an hour or more. The stuff boils over real easy and is a terror to scrub away if left to dry. That, and free-born wild microbes absolutely love the stuff. If you don't scrub down the kitchen thuroughly afterwards, you'll have a sour rotting smell permeating your house and you'll have to break out the bleach before your wife starts getting irritated. (Not that mine has ever gotten irritated; I just know some other homebrewers who are not as fortunate in the spouse department as I am.)
Okay, enough of this prattle! I have a carboy to sanitize and yeast to activate!