Homebrewing Blog and Resource

Homebrewing In A Recession

I read a few news articles today discussing the upswing in homebrewing beer as a cost cutting measure in these troubled economic times.   I read it on the internet, so it must be true.

So I have a few thoughts/questions about this notion.

When I started homebrewing, the benefit of saving money wasn’t a big draw.  I saw it as an added bonus to the other benefits homebrewing brought me, but it was not a deciding factor to start.

Because saving money wasn’t a big reason for my homebrewing endeavors, I began to wonder if cost cutting was really leading more people to homebrewing or if it just made for a good article.

It seems like Coopers is seeing an increase in sales, but that is Austraila.

Are more people homebrewing?  Has the recession made for a boon for the homebrewing industry?

What say you?


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  1. I never started homebrewing to save money. I did it to make and craft my own delicious beer. I like delicious beer and I love crafting it.

    I do do things to cut costs like buying bulk DME or hops when appropriate, but it is not a make or break thing.

  2. Matt Hendry

    In Australia you can buy Coppers Concentrate and Brewing Sugars in supermarkets and Big Box Stores like KMart also carry the full Coopers Kits .Homebrew Stores sell Coopers almost at cost price hoping to entice Homebrewers in and upsell on everything else .

    Many start in the Hobby thinking it will be for the sake of economy and on the whole it is because homebrewers don’t have to pay excise tax .

    If you crack your own Grian ,Buy hops in Bulk (or grow your own) and re-use yeast you can save plenty of money but that is offset by the expense of mashing gear ,boiler ,wort chiller and a grain mill and if you get that far your are sure to buy kegging gear .

    So if your prepared to spend about $1000 on brewing gear you can save money in the long run 😛

    Give me one of those Coppers Kits any day when the economy gets really bad .

  3. Ben

    I don’t homebrew specifically to save money but it is an added bonus. I’ve always wanted to make my own beer and then finally got around to doing it. And now i’m doing all grain batches! So I guess the biggest draw for me was just the concept of making my own beer, but I think that has switched to the allure of making very good quality beer and many types that are not readily available to purchase.

  4. Darrell

    Cost cutting is what I tell my wife so she goes along with my hobby.As far as saving money I havent yet ,it seems like every time I’m in the LHBS I see something I realy need like a blow off tube , sanitizer, BYO mag or something else that adds to the cost of my brew.

  5. I never homebrewed to save money, and if you factor in your time, it’s not really a cost savings, unless you are working for minimum wage. I have noticed however, that my local home brew shop was packed last Saturday. I’ve never ssen it packed.

  6. Hopshead

    Ditto. Homebrew is fun first and foremost. Cost savings is the added bonus. As for the recession I would not be surprised if a few more people homebrew. Thing is, getting into the hobby now means there is a cash outlay for equipment/starter kit etc. It would take a few batches of savings before the new brewer realized the savings, i.e. paid off the starter kit.

  7. Aaron

    Homebrewing only saves you money compared to the cost of craft beer. Only all-grain brewing with bulk grain purchases can beat the price of, for example, PBR. Factoring in the initial outlay for AG equipment and you’re probably not saving money vs PBR until you’re a couple years in which (hopefully) means the recession’s over anyway.

    More likely, sales are growing because the number of people who appreciate quality beer is growing. I wouldn’t be surprised if the numbers were increasing faster if we weren’t in a recession.

  8. I started homebrewing to brew my own and never thought twice about saving money, until the store owner mentioned it. After starting as an extract brewer and progressing up to all-grain I feel that it is hard to save. While the ingredients get cheaper the hardware gets more expensive (kegerator, kegs etc). BUT, its all about having fun and creating something to share…you can’t ever go wrong sharing beer and food!

  9. It isn’t why I started, but, now its possible. I can make some homebrew for less than $15 a case using bulk liquid malt extract.

  10. Ted

    I too was attracted to home brewing because the idea of making my own beer was fascinating. I am a very frugal person, so the idea of making anything always crosses my mind first, before buying any commercial products. I think the allure of homebrewing is ultimately to allow beer connesiours to ability to make it for themselves. To really understand beer, means you gotta make the stuff…right? Getting to really know all the grains and hop varieties has been deeply rewarding.

    It is true that it takes time and an investment in certain pieces of equipment to get to a highest level of quality while turning out the cheapest batches possible. My latest batch has just become my all time cheapest…take a look at the bottom of the post…http://www.tedbrews.com/2009/02/scottish-ale-70.html

    But I think there is another reason beer aficionados will be very interested in this hobby. Especially, the ones monetarily effected by the current state of the economy (and who isn’t these days?). Go to your local store for beer, and notice the price tag on most micro-brewed beer. We might be willing to spend $8.99 for a pale ale, but $11.99 & up?…for some 4-packs no less! You buy it, or settle for the usual macro-brewed boring beers. But that’s asking a lot these days, and for me, I’d rather brew my own favorite pale ales.

    Brewing is rewarding on all levels, and worthwhile in both time and equipment costs. Eventually, it really is much more frugal and cost effective. Especially when local brewers can share equipment. Fun post & discussion!

  11. Ted

    I wanted to add to my first comment a post I wrote back in June, 2007 (http://www.tedbrews.com/2007/06/commercial-vs-home-brewed.html). It was a comparison of drinking commercial versus home brewed beer. I just think these numbers really show the cost savings involved in home brewing. Also, I imagine it’s a more subconscious avoidance to paying for high priced items like quality craft beer, and in turn a growing interest in the idea of making it.

  12. The articles are there so we can convince our wives that homebrewing is saving us money ; )

  13. Michael Edleblute

    I actually am NOT brewing recently BECAUSE times are tight! When I first looked at homebrewing I thought there would need to be a cost savings… Then I started doing it and have been for about 4-5 years now. It definitely is CHEAPER for me to go buy a case of beer at the store then to brew it myself. I brew for the love of it… and the sport of it! Not for the savings by any stretch. I sort of agree with Owd! this is a great article to get infront of the wife 😉

  14. I’ve gotten back into homebrewing this year after a long 10 year hiatus. It was not due to the recession that got me interested in it again but rather after spending all of 2008 trying as many different beers as possible I decided I’d like to try my hand at making some myself. I’ve spent over $700 on equipment so far, so I can’t say I’ll be saving any money anytime soon!

  15. Gary

    I, for one, can tell you that I have an undeniable tick to make and craft my own delicious beer. Although, i havent made my own beer yet due to the fact that i can’t land a job but regardless of economy or prices with equipment and ingredients, i will home brew very soon. And although i am young (18), i have noticed kids in my school wanting to home brew and not for the reasons many adults think. It is simply for the fact that we want to enjoy in the history and process of making the beer and getting the results we aimed and strived for.

  16. FunkEnet

    I moved to All-grain after paying 50-60 dollars a batch after two batches. I realized I could make a tasty session beer for 15 dollars a 5 gallon batch. So yeah I homebrew to save the dollars.

  17. i think that the Economic Recession would soon be over in the following years. there are lots of positive indicators in the world economy.

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