How To Save Money on Home Brewing

hopsHere is a guest article from our friend Amanda.  If you are interested in contributing to The Full Pint, please follow this link. Cheers!

Every person who loves beer dreams of being the next Stone Brewing Co. Beer lovers are building extensive (and impressive) home breweries in garages, basements, back yards, sheds—anywhere they can find space. For some it’s a hobby. For others it’s a lifestyle. It’s something that almost every beer enthusiasts wants to be able to do but, unfortunately, coming up with the money to get started can be rough. Here are some things that you can do to help better facilitate the setting up of your own home brewing system.

Credit is Your Friend
If you are serious about wanting to get into home brewing, you can always put the initial setup costs on your credit card. After all, using credit responsibly and knowing how to find credit card offers that are worth your while are something that everybody needs to do (or learn how to do) at some point, right? This is a great way to facilitate both of your goals of having great credit and homebrews at the same time.

Don’t just take the first offer that seems okay. Look for cards that come with really great perks and cash back programs. That way as you spend money you’re, in a way, earning money (sort of).

And, of course, make sure you pay your bills on time.

Group Buy
You undoubtedly know other home brewers. In fact, you might even be good friends with other home brewers. Go in together and buy your supplies in bulk. Buying a fifty pound bag of hops, for example, is much cheaper than simply buying hops or malt by the pound as you need it. As a home brewer you probably aren’t going to be able to go through that much malt or hops on your own before it spoils. Going in with friends helps you save money and avoid wasting your supplies. Everybody wins!

Be Stingy with the Hops
Hops is one of the most expensive supplies you will have to buy. It is also the supply that is most likely to run into trouble (do you remember the hops crisis hit?). There are so many ways that you can lower the amount of hops you use without having to sacrifice taste or quality of the beer you make—a skill that ultimately makes you a better brewer.

You can also switch entirely to grain based bear (or “go all grain” as the kids say these days). Using only grain in your beer helps you save tons of money on the home brewing process.

Build Your Own
When you first start looking at home brewing and the supplies you’ll need and the equipment that is required, it’s easy to get caught up in the lure of shiny new toys. Buying prefabricated equipment is incredibly expensive. Why not learn how to build your own equipment instead? It’s possible and the supplies you need will ultimately cost less than what you’d pay for something mass produced.

Home brewing itself is a way to save money (you can make your own beer for way less than you’d spend on it in a store), but getting everything set up can cost you a pretty penny. These are just a few of the things you can do to save money on the process. What are some of the things you’ve done to cut costs (without sacrificing quality)?


  1. says

    Wait a second … are you sure “going all grain” means what you think it means? I thought it meant not using any extract in the brewing process, not skipping the hops. To build on that, there’s the possibility of using other herbs as bittering agents. I’ve been putting some thought into using rosemary and spruce.

    And to be honest, I don’t homebrew to save money. I do it to create stuff that just doesn’t exist otherwise. That said, I’m all for saving some cash while doing it, so I still like your premise.

    Thanks for writing about homebrewing. Keep it comin’!

  2. says

    Good article, Couple of other suggestions:

    1. Make friends with people who can “do” things – someone who can weld is very useful; someone who understands gas or electric . . .

    2. keep an eye on Craigslist – you can quite often find things you can use. Chest freezers, for instance, are all over CL and make GREAT kegerators or fermentation chambers. . .

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