Sobriety Be Damned

By Lee Bogle

The land of home brew may sound like the bastard union of the home wine making industry and redneck culture, but it has merit as a source of that which we all cherish. In a short time, those short on cash can synthesize glory in their basement or rez bathroom.

It feels right in every way. You’re not providing those corporate fat cats at the beer companies with any more of your cash. And as proof that God approves, there is no GST on the materials.

You’re getting back to the “providing for yourself” stage of human development, and fulfilling desires.

For those who’ve undertaken the experience of tasting home brew, your fortunes may have been grim. The unshakable reputation for bad taste is not completely unfounded. Bad things can happen to good beers, turning them into evil monsters of brew that make Lysol look appealing. These are often consumed post-bar as the party winds down and desperate feelings for more beer have exceeded logical limits of restraint. These maligned brews give all homemade beer the unfortunate stigma as a sign of low class.

However, painting all home brew with the same brush is dangerous. Tasting before judging is the current civil rights movement aimed at alleviating myths of poor quality home brew.

A little precaution can lead to gloriously fresh beers that consistently beat any domestic label. A great home brew will rival any premium beer.

The procedure itself is simple enough for any hippie to follow without “harshing his mellow.” Three hours over two weeks will create 65 beers for around 25 quid. After a month of settling, the beer is ready for the all important taste test and the ensuing nights of dirt-cheap drunken debauchery. The bottle is poured into an appropriate drinking vesicle and good times commence.

It really is a beautiful sight to behold–grown men finding that cheap beer is no longer cheap enough. Those too proud to turn to malt liquor often turn to production on their own. Start up kits are available at any wine making store for around $80, which quickly pays for itself after several batches.

Instructions are provided, in simple phonetic language favoured by the redneck community. A small investment of time and money will reward you with dividends in spades, if spades were a form of booze.

While cheap beer is the main draw for most novice brewers, it is not the only appeal of this passtime. Testing new flavours, new techniques and new levels of intoxication provide a plethora of possibilities for those with plenty of passion pertinent to the production passtime of brewing. Post-apocalyptic earth will be yours if you control booze supplies.

You know that hidden smile on your mother’s lips as she made cookies for you as a kid? That same feeling comes from creating your own intoxicants. It’s like a legal grow-op and making your own means of inebriation is surprisingly rewarding.

There is only one debate in the land of amateur beer making: is it for the beer connoisseur or the alcoholic? Is it a skill, or just another means to drink cheaply? While a range of techniques are available to be learned, facts like the price–33 cents a bottle–are hard to ignore.

For those brave enough to attempt the process of brewing your own beer, know that the rewards are endless. For those still too scared to take the leap, sleep easily knowing you are paying too much for what you are getting.’There is a realm in society that often goes unnoticed. Why care about this particular deviation of societal norm? Because they have a secret. A wonderful power to create what we as students care about–really cheap beer.

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