In the past few years, there has been a huge number of people interested in home brewing. Any number of alcoholic beverages can be made at home, but beer seems to be the predominant choice. Homebrewers can easily obtain the ingredients necessary to make beer and, after learning the basics of brewing, can customize beer types. Since the varieties of endless, beer brewing has grown exponentially and become a culture in and of itself.
One of the features of homebrewing is that it brings people together and provides an interesting topic of conversation. One home brewer began bringing his own brews to party, instead of buying a 6-pack and was interested in finding out that his own brews were often more popular than some of the leading brands of beer.
Brewing beer used to be illegal and is still regulated in some states, but most allow individuals to brew for themselves. Since its legalization, home brewing has grown into a culture of beer enthusiasts and connoisseurs. The Brewers Association celebrates the best in brewing every two years at the World Beer competition. There are 91 categories of beer, and a panel of judges awards gold, silver, and bronze medals to the top three beers in each category. Also known as the Olympics of beer, enthusiasts come from around the world to compete and sample different types of beer.
While some may be wary of beer enthusiasts, believing that this hobby will lead to alcoholism, this has not been the case. Much like a wine enthusiast, this home brewing culture meets to discuss the subtle flavors and tastes of beer. At these meetings, the brewers have a unique appreciation for this beverage and often have tastings of their own brews, comparing them to similar commercial and artisan brands. The variety of beers is endless and includes lights, darks, lagers, stouts, ales, and IPAs, all of which have different ingredients and preparation methods. The members of these organizations bond their mutual appreciation of beer, and in some ways, these clubs are the bridge clubs of the 21st century. Instead of meeting to play golf or cards, people of all ages form groups based on this alcoholic beverage.
Beer has not always had a great reputation. Known as one of the cheapest alcoholic beverages available, it was held in lower regard than wine and cocktails. However, with the renewed interest in home brewing, beer is taking center stage and has become popular. Not content to settle for purchased beers, these enthusiasts want to make their own recipes and are on the search for the perfect blend of flavors. An interesting hobby, homebrewers have a great time with this past time.