To Brew or Not to Brew?

Sitting back in your favourite chair after a long week at work you decide to treat yourself to a nice glass of wine or beer. If you’re like most people in today’s society, you’re on a budget and you have to decide how much of it will be spent on entertainment. So the obvious question arises—how much to spend on alcohol each month? This is not always an easy question to answer. It all depends on the quality of your favourite alcoholic beverage and of course the quantity. Let’s say you have a glass of wine every day. That means you will consume a bottle of wine every three days. If you decide to go with a relatively inexpensive $12 bottle of wine you would spend $120.00 a month on your daily glass of wine. This doesn’t include any extra weekend activity. The same thing goes for beer drinkers. Many will have at least one beer a day and over the course of the weekend another six-pack will be in order. This would work out to be $94 a month on beer alone. Over the span of a year the money you spend on alcohol can “make you want to drink.”

Crafting your own wine and beer is an excellent way to reduce the money you spend on alcohol and it will help you keep that entertainment budget in check. However, the financial benefits should not be the only thing to take into consideration if you’re thinking about making wine and beer. Crafting your own wine or beer can be satisfying in many ways. I don’t know about your situation but for me it is hard to spend quality time with my partner between work, children, and everything else. Brewing can be a great activity to enjoy together. You can catch up on events or just spend time doing something together. Brewing and winemaking can also be a relaxing activity if you do not stress yourself out about it. I tell many customers that “It’s only brewing. Do not make it harder then it needs to be.”  It’s supposed to be fun. Treat it as a hobby!

If you’re thinking about getting started, the upfront cost may make you hesitate. Making your first batch of wine will cost you an average of $160.00. This may seem like a lot but if you’re a one-glass-a-day wine drinker—as stated in the scenario above—you will quickly realize what a bargain this is. In the previous scenario I presented, you will be spending the modest amount of $120 for 10 bottles of commercial wine each month. However your initial wine kit purchase of $160 will make 30 bottles of the same or better quality wine. This means you will save about $200.00 for the same amount of wine you would have bought at the liquor store and it gets even better. Since your start-up kit included the one-time purchase of equipment necessary to make your wine, future batches will be even more economical coming in on an average of $2.50 per bottle.

As you can see, there are some big savings to be made when you make your own. This doesn’t even include the money that would have been spent going out somewhere with your partner to spend time together. The same applies for beer drinkers. The start up cost will be about $124.00 and this will give you 66 bottles of beer. Although the initial savings on your first brew are not as impressive as wine, you will still be paying less than if you bought the same amount of beer commercially. However, when you make your next batch the savings explode to $30.00 – $39.00 for 66 bottles of beer.

To brew or not to brew? I hope I’ve helped make the answer to this question easy for you . In part 2 of this article I will go over the other great aspects of brewing, including how to turn your hobby into a passion.

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