Friday, January 7, 2011

a brew-tiful mind

Things are looking promising
As our loyal reader may know, two of my many interests include sticking it to the man (evident by growing my own food) and drinking (evident by growing my own mini beer belly). While brainstorming for a Christmas present I recalled a long lost idea that my young ambitious self had back in college. This idea conveniently combines the two aforementioned pleasures: brewing beer. I don’t know about you but I’m tired of paying money hand over fist to foreign conglomerates like InBev and SABMiller for the privilege of drinking beer in my home. This new years I resolved to to circumvent the establishment and brew my own beer. So this holiday season I sent Mom and Dad to Home Sweet Homebrew in Philly to pick me up a beginner home brewing kit and with any luck I'll be sticking it to the man again in no time.

As with my gardening experiment I decided to do a little break even analysis to see exactly how long it would take before I would officially be sticking it to the man. Dusting off the algebra skills…..

A beginners kit cost $70 (mom splurged on a $20 glass carboy upgrade) = $90 investment
Ingredients cost $38 dollars and  yields 48 bottles per batch = $0.79 per brewed beer

Comparisons (using local distributor prices):

1) Alcoholic tap water: Miller Lite - SABMiller
$15 for a case of 24 = $0.625 per can
Break even point = never (f*** economies of scale)

2) The better of the conglomerates: Heineken - Heineken International
$14 for a 12 pack = $1.17 per bottle
Break even point = 237 beers, 5 batches

3) My favorite small brewery and role model: Yards Variety Pack - Yards Brewing Company (general awesomeness)
 $33 a case or $1.38 a beer. (I'll negate the transportation costs since you can't buy a case in DC)
Break even point 152 bottles,  3.2 batches

Things are looking good in my plight against the man. Despite the fact that I'll never be able to break even with an official beer sponsor of a major sporting league, I will be able to compete with the conglomerates premium beers after 5 batches. Even more encouraging, I will begin to see dividends compared to small craft brews, which I mainly drink anyways, in about 3 batches.

The other blogger has been pumping people up over the past couple of weeks with the promise of a tapping party. There are two problems with that 1) there is no keg to be tapped (just bottles) and 2) what if it comes out tasting like vinegar? She also has me brainstorming for names of the brewery we are going to open after I create the recipe for the next Sam Adams. Lets just see how the weekend goes  brewing Home Sweet Homebrew's Kap’n Trips Kolsch a deep golden crisp German style ale. Stay tuned.

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