How brewing your own beer could save you $532 a year
Why craft beer at home? It’s cheaper than bottled water.
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I have often said that if beer is an acquired taste, then you might as well acquire a taste for cheap beer.
Many brew aficionados would disagree with my assessment of adult beverage choice, claiming instead that something as precious as a lager, stout or ale should be savoured as a delicacy and that intense scrutiny should accompany every sudsy indulgence.
Luckily there is a solution that can satisfy both my quest for fermented frugality and the pristine palate of beer connoisseurs: brewing your own hops-filled masterpiece.
A five-gallon beer kit can be purchased for about $30, depending on the recipe you want to brew. Add another $10 for yeast and bottle caps, and the input costs will run you around $40. Five gallons is roughly equivalent to fifty-three bottles of beer. This gives us a per-beer cost of about 75 cents — that’s cheaper than bottled water!
In much of Canada, even the cheapest discount beers cost $1.40 per 341 ml serving.
The “middle class” of beers such as Labatt Blue or Molson Canadian, often come in around $1.60. This is of course assuming you’re purchasing your poison of choice at a vendor and not in a bar or restaurant — where of course the per-serving cost skyrockets.
If we assume that the average beer-drinking Canadian consumes a 12-pack in an average week, and that they prefer a popular domestic vintage, the weekly cost would be $19.20 or just under $1,000 annually. Self-brewing by comparison could net you the same amount of beer (at a higher alcoholic content if that’s what you’re into) for $9 a week, or $468 over the course of a year. That’s an annual savings of roughly $532 — not counting any drinks you save yourself from purchasing in a bar or club.
There are some initial start-up costs and depending on how fancy you want to get, they can range from 50 bucks to more than $200. As always, looking around online or checking out some used equipment can save you some hard-earned cash. Often you can find brewing kits that have barely been taken out of the box when looking online, and as a one-time cost, it’s definitely worth it if you use the kit for a couple of years.
There is no telling how much your own time vs. beer crafting enjoyment value ratio will play into our brewing equation. I know some people who love making their own beer so much that they would pay a premium do so, while others see it as a little hobby that can help them stretch their entertainment budget. Take pride in your brewmaster skills and enjoy one for me this summer, Canada!
It comes down to math: The first step is to add your net incomes together. Then divide each individual income by this figure and multiply by 100.
So many people see the math of money as overwhelming. It isn’t. It’s Grade 5 math. Stop using this excuse!