Home brewing. According to the American Homebrewers' Association, there are over 1.2 million homebrewers across the United States. That means that roughly 1 in 265 of you are living your brewing dream and making your own perfect pint. The benefits of home brewing are plentiful, ranging from the increased availability of beer on hand to taking pride in your own creations. But, did you ever pause to think about how home brewing makes you a better person? Here are five ways your hobby is making a better you.
1. Brewing Makes You Smarter
Yes, you heard right. Brewing makes you smarter. By using both sides of your brain, you are strengthening your neuron pathways. That means for us left brain logics, home brewing lets us tap into our right brain creativity. We are able to experiment with flavors and aromas while still following our sequential brewing tasks. Right brain innovators are able to exercise their left brain attention, memory, and focus to their brew day. Either way you slice it, when you use both sides of your brain, you maintain those important pathways to a healthy intelligence.
2. Brewing Makes You Sustainable
Once you've learned how to construct your own brew, you then become enchanted with how to make your own ingredients. Most of the time that leads to some hop rhizomes planted in your backyard sunspot. Some of you might even start to collect some wild yeasts like our forefathers once did. If that seems a little crazy at this juncture for you, try throwing in some goodies from your garden next time you are hovered over a brew kettle. Before you know it, that thumb of yours will be green.
3. Brewing Makes You Scientific
Once you begin home brewing, you don't look at beer ever the same. You deconstruct the pint, guessing the hops and figuring out the grain bill, all for the simple purpose of recreating it. Surrounded by beakers and graduated cylinders, you experiment with different brewing ingredient combinations, noting the outcomes in your homebrew notepad... which has become eerily reminiscent of your high school science notebook. Why didn't your teachers ever tell you that science could be fun?
4. Brewing Makes You Sense-itive
Don't worry, I'm not going to get into any of that touchy feely stuff. But think about it. Ever since you started brewing, your senses have been heightened. You are able to spot different flavors in beer; whether it be bitter, sweet, salty, or sour. You have noticed that all your senses are helping you taste now, through smell, sight, taste, and mouth feel, when not too long ago, a cold pint of whatever would satisfy. You might even be contemplating getting your Cicerone Beer Server certification because your senses are so heightened.
5. Brewing Makes You Social
Humans are social creatures. We congregate in groups and seek out partners. We love to talk about ourselves; regardless if that talk is actually in person conversation or an abundance of social media posts. Either way, home brewing reinforces our social nature. Being a part of a home brewing club, attending a home brewers' conference, or just hanging out with some friends over a pot of boiling wort, home brewing is about as social as a beer geek can get. And let's be honest, one thing us home brewers can't get enough of is talking about our latest brew.
Let's get one thing clear here, you don't need a list from me to convince you to homebrew. You love beer. You love making your own. So go better yourself and get brewing!
|Heather Erickson is a homebrewer and junior high teacher in Tacoma, WA. Her home brewery is H2 Brewing. A craft beer lover for a decade and a half, Heather first brewed her first batch of beer in 2010. Over the past six years, she has experimented with different styles from a triple hopped barleywine to a peanut butter Porter. With hops in her family, her great grandfather was a hop farmer, it's no surprise that Heather's favorite style to make and drink is an IPA. You can find her traveling around the country exploring kid friendly breweries with her 8 month old daughter.
Follow Heather on her homebrew journey