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How Expensive Is It To Make Your Own Beer?

According to CNBC, beer prices increased by 5.9% in 2023, bringing them up to a 72% total increase since 2000. While there are many exciting reasons to start brewing beer at home, like joining a community and unleashing your creativity, making your own beer can also help you save money.

In this article, we’ll cover different expenses involved when homebrewing, how they compare to purchasing beer, and how using a beer making kit can help keep your costs down.

How Much Does It Cost To Produce One Pint of Beer?

Based on a study reported by the American Homebrewers Association (AHA), the average cost to produce a pint of beer is $0.90. This conclusion is made using an average cost to brew 5 gallons of beer of $36 (ingredients only), which produces 40 pints. Additional costs to brewing beer at home include:

  • Equipment
  • Bottles
  • Caps
  • Cleaning and Sanitizing Supplies

Many of these supplies are useable for many batches, so only a portion of your initial investment would impact each batch. For example, you can reuse bottles batch after batch, which helps you save money (and it’s a sustainability win).  

Is It Expensive To Make Your Own Beer?

Brewing your own beer at home is an exciting and affordable hobby. Once you have your equipment set up, making beer is often less expensive than buying store-bought beer from a liquor store or bar. Of course, just like any hobby, you have the opportunity to invest in different ways to engage with it. For example, as a home brewer, you may decide to attend festivals and competitions or upgrade your equipment setup beyond basic beer brewing kits to start making unique craft beers.

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What Is the Most Expensive Part of Brewing Beer?

The two most expensive parts of brewing homemade beer are:

  • Getting Started
  • Making Mistakes

Getting Started with Homebrewing

To get started, you’ll need the following beer brewing equipment:

  • Fermentor
  • Airlock
  • Brew Pot
  • Heat Source
  • Siphon
  • Cleaning and Sanitizing Supplies
  • Hydrometer
  • Capper
  • Bottles
  • Caps
  • Stirring Spoon
  • Measuring Cup
  • Thermometer

Investing in multiple pieces of equipment may seem expensive upfront, but you’ll also be able to reuse that equipment for years to come. Looking to knock a bunch of items off your list at once? Check out our selection of homebrew starter kits.

Traps While Homebrewing

Wasting your time is expensive. The two most common ways to waste time while making homebrewed beer are shopping for ingredients and messing up a recipe. Fortunately, using beer brewing equipment helps alleviate both of these challenges. The best home beer brewing kit for beginners comes with pre-portioned hops and grains, and they also include detailed instructions for the entire brewing process, from brewing to fermenting and bottling. In other words, beer brewing kits take the guesswork out of making your own beer!

How Much Does It Cost To Brew Your Own Beer vs Buy?

In many cases, it costs less money to brew your own beer than it does to buy it from a store or bar. The American Homebrewers Association (AHA) reports on two case studies that compare the costs of home-brewing beer vs. purchasing it.

  • Case Study One: Homebrewers save an average of $28 per five-gallon batch. Based on these savings, homebrewers break even on their initial equipment investment after six batches.
  • Case Study Two: This case study estimates that it costs $0.96 per 12 oz. bottle when homebrewing. Compare that cost to your local liquor store or craft brewery to see the savings for yourself!

Of course, brewing your own beer also allows you to unleash your inner creativity and craftsmanship. Who can put a price on that?  

Do You Save Money Brewing Your Own Beer?

Yes—you can save money brewing your own beer! Similar to cooking food at home rather than eating out, home brewing can save you money by:

  • Being able to produce beer in bulk
  • Not needing to pay for the time it takes to make the beer
  • Getting long-term value from your equipment
Do You Save Money Brewing Your Own Beer_

How Much Money Can You Save By Making Your Own Beer?

You can estimate how much money you’ll save making your own beer by using the following formula:

  • Savings = (How much you would’ve spent at a store/bar for beer) – (Cost of ingredients) – (Cost of one-use supplies) – (Allocated cost of reusable supplies) – (Allocated cost of equipment) 

It’s important to note that you’ll have to allocate a portion of certain costs over many batches, such as the costs for your equipment. That’s because you can reuse your equipment over and over again.

Get the Most out of Your Home Brewing Investment with Great Fermentations!

Starting a new hobby is exciting, especially when it ends with cracking homemade cold ones with your buddies! If you’re ready to get started, Great Fermentations is your one-stop shop for brew kettles, basic brewing kits, and more.

To get an idea of what your budget will need to be to begin making beer at home, explore our online store for:

Still, trying to figure out where to start? Give us a call or swing by our Indianapolis location. We’re always excited to talk shop!

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