Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Economics of Homebrewing

This weekend I’m extremely excited to brew a 60 minute Dogfishhead IPA clone. The beer is known for its awesome amount of hops. A couple of thoughts on homebrewing and beer economics. My Vanilla Porter also just matured and it is one of the best I have brewed.

1. In DC even with shipping cost homebrewing saves you about 0.20 a beer over similar store brand beer. To brew 50 beers you have to purchase $30 worth of ingredients, plus some bottle caps and sanitizing supplies. There is also an initial fixed cost of about $100 for a fermenter. To recoup the $100 fixed cost for equipment you would have to brew 500 beers. I’m actually getting close to that after 6 years of brewing. We might also think about the opportunity cost of the time spent brewing, but I have too much fun brewing to worry about that.

2. In my intro to economics class, I often give an example that some product is found to prevent cancer, which increases demand for that product. It appears hops help prevent cancer, I just learned that the day I prepare to make the most hop filled beer I have tried.

3. I think I have finally figured out how to allocate my brewing resources so that I never run out of home brew beer. I can drink and give away about a 6 pack a week, so I brew a batch of 50 every two months.

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