Friday 8 January 2010

Brewer's OCD

We've all heard about certain ahem, conditions, brought on by alcohol (like Shakespeare said "provokes the desire but takes away the performance" and all that) but I need to bring to your attention a far worse plight to afflict the brewer.

When I restarted brewing last March, my friends on the Home Brewing and Winemaking Forum told me I'd soon be obsessed. I laughed them off but they were right and soon I was brewing beer much faster than I could drink it.

At first I thought it was my "inner nerd" calling me and that I would be the same with any hobby, but this one's different. From September to Christmas when I had to dismantle the brewing paraphernalia and decamp it to the shed, I was brewing at the rate of one brew per weekend. Goodness me I even started making cider and wine (I hate cider). As a result I've had only one pint of shop bought beer in that time (excluding a trip to France when there was obviously no homebrew available).

My "inner nerd" has morphed into full blown OCD and I can't stop brewing. It's got so bad that I've run out of storage space, and I've got 100 empty bottles awaiting the next brew.

Judging by the activity on home brewing forums and anecdotal evidence by all of the home brew shops I've visited, home brewing and winemaking is a burgeoning hobby. Speculation abounds that it's due to the rumours of the government's 50p per unit policy but, whatever the reason, those who dip their toes in wort soon become attracted by its sticky sweetness.

For me it was all about saving money at the start but, as soon as I realised I could brew beer that tasted better than anything I could buy in a supermarket and at a fraction of the price, even cost went out of the window. My worry is that eventually the trend will become so obvious that the government will apply a duty to beer kits, malt, yeast and hops. Now that really would be a sad day.

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