the barefoot budget

unconventional grit for a mindful life

This Is Not a Post About How to Brew Beer


This is not a post about how to brew beer. This is not a post about how to save money. This is not a post about getting ahead by doing it yourself. This is a post about making things with your hands. This is a post about getting dirty. This is a post about starting from scratch.

On the road to self-sufficiency and early retirement, I constantly have to ask myself: is it worth it? What does that mean? It means is the effort worth my time or money. You would think the answer always has to be yes. But that’s not true.

Brewing beer is not worth it. It takes 8-10 hours, $120 worth of equipment, and $10 worth of raw materials to produce ten bottles of beer. Why do it then? Because sometimes it just feels good. It feels good to make something out of a pile of crushed grain and a bag of yeast. It feels good to kiss your partner on the cheek while he’s stirring the wort. It feels good to smell the bready malt during the sparge. It feels good to let the hops roll off the palm of your hand and into the boil. And damn, it feels good to get your batch into the fermentation bucket, clean everything up, and sit your ass down. To give your partner a high five and pour yourself a cold one after hours of tedious labor.

Sometimes, that’s all I need to keep me going. Those experiences of doing it myself. Those feelings of responsibility and control over my life. And most importantly, that space to create, play, screw up, and succeed.

Sometimes saving money or time just isn’t what you need. Ask yourself what you need every single day, and listen. You’ll know when you find it.

(Here is an excellent resource for how to brew beer. This is the tutorial we used to brew our first one gallon batch)

9 thoughts on “This Is Not a Post About How to Brew Beer

  1. Looks like you are having fun and really enjoying the process! Life is short, as long as you are working on your goals, it’s healthy to let loose and have a blast!!!😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sometimes, you just have to splurge, and splurging on an experience is the best kind in my opinion. 🙂 My brother just started brewing his own beer this year as well, and he is loving it!

    Liked by 1 person

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  4. Sooooooooo with you on this! I think there’s something innate within us that craves MAKING things. It’s why kids are so eager to paint a picture. And for too many of us, that desire gets trained out of us — we’re told we’re not skilled enough to be “artists,” or that it’s cheaper to just buy something than to make it. Well screw that! It feels good to create! There are quite a few things we make that I know for sure are pricier than if we bought something similar, but there is so much joy to be had in doing something yourself, getting all the tactile pleasure of the doing, and all the reward at the end. 🙂


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