If there’s one thing that Britain has become renowned for the world over, it is, undoubtedly, the widespread passion for beer that can be found through the country. After all, beer has become somewhat of a national phenomenon. Wherever you travel throughout the United Kingdom, it’s nearly impossible not to run into at least two or three pubs around every corner.
That being said, a relatively new trend has begun to take hold amongst beer enthusiasts in the UK, that being the fine art of home brewing. The idea behind home brewing is actually quite simple. Aspiring brew masters create their own custom-tailored brewing setup in their house and develop specific beers that match their own aesthetics and tastes. Much like home roasting is becoming popular amongst coffee drinkers around the world, so has home brewing nurtured the burgeoning DIY movement in the UK.
That being said, the question must be asked: have British residents become obsessed with home brewing? The answer to this question will likely fluctuate depending upon exactly who you ask. Those who champion the home brewing movement argue that this practice is much less and obsession or fad and more a reflection of English tradition. After all, home brewing became a widely practiced craft in the post-war years, as the British people began to develop their own craft beers out of financial necessity.
The latest resurgence of home brewing began in 2008 following the devastation that was the global financial crisis. According to Andy Janes, the current marketing manager for Muntons Home brewing, “[During the recession] People were faced with one of three choices. Either drink less, choose a cheaper alternative, or make it yourself. And they picked the last option – we’ve trebled in size over the last six or seven years."
Although many craft beer experts fully acknowledge that home brewing will likely never be able to achieve the results of larger operations, the thrill of crafting one’s own brew is likely just as important as the finished product. It is, perhaps, this idea that helps perpetuate the allure of home brewing and the sustainment of home brewing across the UK at large. Even though industry insiders continue to fret over what they perceive as a decline in English infatuation with ale, the home brewing industry is thriving on a level that as never before been seen in the country at large. And this, of course, is definitely something to be excited about.