I’ve “started” home brewing at least 3 times now, so I think I’m pretty familiar with what it takes to get started. Between ingredients, equipment, and failed batches, I’m pretty sure that home brew is no way to save money, at least in the short term.
During my first brewing stint, we used to joke that the best way to save money on beer was to buy cheaper beer, because brewing your own can cost boatloads of cash. I’m all for more home brewers — it’s a fantastic hobby and well worth the effort. But starting to home brew because you want to save cash isn’t really going to work out well in the short term. Even a Mr. Beer clocks in at $2 per 12oz bottle for the first brew, and still more than Budweiser every brew thereafter.
Not to mention that their slogan — “Takes the science out of brewing” — kind of irks my inner geek.
Edit: From an article Tom sent me:
Some Australians may be too strapped for cash to go to the pub, but many still find a way to get their beer. Makers of home brew kits say sales are booming. National brewer Coopers said sales of its kits were up 8 percent since July. Colin Richardson at the The Brew Shop in Sydney said demand for kits was outstripping supply. “All the brewing shops are seeing it,” he said.