I was bottling up some 2007 mead (honey wine) recently, when I realized that it has been quite a while since I have made a full batch of homebrew. I checked, and the last full sized batch I made was the Holiday Genniuss (an Irish stout) from 2005.
Normally, at this time of year I would be getting my fill of the Great Lake Brewing Company's Christmas Ale. But, this year a six pack costs about $11, and with the recession in full swing I feel less inclined to splurge as much. I'm sure I will still purchase my fair share of Christmas Ale, but it will definitely be less than usual.
So, those two factors combined to convince me that I should try and brew up my own spiced holiday ale this year. I am only an amateur, and my beer is nowhere near as good as Great Lakes, but it is always fun to try and emulate a great beer. My friends tell me that I make some good beer, but I think that is mostly because they are my friends. In any case, I'm excited to see if I can come anywhere close to Christmas Ale.
It is cheaper to brew your own beer, but the discount is not as great as one would think. Quality ingredients cost money, especially when you can't buy in bulk. But, it at least makes me feel like I am scrimping more. I'm trading some elbow grease to save a few dollars. So, if we are lucky in a few weeks I'll have some good homebrew to share.