This month's version of The Session is the third one that I have tagged with home brewing. These things happen with age. Anyway, Pintwell hosts and asked a number of questions including this the most applicable one for me:
How did homebrewing change your view of beer? Do you like beers now that you didn’t before? Do you taste beer differently? Does homebrewing turn you into a pretentious asshole?
Last question first. Gives us the last answer that matters. Home brewing allowed me to spot pretentious assholes... or, to be fair, arseholes. See, what one really learns from home brewing is that beer is simple to make well for a modest price. If you remember one thing: keep it clean. Once you have mastered sterilization and realize that it is 80% of the work then you can make your IPA or your browns or your stouts and pretty much any other ales you wish. Swap around the yeasts. Add this specialty malt or that. A range of options. A wealth of them. An interest of a lifetime. By your twentieth batch it might even be ready to serve it to others. Too long? What were you expecting? I am after all a bad brewer.
If you don't appreciate that, well, I don't know what to tell you. Watch your step. Arseholery lays about you. The lack of ambition in such matters smacks of needing to know, that you believe you heed the others - the brewer, the craft consultant, the PR writer, the mark-up maker. You are a victim of craft beer. See, beer wants you to like it and like making it and like understanding it. Beer likes you. Craft is a layer on that. A burden upon it. A burden on you. Financial. Emotional. If you are curious about beer - and you should be - make some. Start with the all-malt stuff, too. No need to bog your expectations down with sticky stuff that makes muck. Heck, just mask some grainy malt mash into sweet goo. That alone thrills the kids. Also, nothing confirms the modesty of the enterprise.
One thing more. Set aside a few years before you go past ales. Before you dream of brewing weirder stuff. If you are lucky you might never bother and could end up owning a perfectly good micro.