We'd talked about trying to brew our own alcohol a while back but nothing ever really came of it, however, at the start of this year I purchased a home brewing beer kit on impulse and it's kind of taken off from there. Now our spare room has been all but converted into a brew room and the first fruits of our labours have matured to the point of drinking.
We've had a go at both beer and wine so far, both from kits, with the first keg of beer (Woodfordes Wherry) now clear and ready to drink while the wine (Beaverdale Merlot) is safely bottled and maturing. We've also got a few gallons of parsnip wine brewing happily away made from the last of our parsnip harvest and a second beer (Woodfordes Admiral Reserve) should find its way into a fermenting bin over the weekend.
While the act of brewing itself has been a hugely enjoyable exercise I have to say I wasn't quite sure what to expect taste wise when it was all ready. So far however, I've been pleasantly surprised. The Wherry, described as a 'session ale', is worryingly drinkable and wouldn't seem out of place in my local. The Merlot too isn't bad either, although the bottle we tried was still perhaps a bit too young as its recommended that wine should be left to mature for over six months.
This summer we're planning to try brewing some other wines from either home grown fruit (a strawberry wine is top of our list...) or foraged goodies from around the local area. It'd be nice in the future to move away from kit beers into full grain brewing too but that’s quite a leap in terms of skill, equipment and time from what I've read so we'll perhaps hold off on that for a while.
So far though, our new brewing adventure is all going really well.