Students brew beer to save bucks

Brewing your own beer may be an interesting, cost-effective alternative to buying a case of Sam Adams at the liquor store, and it’s also a hobby in which some college students have taken interest.

Junior Tom Kreitzer said he brews his own beer because it’s a fun pastime, and it’s a novelty for college students.

“That whole uniqueness kind of adds a whole mysterious thing to it because not a lot of people know how to brew beer,” Kreitzer said. “A few people have toured a brewery or asked how it’s done. But very few people have sat down, bought a kit, and started mixing things together to see what happens. It’s like Chemistry 101, but for alcohol.”

Heyward Gualandi, manager of Northern Brewery on Grand Ave., said that the start-up costs are around $80 to $200 for equipment such as a fermenting bucket, pots and siphoning equipment. But after that, a home-brewer can make five gallons of beer for as little as $20. Five gallons is equal to more than 48 bottles.

“It’s a fun hobby,” Gualandi said. “People have been making beer for a long time.”

Kreitzer said brewing your own beer requires patience, giving the mix about two weeks to ferment.

“It’s time-consuming,” he said. “It’s not something that is going to happen overnight. You’re not going to have beer the next day. It’s kind of a longer-term project.”

But he said his beer is something that he’s proud of.

“It’s kind of a different feel when you can say, ‘Hey, I put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into making this brew,’” he said. “It’s something that I brag about and it’s something that I take a lot of pride in, because not many people in college brew their own beer.”

Mary Kenkel can be reached at

2 Replies to “Students brew beer to save bucks”

  1. Good times. I’ve got 6 gallons of a Corona clone fermenting downstairs right now. 

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