Alcoholics Learning To Brew

Dad sent me this story on alcoholics in Canada learning to brew.

Now that’s an interesting program on multiple levels, for me. First, you have an unorthodox solution to a problem.

But what I wonder about is how this knowledge will effect those in the program. I believe all knowledge is empowering and certainly making your own beer is going to be safer than behaving desperately and drinking things not meant for consumption. I wonder, too, if there’s a soothing effect, mentally; one doesn’t have to worry about where the next drink comes from, if you can make your own.

Also, I wonder if learning the skill causes them slow down and appreciate what they’re drinking. Because they have put effort into making the beer they are drinking might help give them a sense of pride, because they did it, and they’ll take the time to appreciate it. They might also stop to appraise the efforts of others.

If nothing else, this program seems to give those people something to do and a place to talk, with the ability to have more to discuss than how tragically their lives have curved.

It feels very counter-intuitive, of course and I’m glad there is more to the program than just ‘we’ll teach you how to homebrew’, but if it works then that’s amazing.

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4 thoughts on “Alcoholics Learning To Brew”

  1. hmm … interesting one. The main concern of mine would be to define an “alcoholic”.
    Actually, this is quite interesting to me, because I’ve been brewing for a couple of years now and always thinking if I’m an alcoholic or not. 🙂
    The thing is that in the area where I leave (Espoo, Finland), it is clearly not any cheaper.
    So if you do it, you are clearly after a hobby aspect, provided that you are not brewing kit+kilo style (which is not much cheaper either).

    1. It’s always feels like a fine line between ‘heavy drinker’ and alcoholic, especially as a homebrewer. I tend to err on the side of: am I going into work every day? Are my relationships suffering? If I get Yes and No (respectively) to those questions, I feel like I’m doing OK.

      I’m surprised, though, to hear that a DYI method isn’t cheaper for you. I would’ve thought making it yourself would be cheaper under damn near any circumstances.

      1. Well, yeah. Perhaps you are right. However, it is also really hard to define when your relationships start to suffer from alcohol consumption.
        As for being cheaper or not, well, think of it from this perspective: Kit+Kilo will cost you about 17 EUR, it will make 20L, so a bit cheaper than 2-3 EUR per L as bulk beer will cost you. However, if you start messing with the grains … Well, that can cost you as much as your imagination can go.
        Yet another example, our neighbours… Estonia … KIT+KILO price is 20EUR (1 eur / L), but bulk beer will cost 0.80EUR/L. :))) Though, one can always argue the quality of bulk beer. 🙂

      2. Interesting. Here, using bulk grains is considerably cheaper than using liquid malt so homebrewers are encouraged to move in that direction.

        As for when one’s relationships start to suffer…well, that’s one of those things that needs the occasional outside observation. Helps to have good friends around.

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