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TDMooney
01-30-2011, 08:58 PM
So I have to write a paper for class on any topic that I want, I decided to do "Why Homebrewing is becoming more popular in today's households"

My thesis (and I'm still working on it):

For many American's homebrewing provides a way to enjoy craft alcohol in an economical and community based enviroment.

Outline of paper:

Intro:
-Talk about prohibition
-When homebrewing was legalized
-Brief history of homebrewing and the restrictions/laws
-Thesis

Par. 1: Economical
-Avoid high taxes
-Less expensive
-Eliminate middle man

Par. 2: Community
- LHBS, clubs
-National and local organizations
-competitions and prizes
-Internet and forums

Par. 3: Support
-Support small business and local business
-craft meaderys and brewerys

Par. 4: Freedom
-creativity/flexibility with ingredients
-many different types and vareties
-craft brewing

Conclusion:
-homebrewing in the future/the direction its going
-Increase in craft brewerys in the U.S
-Restate thesis

If you have any suggestions or advice please let me know.

mccann51
01-30-2011, 09:12 PM
I would add something of the Freedom section to the thesis; people brewing what they want to drink is a huge reason many brew in the first place.

You should also include a sample of your homebrew with the paper...

Chevette Girl
01-30-2011, 09:34 PM
How about the localvore aspect? What got me into this in the first place was finding something to do with all the local fruit I had access to... And also, you can't just go out and buy any of the stuff I make, red currant or wild grape wines just aren't something commercially available... (although I guess that goes along with mccann's "freedom" section)

TDMooney
01-30-2011, 10:09 PM
mccann51, and Chevette girl these will be great additions to the paper, thank you for your help

triarchy
01-30-2011, 11:42 PM
This might be more of a "why I brew" thing, but maybe close enough to what you are looking for. Id strongly second Chevette Girls locavore comment, its a big part of my life here. I either pick wild or grow all of what I use for my melomels or metheglins (as well as cooking, canning, etc). It gives me a lot of satisfaction to know that I did almost every aspect of making my mead entirely by myself.

I also get the same feeling I get from cooking, following a recipe or just thinking up something and having it turn out good. When I can make others appreciate what I have made, something greater than the sum of its parts, it is special to me. I guess its pride.

Also, there is a uniqueness to making your own things. Its special because you cant buy it anywhere. At least not around here. I dont see many huckleberry or chokecherry meads in the stores ;)

MrMooCow
01-31-2011, 07:08 AM
You might also look at national variants to the laws. Example: Utah actually only recently leglized home wine making. Last year I think. Home brewing had been legal for longer, though I think they were still running behind the rest of the country.

Tannin Boy
01-31-2011, 07:39 AM
Par. 4: Freedom
-creativity/flexibility with ingredients

If I may suggest that you elaborate a bit on the possible use
of pure / organic ingredients and it's effects on your health.
The other area would be the addition of your ability to control
the level's of sulfites and other chemical additions which will also
benefit ones health as well.

TB

MrMooCow
01-31-2011, 09:31 AM
Another thing you might consider looking at is if there is any connection to State Liquor/Wine/Beer Sales Laws and homebrewing. Some States have fairly open sales laws, while others have extremely restrictive.

Illinois allows independent stores, so not only is there a liquor store on every corner, but good help tends not to be hard to find. Walk into Binny's, go to the service desk, give them your dinner menu and budget, and they'll spend 30 minutes with you talking about food pairings and such.

Utah has only State run stores. Their employees are generally no better educated about the products then your local gas station attendant. Looking for something really interesting and unique? Even if they have it, the employees won't be of any help in finding it.

Why do I bring this up? There aren't a lot of homebrew stores in the Chicago area (as far as I know). The two closest to me are about 20-30 minutes away (and they both aren't terribly impressive). When I was considering moving out to Utah, a quick search turned up 2 within 10 minutes of my parents house. Now, obviously that may be pure coincidence. Could be those are the only two in the SLC/Ogden area. Still, might be worth looking into.

TDMooney
01-31-2011, 10:28 AM
these will definetly help suport my thesis more, as in todays society it seems that people are more and more concerned about being healthy and what they put into their bodies, making your own craft alcohols allows you to know whats going into your product like fresh and organic ingredients and enables you to create a healthier product

as for the laws i'm definetly interested in looking into the relationship between the amount of homebrewing and involvment and how harsh the laws are in that state i may make this a little broader because this could be its own paper by itself

MrMooCow
01-31-2011, 10:51 AM
Oh yeah, you've got a whole host of interesting ideas to explore here. To give them all justice you'd be hard pressed to bring the paper in under 30 pages. ;D

Although, to be something of a Devil's Advocate, I don't see anywhere in your outline where you actually prove your inital claim: That homebrewing is becoming more popular.

Remember, just saying that sales are up compared to 20 years ago doesn't mean jack. You need to adjust for both population increase, inflation and relative economic activity.

IE, if you found that between the 90's and today there was no increase in per capita spending, then you could still argue that it's become more popular. Given the current economic down turn, you'd expect spending to have decreased, as it has in most other sectors.

Which brings up another topic that would be worth exploring: Has there been any change in the kinds of people who are doing home brewing? Is it more popular across the socio economic spectrum? Is one "class" increasing more then others?

This is why I want to be a millionaire, so I can fund studies to answer these questions..... ;)

Chevette Girl
01-31-2011, 03:53 PM
Hehe, and a final bit of advice? Consider everything, but do draw lines somewhere on your outline and focus in depth on the things you do focus on, so you don't end up with 50 pages when the professor asked for 10 :) I know how these things can get out of hand... And I do agree with MrMooCow, if you can find some sadistics -er, I mean statistics, that support your thesis it'd be a great addition to your intro...

Wow, I almost miss writing essays and papers.

Almost.

;D

mmclean
01-31-2011, 05:52 PM
You might also look at national variants to the laws. Example: Utah actually only recently leglized home wine making. Last year I think. Home brewing had been legal for longer, though I think they were still running behind the rest of the country.

All homebrewing is still illegal in Alabama.

TDMooney
01-31-2011, 07:52 PM
Thanks for all your help :)

tweak'e
02-01-2011, 04:40 AM
why not compare to other countries.
eg NewZealand you can brew anything you like, you just can't sell it without a license and paying the taxes.
kinda weird that such a "free" country like USA has such tight restrictions.

mmclean
02-01-2011, 04:55 AM
why not compare to other countries.
eg NewZealand you can brew anything you like, you just can't sell it without a license and paying the taxes.
kinda weird that such a "free" country like USA has such tight restrictions.

Yes, very weird indeed. :glasses7::glasses6:

Berliner
02-01-2011, 10:48 AM
Actually, I think on-paper economic activity related to homebrewing wouldn't ever be the best measure, since homebrewers are by nature (if not by definition) a very do-it-yourself bunch. If you use a plastic bucket for your fermenter and bread or wild yeast, you might not show up anywhere as part of a distinctly homebrewer economy at all. (That's something you may want to mention in your paper: it's hard to say precisely how many people home brew because so much of it's outside the formal economy. But, here are figures from homebrewing organizations and so forth).

Also, tweak'e, if you think homebrewing laws in the US are strict, you'd be surprised about Germany. Home beer brewers can make up to 200L per year, but they still have to register with the local tax office in case officials want to inspect their operations! Wine and mead are different, because there's no production tax on wine, just the VAT and that only applies if you're going to sell the results. Despite the enormous popularity of beer, there's not really very much interest in making it at home.

capoeirista13
02-01-2011, 11:34 AM
Glad to see someone else using this forum as a resource for a school paper on brewing! I did this for two papers myself a while ago. Mind posting your paper when it's done?

TDMooney
02-01-2011, 11:42 AM
yeah I will post the paper, may be a little while since im still researching. Alot of useful information and knowledgable people on the forum to throw ideas around with.