A few of my friends started brewing their own beer late last year. I began to appreciate the number of breweries in the North Carolina Piedmont at about the same time. My girlfriend took the hint and gave me a two-gallon brewing kit for the holidays, so I brewed a modest golden lager to share with my friends.
I later learned that most home brewers use a standard five-gallon brewing kit that is compatible with local and online home brew vendors. My girlfriend tipped my mom to upgrade my brew kit for my birthday; I brewed my first five-gallon batch a couple months later. Today I enjoyed my first taste of the India pale ale with my family.
Brewing beer is cheap and easy. You can brew 45 bottles of any style of beer if you can clean and boil water. The process is only as exciting as knitting a sweater, but you get quality beer instead of the sweater at the end. Tell me if you start to brew in Durham or Chapel Hill so we can trade six packs.