Kit beers remind me of training wheels on a bicycle. When you’re little and starting out, learning to master that wild machine for the first time, you’re glad to have them. As you get a feel for the mechanics of it all and your own sense of balance and operating environment (gutters, roads, parks, bumps in the pavement, dogs, etc,.) you get the notion that you can make it on two wheels alone. You look at the bigger kids whizzing past on their big kid bikes and suddenly you want to jump up a level. Before you know it you’re hassling your mum or dad to get the spanner out and get the training wheels off. Suddenly you’re too self conscious with them on to even venture out the front gate. Little does one know though that once the training wheels are gone a whole new and scary raft of new challenges presents itself: grazed knees, bumped heads, wobbly teeth, blood. But was there ever a kid who didn’t wear their wounds with pride?
In my humble opinion, kits allow a bloke to get started in brewing with a minimum of fuss. That, however, can lead to a false sense of security which in turn results in frustration with the product. Yes! Get out there and start making beer, be lulled into a false sense of ease, and upon realising that it is really hard work, get annoyed, impatient then give the game away! Or…
Kit beers deserve our respect. It would be cocky in the extreme to malign the little blighters. I look forward to the jump to all grain brewing but know that I still have much to learn, and brewing from kits Is the most logical way to go, for the time being. That said, I’m keeping my spanner close at hand.