Thursday, 09 July 2009 16:00

Mid-State Residents Brew Own Beer To Save Money

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The down economy has led to an upswing in beer consumption, but many in Middle Tennessee are not spending at the local bar. They are making their own.

University of Tennessee, Chattanooga student Casey Dillon lucked out when he walked into Rebel Brewer in North Nashville.

"$19 can get me five gallons of beer," said home beer brewer Dillon.

Most college students would consider that a bargain. Dillon said it was an affordable way to get his mind off the daily grind and the end result was often a batch of beer worth bragging about.

"Most of all you have control over your beer when you brew it and I like fruity beers. I like stout beers," said Dillon.

At Rebel Brewer people find the equipment and ingredients to make almost any beer. Owner Tom Gentry set up shop in January - just as the economy hit rock bottom and the questions began.

"Absolutely I was called an idiot," said Gentry. "You know why in the heck are you trying to start a business right in the middle of this mess? And I said that's what I know."

Customers from across the country have ordered from all but two states.

"Some of it has to do with the economy. There's certainly that component to it," said Gentry.

Gentry said some sales has to do with the home brewer knowing what they want and challenging his or herself to make it.

Five gallons of beer will make 52 bottles worth of beer. Home brewing experts said you can buy all of the necessary ingredients and equipment for $100.

They said the investment paid for itself with the first batch of beer.

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