Making your own beer at home can be a very enjoyable and rewarding hobby for any beer lover. When you get started brewing you will get a huge sense of pride and accomplishment when you get to enjoy and share the fruits of your labor. This will be in the form of a great tasting Lager, Ale, or Wheat beer that will be enjoyed by, not only yourself but your fellow beer loving friends.
If you've ever had the opportunity to tour a brewery you'll get to see the huge equipment and the polished storage tanks that these large scales facilities use to make beer. Having seen this you may wonder how one could actually brew their own cheap beer at home and also be able to afford the beer brewing equipment needed to do this. Having said that, there's a large, growing brewing subculture that is based entirely on being able to brew good tasting, and affordable beer at home. Not to mention this hobby is legal, fun, and this subculture has a great sense of community when it comes to helping each other out.
It's true that the start-up costs may be pretty daunting. The price of the pots, fermenters and other specialized equipment can run into several hundred dollars. It's risky to drop that kind of money into a brand-new hobby before you even know if you will enjoy brewing beer, whether the beer you make will be drinkable or if you will stick with it. Not to mention during a time when we need most of of the money we take in just to get by, that is a risk that may be holding you back from getting into the hobby of home brewing.
Of course one possible answer is to get your first exposure and education in making your own beer with somebody Else's equipment. Once you start digging around home brewing web sites and places where the equipment and supplies to make beer are sold in town, you can find out about clubs and societies that are full of people who have taken the plunge and are making beer all the time right at home like you want to do.
These people not only love home brewing, they are promoters and advocate for their hobby and with very little prompting, you can enjoy some Saturdays in their shop or kitchen learning how to make beer with someone that already knows how. This kind of experience is invaluable because you learn what to look for in equipment and what is essential and what is elective. You can go through the brewing process and learn a lot about how to brew actual beer that is drinkable and what pitfalls to avert. Meanwhile, you may not have spent any more money than to buy your new acquaintance lunch or to bring the pretzels for the sampling party when the beer is finished.
But then when you are ready to make your own beer at home, your knowledge of what you really need will pay off big time. You still don't have to ante up top dollar for the equipment to get up and running. Many people get got going with making beer and for some reason, their hobby ends suddenly. The effect is that there is a used home brewing equipment market out there. You can find reduced prices on brewing equipment in new or in slightly used condition on eBay. But don't forget to consider the local resources such as your local home brewer clubs that may have bulletin boards with postings from people who want to get rid of their equipment. Pawn shops in the area are another possible resource for you to utilize.
One way to save on your initial investment for the beer brewing equipment or a beer brewing kit is to actually go in on the beer brewing equipment or brewing kit with a friend. That way you split the cost and learn the basics of brewing together. One of you can brew the first batch of beer and when the beer is bottled the other person can take the equipment and make the second batch of cheap beer. The beer you make can be split between you, that way you will each get about a case and a half of each beer batch of 5 gallons. This way you'll have a better assortment of beer on hand than if you drank the entire beer batch yourself.
Good luck and if you decide to get started, have fun making your own beer at home.