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May 29, 2020
Last updated

Making the Cheapest Beer of All Time

Owner of Clawhammer Supply
The Cheapest Beer of All Time

Homebrewing is already about 50 to 75 percent less expensive than buying beer at the store. In a previous article, we did the math and found out that brewing 100 gallons of beer beer in 2018 only cost us $688 in raw materials. If we had bought this much beer at the store, it would have cost us around $1,800! However, we aren't done yet. There are even more ways to save money on alcohol. To brew the absolute cheapest beer imaginable, one only need to implement a few additional tips and tricks.

Full Video

Here's a visual representation of the information in this article.


hops falling into a small bowl

Here at Clawhammer, we buy all of our hops in bulk, freeze them, and then use them as needed.

freezer full of hops

The freezer in our office is filled with different hops

At our local homebrew shop the more hops you buy, the more you save. This is probably true for homebrew shops across the country. 

You can also buy your hops in bulk online. We often buy hops from Yakima Valley when they do a sale, which happens frequently.

Yakima Valley Hops logo

Click on the image to visit their website


Buy your grains in bulk as well. We buy 50-pound sacks of 2 Row Pale Malt and store it in a food-grade storage container that’s airtight.

50 pound sack of pale malt

A 50-pound sack of 2 Row Pale Malt from Riverbend Malt House

food grade airtight storage container that we use for malt

Click on the image to buy a food-grade storage container just like this

scooping pale malt out of the airtight container

Whenever we want to use grain, we just scoop it out of the container

This will help preserve our malt much better than if we just kept it in the sack it came in.


liquid and dry yeast packets

Making yeast starters is a popular way to save money on yeast. A yeast starter allows you to make more yeast from one packet of liquid yeast. For many beers, especially high ABV ones, you’ll need multiple packets of liquid yeast which can cost $6 or more. The ingredients to create a yeast starter are super cheap, we recommend you get in the habit of making one for every brew day. Learn how to make one by reading this article or by watching the video below.

You can also save more money when making a yeast starter by making a bigger one than needed. Just add twice as much DME to your starter and save half of it for another brew day.

The final way to save money on yeast is to harvest and wash it from the bottom of a fermenter. This is also a good way to preserve and continue using special strains of yeast that you can’t buy at the store. Read this article or watch the video below to learn how to harvest and wash yeast.

Are there ways you save money on homebrewing that we didn't talk about? Comment below and let us know!

Kyle Brown is the owner of Clawhammer Supply, a small scale distillation and brewing equipment company which he founded in 2009. His passion is teaching people about the many uses of distillation equipment as well as how to make beer at home. When he isn't brewing beer or writing about it, you can find him at his local gym or on the running trail.

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