What does a Massachusetts drinker to do when faced with increasing taxes on their beer and wine? Make it themselves! Bay state natives are drinking the fruits of their own home micro-breweries and wineries. The growing hobby has seen a sudden lift as wine and beer lovers find themselves seeking alternatives to the recently repealed state sales tax exemption this August. Hobbyists don’t pay any sales or excise taxes on their ingredients dramatically reducing per-bottle costs.
The savings can be significant. The ingredients to make six gallons of wine, or about 30 bottles, range from about $65 to $150. That’s about $2 to $5 per bottle with the quality of the wine hailed to be that of bottles several times that price.
Americans have a long beer and wine making history starting as far back as Founding Fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, both avid home brewers. Washington had his own personal recipe for making beer and Jefferson recorded brewing a fifteen-gallon cask every two weeks.
Massachusetts-based Beer and Wine Hobby, with its warehouse retail outlet located just north of Boston in Woburn, is one of the oldest supply stores in the country. Large shipments being unloaded from trucks have become common sight as demand increases.
“We’re seeing a very diverse set of faces coming in every day,” adds Karin Baker, Beer and Wine Hobby owner. “Men and women, young professionals and retirees, word of mouth seems to be really getting out there.”
For some, however, beer and wine making is about seeking out great recipes and then modifying them to be your very own.
“Most aren’t even aware that it is even possible to do in your kitchen,” describes Kevin Zundl, Marblehead resident and third generation wine maker and brewer. “But those who love to cook will fall in love once they try it. The quality difference is just like that of home-made bread vs. the supermarket loaf.”
For more information on beer and wine making,