Since Mar 18, 1998
Some people like cooking or baking, I like brewing beer. There are two very distinct ways to go about it; the first is to use extract kits (less complicated) and the other is all grain brewing. Both are extremely enjoyable and rewarding. Who wouldn't want to be able to brew beer and enjoy the delicious taste of a good ale that was made by your own hands?
My best recommendation would be to do some online research at www.northerbrewer.com They sell brew kits that will accommodate either the extract brewer or the all grain brewer. You can get started for about $250 although, just like any other hobby...and drinking beer isn't a hobby, that's a job....you can add all kinds of things to the brew process as your interest heightens.
Getting started is easy and guys at a local beer brewing store are always really helpful. For a novice, I'd recommend only starting with the Deluxe type kit and use extract beer making kits for brewing until you get better at the brewing process. If you write off the cost of brewing equipment, the cost to brew two cases of beer is about $40 all-in and once you brew your own, you'll never go back to buying and drinking the mass produced swill on the market.
Most of what I brew are either ales (think of Sam Adams only a lot tastier) or IPAs which are pretty hoppy. My three boys prefer the hoppy stuff and I like Porters or a few of the IPAs, but some of those ales are just the best. FreepMail me if you have more detailed questions