I'll take this article in a different direction. If you are familiar with the supplies necessary to make beer (as in a big pot, carboy, plastic bucket, blow off tube, siphon, and bottles), you want access to a variety of homebrew kits to choose from. I'm talking great tasting home made beer.
While some of the beer making kits will give you all of the necessary supplies and beer making ingredients for a cost of around $130+, you can buy the ingredients together in a kit for $35+. So what is your favorite type of beer? Is it an ale, pilsner, a lager, or perhaps you enjoy the smooth taste of a stout? We're just barely touching all of the possibilities out there.
Speaking of Ales, do you know that there is more than just one version? How about Belgian Ale, Bitter Ale, Brown Ale, Old Ale, India Pale Ale, and Scotch Ale just to name a few.
I live within 4 miles of a home brew supply store where we can purchase supplies, and beer and wine ingredient kits. I understand that most of the world is not that lucky. I recently picked up a Brewers Best American Cream Ale and its in secondary fermentation right now! Brewers Best has a great selection to choose from.
So how do you determine which beer kit you would like to purchase? What type of beer do you like to drink? Would you like something with a little more taste as compared to what you currently drink? My recommendation is to try a red pale ale for starters. You don't want to do what I did and quickly make your way to a belgian tripel. Whereas some beer kits will have you drinking your first beer in about 3 weeks, that belgian tripel took about 5 months before it tasted right.
So long as you already have the beer making supplies, homebrew kits are meant to give you everything you need in one box or tub. You'll have one or more of the following ingredients: Grain, barley, malt, hops, yeast, and priming sugar. If you are lucky enough to have a local brew supply store, sometimes they can help you pick individual ingredients so that when you have experience, you won't be restricted by the "beer kit". If you don't have a local store, you can find many premium kits online.
Don't be afraid of the process. You will soon find out that homebrewing and use of the homebrew kits can be one of the most satisfying hobbies that you can get into. Start planning a party and invite your friends over for the 4th of July.