Booze Review: Your Uncle's Homebrew

Booze Review: Your Uncle's Homebrew

Is this gin or vodka? Itís ethanol.

New Zealand’s unhealthy relationship with alcohol is built on the solid foundations of your uncle’s homebrew. 
 
Whether the uncle in question is yours or a mate’s, the product is the same. You’ve likely had a shot of their 80% alc/vol moonshine which was invariably brewed in their garage next to a couple of pot plants. You were probably around 13, it was your first tangle with alcohol, and you don’t remember much other than your friends egging you on to shove a drumstick up your ass. I can’t be the only one, right?
 
Your uncle is the way he is due to unregulated alcohol consumption. He’s always seemed a little off, and that’s because of homebrew-inflicted brain damage. There is no greater testament to distilling prowess than allowing your product to irreversibly ravage your physical being. Self-inflicted brain damage (“wet brain”) is the coolest form of brain damage because you got it from having too much fun. Without the clinical know-how to test alcohol content, the global syndicate of uncles have categorised homebrew by how drunk they get off of the stuff, labelling it with an X, XX, or XXX, a system designed to reflect the number of exes you’re liable to text that night. There is a Freemason allegiance of uncles that propagate such homebrews around the world. Their only wish is to be invited back to Christmas dinner.
 
The distinct taste of homebrew is very difficult to pinpoint because after having a shot your thoughts aren’t on taste, but surviving the momentary panic. Drinking homebrew is very close to being waterboarded, having your innards set on fire, or stubbing a toe. Sharing shots with friends at a party is the acceptable way to consume homebrew, however I suspect your uncle has been sitting in front of the TV drinking pints of it by himself for years.
 
Very rarely does homebrew fall into a specific category of spirit. If it’s clear, it’s “vodka”, and if it’s brown, it’s “whiskey”. Generally, when you come to university your uncle will give you a 1.75L Jim Beam bottle full of homebrew as a parting gift. “Thanks uncle, can I take this in my carry on?” you ask, and he nods a nod of experience. “You can take anything on a plane if it’s in your stomach,” he says with a wink. 
 
Tasting notes: The vinegar of the unwashed pickle jar that it’s bottled in. 
 
Chugability: 10/10. Burns going down, burns coming up.
 
Hangover depression level: 10/10. You won’t even remember drinking the stuff.
 
Overall: 7/10. Worth experiencing just to humour your uncle but it may cost you your eyesight. Plus it doubles as petrol in a pinch.
This article first appeared in Issue 14, 2023.
Posted 1:03pm Sunday 9th July 2023 by Albert Einsteinlager.