Tiffany and I have brewed many batches of beer in the last 4-5 years. The two main homebrewing variations are “extract”, which uses malt extract for the fermentable sugar, and “all grain”, where you start with barley and do a mash to extract the sugar. Most people start with extract brewing because it’s less complex and requires less equipment.
You can get an equipment kit that includes almost everything you need. One example:
Or, you can buy the pieces of equipment separately and potentially save $, especially if you buy used. You will also need a large pot (3 gallon minimum) and bottles or kegging supplies.
A lot of this stuff is already at Hive13 if you want to brew there.
You also need the ingredients (malt, hops, and yeast). Again you can buy a kit or purchase individually. Listermann’s is my go-to homebrew store, they have a big selection and are very helpful (although it can sometimes get pretty busy).
Regarding making lagers vs ales: I’d recommend to start with ale, since lager takes longer to ferment and requires you to keep the fermentation at a cold temperature. If you like lager, you may enjoy the cream ale style…
Regarding kegging vs bottling: kegging is great, but requires more $ investment! Most homebrewers who keg use “corny kegs”, which have a removeable lid. Check out cornykeg.com. They are located in cincinnati area.
I don’t think there’s really a “makerspace for homebrewers” in Cincinnati. We do however have 2 sizable homebrew clubs, the Bloatarians and the Malt Infusers. Tiff and I are members of the Bloatarians. There are monthly meetings that often have brewing-related presentations or homebrew tastings. There are also club brew days where you can bring your equipment and brew, or just show up, watch, and learn. The culture is kinda goofball but there is tremendous amount of brewing experience in the group.
Tiffany and I have done all-grain brew days at Hive13 the last 2 summers. If there is interest we will probably do it again this year!