If it truly hit the fan 'shine can be used as fuel. Beer? not so much.
That being said, brewing is fun but you are doing it as a hobby not to save $$. I have made some good stuff and other batches that would kill a coyote. I have had many batches die from contamination so I tend to go operating room clean when brewing. Hard to do when there is limited fuel, water.
Papazians book Joy of Homebrewing is a good start.
Just like reloading read the manual first then buy your equipment.
Stay away from the all in one kits or the plastic barrel kit they used to sell at Costco. yes it brews beer but it does not really allow flexibility.
Oh and here in the PNW hops make a really cool trellis plant, half the homes around here have hops growing on arbors.