Brewing allows any inhabitant of Norrath to produce potent alcoholic beverages, including Mead, Short Beer, Kalish and Heady Kiolas.
Brewing allows you to make mostly alcoholic drinks but there are also a few non-alcoholic drinks and items for other tradeskills. The majority of recepies require a container (either bottle, shotglass, cask) in addition to the crafting ingrediants, on a failure you will get back the container but lose all other ingredients. All combines are made in a brew barrel which can be found in most towns.
Brewing is a fairly easy tradeskill to raise in EQ, at first at least. You can take the skill almost all the way up to 200 just by vendor purchased items. Also for all those worrying, Brewing isn't only for making alcohol, you can also make other goodies used in different Tradeskills.
(Completing the steps in Bold will get you there the fastest, but probably cost more)