« on: April 26, 2013, 08:22:06 AM »
I always look at making beer to be like any other cooking. I see this issue to be a lot like grandmother's cooking. For some people, there is no store-bought pie that is better than the one their grandmother makes from scratch. Whatever the reason, freshness of ingredients, choice of ingredients, the recipe itself, etc., whatever it is there are some things that bring that intangible quality to it that gets written up as that touch of love. Perhaps in some cases the preference is influenced by a sentimental attachment. The Mrs. Smith's company makes fine pies, but they have to make allowances for mass production that grandma doesn't.
On the other hand, there are a lot of grandmothers out there who can't make a decent pie to save their life, or maybe their pies aren't as hand-crafted because they use store-bought pie shells and store-bought pie filling.
I wouldn't put any random homebrew up to any craft brew, but I would stack any "decent" homebrew (defining decent here being someone who is adept at it) up against any craftbrew. I certainly believe it to be true that it is easily withing the scope of anyone who wants, that they can, in general, make beer at home that is as good or better than most commercial made beer. There are some possible exceptions that have been mentioned, such as those requiring very special techniques or rely heavily upon local flora, but you run the same challenge trying to make San Francisco sourdough outside of San Francisco.