Author Topic: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing  (Read 4094 times)

Offline gymrat

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Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
« on: April 24, 2012, 07:57:20 AM »
http://blogs.wsj.com/dealjournalaustralia/2012/04/24/coopers-toasts-u-s-beer-takeout/?mod=google_news_blog

They have sold 200,000 kits. That is 200,000 people introduced to home brewing. I had no idea they moved that kind of volume.

I do nothing but all grain 5 gallon batches now. And am trying to learn how to formulate my own recipes. But if it hadn't been for Mr Beer I never would have attempted home brewing. It gave me a very simple inexpensive way to start out. Then I built on that step by step.

Criticize them all you want but here is proof they have been undeniably good for home brewing.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2012, 08:05:01 AM »
They have sold 200,000 kits. That is 200,000 people introduced to home brewing.

Yeah, but how many of the 200,000 get brewed? ;)

More than once I've had someone say, "Hey, you brew beer, right? Do you want this Mr. Beer thing? I won't use it."
Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
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Offline gymrat

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Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2012, 08:07:43 AM »
if only 1/4th actually got used..that is 50,000 people introduced to home brewing. If only 1/8th got used that is 25,000 introduced to home brewing. Still a very significant number.
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2012, 08:15:38 AM »
I saw them for sale in a sporting goods store recently (why there I have no idea) and was tempted to buy it just to see what it was like.  I'd suppose with proper ferm temps and a decent yeast one could make a passable beer.
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Offline Alewyfe

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Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2012, 08:32:44 AM »
I have met many people who got started....and stopped with a Mr. Beer kit. One of our club members still uses hers occassionally and makes really acceptable beers with it. Another person who had disastrous results, met me at a local wine tasting. When discussing the wines, I stated that I was really a beer person and if he ever wanted to try brewing again, to get in touch. Fast forward 3 years...he's now a brewing machine, a BJCP judge and integral member of his local home brew club.

Our LHB shop said his sales of new equipment really fell off when the new Costco opened in our town. (They were selling Mr. Beer kits) Now the number of "kit" sales is surprising him. I believe (based on what he's now stocking) that his beer gear & ingred. sales must be way up. Subsequently, our little brew club has grown from about 10 to over 30 members in the past 8 months.

I love finding folks who are trying to brew with a Mr. Beer. I encourage them with stories of how many of us started with little kit beers, share some homebrew and offer to help or answer questions. I'm getting about an 80% conversion rate.....HALELUYAH!

Yes, Mr. Beers have made a lot of stinky beer, but it's also let a lot of people see/taste/experience the magic that is brewing and yearn for more.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2012, 08:41:01 AM »
Still a very significant number.

Oh yeah, I wasn't trying to dispute that at all. I'm pretty surprised by how many they actually sell.

I'd suppose with proper ferm temps and a decent yeast one could make a passable beer.

In one of the recent Basic Brewing video episodes they do just that. IIRC the biggest change was to use two bags of DME instead of 50/50 DME/"booster".
Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
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Offline ccfoo242

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Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2012, 08:46:16 AM »
I started with Mr Beer.  Really enjoyed it.

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Offline majorvices

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Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2012, 08:54:02 AM »
my first homebrew kit  was a christmas present from my mom. I was actually disappointed it wasn't a Mr. Beer kit at first. ???
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Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2012, 09:08:00 AM »
This is what got me excited. Pushing it to all malt will make a good difference all by itself. I would imagine they will tweak the directions too.

Quote
However, American customers would notice some subtle changes aimed at improving the quality of the beer.

"We will replace the current malt extracts with a superior quality all-malt concentrate produced at Coopers with a yeast specifically designed for their size kit," he said.

"This will remove the need for a sugar adjunct and will significantly improve the quality of beer that is produced."
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2012, 09:15:54 AM »
also seeing one of these kits in the store people walk by and say "I can make my own beer?"  they may not by mr. beer but they may start researching how to go about it. get to the aha forum and .....
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Offline tygo

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Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2012, 09:17:10 AM »
I started with a Mr. Beer kit as well.  I can still remember how exciting that was to make those first couple of batches, even though they didn't turn out that great. 

The kit was a present from my wife for my birthday.  In retrospect I think she probably wishes she'd gotten me a watch or something  ::)
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Offline nateo

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Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2012, 09:23:39 AM »
My only Mr. Beer related experience was giving a couple gallons of wort to a friend who had one. I don't think it fully attenuated before he bottled, because he had a lot of bottle bombs. Do the kits come with a hydrometer? It's kind of dangerous to bottle beer in glass if you don't know what you're doing. Do they came with PET bottles?
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Offline Delo

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Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2012, 09:27:15 AM »
Coopers kits seemed better quality than the Mr. Beer kits so if they do modifications,  I would think that should help with the quality of Mr Beer. My first kit was a Mr Beer gift from my wife. I made an ESB and it was pretty good. It was cool, but I already knew I wanted to brew and was eventually going to get a more advanced setup.

It’s pretty much a crapshoot whether the beer will be good or not with these kits. It's cool if it turns someone on to brewing, but it's unfortunate that it may turn someone off easily if the beer doesnt taste good.  What doesn’t help these kits are people trying to brew lagers and/or pilsners.  My coworker was going to brew with a Mr Beer kit and he had two ingredient kits,  a lager and a stout. I told him that a good lager would be harder to make the first time brewing. He brewed the stout and I'm hoping that it tastes good and he enjoys brewing.

Offline gymrat

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Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2012, 09:47:05 AM »
My only Mr. Beer related experience was giving a couple gallons of wort to a friend who had one. I don't think it fully attenuated before he bottled, because he had a lot of bottle bombs. Do the kits come with a hydrometer? It's kind of dangerous to bottle beer in glass if you don't know what you're doing. Do they came with PET bottles?

They don't come with a hydrometer. And you start out with 1 liter PET bottles.
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2012, 09:48:00 AM »
I looked at the Mr. Beer kits for a long time.  We were broke and $50 was out of the question at the time.  After Al G. invented the internet I started reading up on brewing and all the nasty reviews of Mr. Beer kits.  I finally bought an "Advanced Brewing Kit" from Wally VonKlop at the the VonKlop Wine and Cheese Mart in MN.

Short version: Mr Beer got me thinking and kept reminding me to look into brewing.  Our 3rd kid finally wore out SWMBO  :P and she agreeded to let me buy a kit.  14 years later even she has come around to the craft (or at least became a beer snob) and all I do is all grain brews.

Whatever works is sometimes a good motto.

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