Author Topic: Observation  (Read 2678 times)

Offline klickitat jim

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Observation
« on: April 25, 2013, 03:55:30 AM »
Between a recent couple of disappointments in commercial beers and some recent beer politics discussion here, I have this on my mind.

It seems obvious to me that the best beers in the world must be home brewed. I think there is way too much credit given to commercial beer just because they are pros. There are some beautiful pro beers no doubt, I would sure hope so, but there are far more crap beers than craft beers. We are a media hype, tell me what to think, culture and it stays true in the beer market. Tell me what to drink.

I'm noticing lately that it's popular to blast taste buds with overwhelming flavors. I like hops but 100 IBUs can also cover a multitude of sins. Some of the pro offerings out there might as well be called Tincture of Simcoe or Citra Extract. Or worse yet, buying a twelve pack of cool new label beer and then wishing they had bombed it with hops.

In reality lately I am more often surprised when I find a noteworthy new pro brew. But I'll bet there are far less surprises when it comes to homebrew.

Put it this way. Denny's makes a lot of omelettes. They are not bad. Probably worth the $4.99. But they are not even close to most homemade omelettes.

Kudos to pro breweries. But lets not blindly accept that a pro beer is a quality beer by default. Or that a pro brewer is a better brewer by default.

Hopefully when this craft beer bubble pops the best will survive not just the well funded. If not, long live homebrew!

"Friends don't let friends drink bad beer"


Offline GolfBum

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Re: Observation
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2013, 05:17:26 AM »
I would agree with what you said. Around the area I live there are a lot of breweries popping up and a lot of breweries that have been in business for a while. I haven't tried them all and the newer ones I have been to have been hit or miss. One day they have really tasty beer, the next day it's just, meh. Granted this is on the local side of things and I am not a pro brewer or have been brewing all that long (2 years) but my point it is seems like people make beer at home, their friends say it's good, because in all honesty, what friend wouldn't want free beer. And they jump into opening up a brewery. I have heard stories of people opening up small breweries, really small with no brewing experience because they feel that is where the money is at. People in my homebrew club keep saying that in the next few years they will be able to upgrade their systems for cheap. Which has me excited because then I will be able to buy their system for cheap.

As for non local beers I have had most have been good. I don't buy as much professionally brewed beer anymore since I make most of what I drink but I do go out and buy a six pack or two and a couple of bombers a month. Mainly to try out different styles or see something I have previously had and enjoyed.

While I do feel that most places make good beer. It's normally only one or two beers that are good while the rest are just decent. If it were up to me I would try to have all the beers I served recipes that I know I can repeat and that have up to par. Because I wouldn't want to serve someone something I didn't find enjoyable.

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Re: Observation
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2013, 05:47:23 AM »
Nice rant! I agree to a point but could it be that very well-brewed beer is not entering the consumer's mouth properly carbonated, at the right temperature, and most importantly fresh? We homebrewers are spoiled in that we always have fresh beer. I almost never buy beer styles with a typically short shelf life, like pale ales.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Observation
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2013, 06:51:15 AM »
It's probably a lot of things. Obviously some homebrew is no bueno, but lately I would put an average homebrew up against most commercial stuff.

I guess I have a hard time wrapping my mind around it. If I were considering going pro I would have to have piles of medals on numerous recipes and experience at producing them at 7 bbl volume with the same quality. Fear of failure I guess.

If it's hard to be told that the beer you GAVE someone to drink is no bueno, how hard is it to expect to be paid for it?

"Friends don't let friends drink bad beer"


Offline majorvices

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Observation
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2013, 08:06:56 AM »
Won't argue with that b ut will point out that some of the absolute worst beers out there are homebrew, too. ;)
« Last Edit: April 25, 2013, 08:08:56 AM by majorvices »
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Observation
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2013, 08:37:53 AM »
I would put an average homebrew up against most commercial stuff.

I don't think you hang out with average home brewers. ;)

Seriously, the statistic the AHA uses is one million people per year brew at least once. If you only brew once a year you can't really expect to make *great* beer. So I'd wager half of all homebrew is downright bad - these are the people who get discouraged and never brew again. Then there are the people who brew like I play golf; every third shot looks good enough that I'm encouraged to try again. And then you get to the minority (it can't possibly be more than 50,000 or so) who are consistently making *great* beer.

In pro brewing, you have essentially the same division, albeit hopefully without the people who brew once and give up. But in the brewing industry the ratio is flipped - 93% of the beers on the market are adjunct lagers that are, technically, flawless. Granted, there are a lot of pro brewers who aren't consistently making great beer, but they're a minority, and by and large the market does a pretty good job of shutting them down.

So while the absolute best (and worst) beers could well be homebrews, I don't think an average homebrew would stack up very well.
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Re: Observation
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2013, 08:41:25 AM »
So while the absolute best (and worst) beers could well be homebrews, I don't think an average homebrew would stack up very well.

THIS^^^^

I always think that if people think that homebrews are universally better than commercial beers, they don't have a broad enough view.  I make a pretty good version of Rochefort, but it doesn't even come close to the ecstasy of the real thing.  Same with other beers, too.  And this is not to diss homebrewers at all.  It's simply to point out that there are a lot of commercial beers out there and a lot of them are incredibly good.
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Offline majorvices

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Observation
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2013, 10:49:59 AM »
Gotta hand it to Sean for always keeping things in perspective!
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Observation
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2013, 11:06:12 AM »
Won't argue with that b ut will point out that some of the absolute worst beers out there are homebrew, too. ;)

exactly, if you have ever suffered my crap.

actually though, i get disappointed in the offerings when i go out.  went out last night, and nearly every beer fell in to the light lagers, wheats, or flavored something or other, or some beer that is described as heavily hopped..  i am not a big fan of most of thesebeers because i think they just get the hell hopped out of them and taste like they were strained through asparagus. it is hard to find a dortmunder, a kolsch, a bock or a dunkel as is.  the stouts and porters are all flavored with x, y, or z.  eventually i noticed old rasputin which i like on the list and was happy.  but come on.
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Re: Observation
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2013, 11:42:05 AM »
In accordance with GolfBum, my recent Colorado craft beer experiences have been inconsistent and usually less than desirable. It seems that a lot of the new breweries are more focused on making unique/interesting beers instead of good solid, time tested styles and recipes.

I won't say that homebrewers make better beer than commercial ones but I would say a lot of the newer commericial breweries around here are really just glorified home brewers.

Offline majorvices

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Observation
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2013, 02:28:50 PM »
Won't argue with that b ut will point out that some of the absolute worst beers out there are homebrew, too. ;)

exactly, if you have ever suffered my crap.

actually though, i get disappointed in the offerings when i go out.  went out last night, and nearly every beer fell in to the light lagers, wheats, or flavored something or other, or some beer that is described as heavily hopped..  i am not a big fan of most of thesebeers because i think they just get the hell hopped out of them and taste like they were strained through asparagus. it is hard to find a dortmunder, a kolsch, a bock or a dunkel as is.  the stouts and porters are all flavored with x, y, or z.  eventually i noticed old rasputin which i like on the list and was happy.  but come on.

We brew a fantastic altbier but have a hard time getting bars and restaurants interested in ordering it. Have no problems moving our Belgian wit brewed with ginger and lime leaves.
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Offline phunhog

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Re: Observation
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2013, 04:30:34 PM »
 I dont think your average homebrew is nearly as good commercial beer. But when I think of an "average" homebrewer I think extract, no yeast starter, no temperture control, etc.. Somebody who brews at most 4-6 times a year.  Pretty hard to make a great product with that.  However....there are more and more homebrewers brewing excellent beer that rivals and even exceeds commercial craft beer.

Offline corkybstewart

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Re: Observation
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2013, 04:47:45 PM »
I consider myself an above average homebrewer, after 21 years of persistent brewing I do a pretty good job of most styles I brew.  But like Denny I can't brew a Rochefort 10, or a great pilsner,  a good Flander's Red or several other beers.  In fact as my homebrewing has improved I find myself buying more commercial stuff than I did 10 years ago, I consider it research.  And though I do prefer my beer over a lot of the beer I buy, there's some really great commercial stuff out there that I'll probably never match.
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico

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Re: Observation
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2013, 04:54:10 PM »
I'm with Denny (rarely a bad thing).  A Rochefort is a beer that is a thing of beauty, aside from the technical precision, that captures magic in a bottle. I've made some good ones ( a couple very good), but no magic. BUT, a homebrewer with skill and vision can make beer that rivals some craft beer, if nothing else because we are the CEO, sole partner, and sole brewmaster, free of business, demographic, or monetary concerns. But there is some amazing craft beer out there.
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Re: Observation
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2013, 04:56:05 PM »
I consider myself an above average homebrewer, after 21 years of persistent brewing I do a pretty good job of most styles I brew.  But like Denny I can't brew a Rochefort 10, or a great pilsner,  a good Flander's Red or several other beers.  In fact as my homebrewing has improved I find myself buying more commercial stuff than I did 10 years ago, I consider it research.  And though I do prefer my beer over a lot of the beer I buy, there's some really great commercial stuff out there that I'll probably never match.
+1 to all you said. Cheers to brewing for 21 years (like myself) !
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