Many breweries use the Chico strain. I am not sure that one would think that SN , Russian River, and Founders all taste alike. I was primarily referring to yeast strains that impart flavor
SN uses the same 2.row and C60 as the base for most of their ales. The water would be treated the same. Their beers have a house flavor, but it is the sum of yeast, ingredients, and process being similar.
I was replying to Jim, who brought up SN.
No argument that certain British strains are distinctive and impart a house flavor. Some Belgian strains immediately bring the brewery to mind, WY-3787 and I go Mmmm Westmalle!
Without question "house character" is more that merely yeast. But it is a major player. SN Ovila Quad comes to mind. I would not know that was a SN beer but for the label.
There was a nice presentation at the 2011 NHC on the development of that Ovila line of beers.
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