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Old 03-26-2012, 01:49 AM   #1
Dec 2010
garland, tx
Posts: 790
Liked 45 Times on 34 Posts

How do homebrewers shop when they are buying commercial beers? Specifically, do you buy beers that you have currently made or plan making soon? Or, do you buy things that are difficult to brew yourself, require a long aging process (lagers/belgians), or don't have much desire to make soon?

I find myself buying mainly things that I am brewing or plan on brewing soon. Mainly to compare what I have made and to get ideas for things to brew.

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Old 03-26-2012, 01:51 AM   #2
Mar 2010
Albion, NY
Posts: 175
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

You basically already answered it for me: 1-research and developement, and 2-one off beers that I cant or dont want to make.

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Old 03-26-2012, 03:50 AM   #3
Beer Gnome
Teromous's Avatar
Sep 2009
Virginia Beach, VA
Posts: 2,962
Liked 566 Times on 309 Posts

I buy beers I haven't tried, beers I've tried and liked, beers that I want to brew, beers that I have brewed, domestic beers because they're domestic, import beers because they're import, seasonal beers because that's fun, gift box beers because they're fun too, variety boxes, beers with cool labels, beers with cool bottles, beers in cans because I like to compare them with bottles, beers in flip tops because I like to pretend I won't drink the whole bottle at once, beers with strange ingredients because I always hope it will turn out good even when they usually don't, collaboration beers because I like one or more brewery, beers that I hear a lot about and can never buy but turn out to taste just as good as other beers, and just beer in general.

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Old 03-26-2012, 09:49 AM   #4
Mar 2012
New Westminster, BC
Posts: 97
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

It depends... I usually grab Molson Pilsner because it's cheap and it's a tradition among my friends. That's really the only beer I buy in store, actually.
Primary: Cooper's Cerveza
Bottle conditioning:
Bottled: Altbier, Mr. Beer IPA, Dodging the Draught, JVP Thrilsner, Sweet Caroline Honey Ale, Stout

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Old 03-26-2012, 10:06 AM   #5
Senior Member
petey_c's Avatar
Jun 2010
Miller Place, NY (Long Island)
Posts: 1,358
Liked 92 Times on 79 Posts

I think teromous pretty well sums it up for me.

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Old 03-26-2012, 01:20 PM   #6
homebrewdad's Avatar
Jan 2012
Birmingham, AL
Posts: 3,275
Liked 384 Times on 279 Posts

With the exception of a couple of true favorites that I might buy for apecial occasions (Hobgoblin, Chimay Grande Reserve), I usually only buy beers to sample things I haven't tried before, or to get ideas for something I might want to brew.

I'm a huge fan of the "make your own six pack" setups for this very reason.
Check out the priming sugar calculator, yeast starter calculator, and the beer calorie calculator.

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Old 03-26-2012, 02:35 PM   #7
Feb 2012
Durham, North Carolina
Posts: 211
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

I'm still new enough that my research is a bit different. Buy the style I have bottle conditioning right before it's ready so that I can compare/contrast the finished product with a commercial example.

Apart from that, stuff I can't make and/or is cheap for craft beer. Last beers I bought were Sam Adams' Alpine Spring (sale for $13 12-pack) and Great Lakes' Eliot Ness. Both quite different than the porter that just finished conditioning.

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Old 03-26-2012, 02:42 PM   #8
Oct 2010
Alexandria, VA
Posts: 491
Liked 8 Times on 8 Posts

Originally Posted by bmud0314 View Post
You basically already answered it for me: 1-research and developement, and 2-one off beers that I cant or dont want to make.

I brew things I can't buy, and I buy things I can't brew.

I have access to a large number of really great IPAs commercially, so I typically don't brew them. (No need to reinvent the wheel) - but for some of the more "out there" things, I brew them myself. For example, I'm planning on brewing a lambic w/ passion fruit & chipotle pepper, aged with brett.

Kegged (1/3): Single-Hop NZ Rakau Oatmeal IPA
Kegged (2/3): Smoked Peruvian Pepper Cider
Kegged (3/3): (empty)

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Old 03-26-2012, 02:53 PM   #9
H-ost's Avatar
Jul 2011
Bellevue, WA
Posts: 1,746
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Usually beers I am not going to make for a while or beers that I have not tried yet. Redhook is my fall back brewery but I need to expand my pallet and understand differences between styles so I like to try new things.

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Old 03-26-2012, 03:13 PM   #10
Dec 2011
Culpeper, VA
Posts: 2,640
Liked 279 Times on 225 Posts

I buy beer lately usually of the same style I'm brewing but I do not buy beer if it's not in good bottles with easily removed labels so I can reuse them!
Next up: Amber Ale
Primary 1&2: 90 Min IPA clone
Primary 3&4: Belgian Wit
Keg #1: White Mosaic Pale Ale
Keg #2: Empty
Drinking: Amber Ale, White Mosaic Pale Ale

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