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Old 08-26-2013, 10:01 PM   #1
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Default Has brewing affected your opinion of commercial beers?

Just curious. I got into brewing because I have always liked beer. Never really been into the BMC side of things, nor the really oddball stuff. I mostly enjoyed the offerings from Dogfish, Longboard, etc.

I've noticed since I started brewing that commercial beers all seem bland at best. I was recently given a four pack of some special edition brew that was supposed to be fantastic. I could barely drink one bottle. Went to a local chain restaurant that brews their own and was equally unimpressed.

This isn't me saying that I brew better than the pro's, but I've noticed that if I'm as critical of the commercial brews as I am of mine they all fall short.

Anyone else experienced this?

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Old 08-26-2013, 10:17 PM   #2
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Sort of. I still like the micro brew stuff, but I enjoy less commercial lagers. I really used to enjoy Yuengling, Sam Adams, and even Blue Moon. Now, although they are still good, I don't dig them as much.

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Old 08-26-2013, 10:29 PM   #3
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1. Home brew
2. Micro-Brew
3. Craft Beer
4. Commercial beer
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:40 PM   #4
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One of my epiphany moments was when I could tell the difference between a "bad" beer and a quality beer that had some ingredients I didn't like. Another moment was finding a beer I liked in a style I didn't like. Then it was finding a beer I liked with an ingredient I didn't like.

So, I guess homebrewing has widened my horizons. I like a greater variety than I liked before. I also consider myself to be more of a beer enthusiast now than a beer snob.

I guess my final thought is that while I tend to brew unusual combinations, I tend to buy classic. I'll make things like Brett IPAs, Imperial Wheats, Pumpkin Saisons, Hazelnut Milk Stouts and Banana-Lavender Meads. But if I'm buying it, give me something simple and uncomplicated: roasty stout, c-hop APA, noble hop pilsner.

EDIT: I'm not sure if that all got to the question or not. So one more final thought: no, it hasn't spoiled me of commercial beer. I think I just drink it for different reasons than I brew.

I do, however, sometimes wish I could drink a beer without thinking about its ingredients and flavors. I need to learn how to turn that off.
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:56 PM   #5
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Homebrewing has improved my palette and sensory recognition immensely.

I still enjoy commercial beers for sure but there has been a huge proliferation in the market place and quite honestly there have been more than several the are either average at best or downright bad.

Just because a beer is commercial doesn't always mean its good, it just means someone had the wherewithal to go pro and someone gave them a spot on the market
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:02 PM   #6
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Yes it has. I never drank BMC much and thought Long Board was good. Now I go looking for a dark (amber or darker) craft brew first before considering something lighter. Definitely has increased what my palate can detect.

I almost pissed off a server at a brew pub for asking if they might have accidentally poured the porter twice for the taster tray. Had to let the "stout" and porter warm up to taste any difference; turns out the porter had toffee notes and the stout had more roast to it.
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:11 PM   #7
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I think the freshness factor is what sets homebrew apart from any craft or commercial brews. Once you taste a 3 week old dry hopped bitter on tap, that $20 IIPA that's 3 months old at the store just doesn't cut it anymore.

That's the biggest one for me.
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:17 PM   #8
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Went to a party at a friends and they decided we were playing beer pong, so they grabbed a couple racks of Bud and Bud Light. I must have drank 15 Buds and was lightly buzzed, my daughter was worried about me walking home and I couldn't convince her I wasn't drunk.

The weird thing is I don't normally drink much and usually 2 or 3 pints of 5.5% beer will put me into the drunk stage.

Has changed my opinion of commercial beer? Not really but it has changed my opinion of American Lager offerings from the BMC type producers as being bland and overpriced.
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:19 PM   #9
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I tend to be a lot more selective in my choice of beer now. There are certain beers that I like and Breweries that I think produce some really great beers. I like nearly everything they do (Lagunitas, Stone, Pinglehead, Green Flash, Cigar City, etc.).

I don't support BMC or InBev because I don't like their business practices, political manipulations and just plain old arrogance for what amounts to essentially poor to mediocre product. I'm glad they're losing ground in annual sales and i'm also glad local distributors aren't quite as bullied by them as they used to be.

My tastes in beer have changed over the years. I've gone from drinking coronas in college to advanced mixology of "Whale" beers to present a new flavor/taste to friends and family. It's always fun to mix alternating one ounce pours of Dark Lord and Pumpking in a small snifter in front of a beer snob as they watch wide-eyed in horror, until they taste it.
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:19 PM   #10
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I have definately become more critical but would stop far short of saying that all commercial beers are bland. I think we have seen the craftbrew movement take the term "commercial beer" in a whole new direction. While I still enjoy a tradtional commercial lager based on occasion, like others, I think homebrewing has broadened my palate and my appreciation for the spectrum of beers available.

I travel extensively for business and I will admit that I tend to avoid restaurants that do not have at least some craftbrew options on their beer list. Just like looking for a menu with a variety of food options, I have come to expect the same with beer.


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