If you brew beer, you're an alcoholic. If you make wine, you're intriguing

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schneemann

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Have you ever had anyone judge you because you make beer? How is it that somehow people think less of you because you make beer, but if you made wine, it would be interesting.

I've never made wine, but I consider myself knowledgeable about wine (with exception to making it, of course) and find beer to be a more complex and therefore interesting hobby.

What's with people?
 

Yooper

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I don't know- either people are very polite, or they really are interested when I mention brewing. Even this morning, a man and I were chatting, and I mentioned I was brewing today. He said, "You brew beer? What a coincidence!". I said, "You brew?". He answered, "No, I drink beer! But HOW do you make it exactly?". I ended up showing him my kegs. (wait, that didn't come out right).

Anyway, it seems like people either think of it as a redneck pasttime, or a geeky hobby. Maybe I look geeky enough to pass for the latter. I make wine too, of course, but beer is so much better!
 

Sean from New Hampshire

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Beer is a non - sophisticated swill that men drink to become fat and stupid. Wine has been around for centuries and is the drink of intellects...

:)

Sean From NH
 

Ben25

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A kid in my firehouse calls me Drew Carey because I brew. I tell him to shut the f*** up because he's 16 and bald.
 

Yooper

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Beer is a non - sophisticated swill that men drink to become fat and stupid.
:)

Sean From NH
Haha- what about thin, intelligent, middle-aged women?

I do think that people respond differently to a female beer geek than a male beer geek. Maybe that's the difference in the responses I get- it's maybe surprising to people that I'm not a big fat redneck who drinks too much. Maybe they are thinking of the stereotypical beer drinker- Al Bundy making homebrew, you know?
 

FireBrewer

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Meh. Out of all the questions I've gotten about it in the past almost-6 years, only once have I heard someone say it was redneck, and that was from a friend of a friend (not to my face). I told her to tell the ill-informed guy to tell that to Sam Calagione, Jim Koch, Garrett Oliver and the long list of other homebrewer-turned-professional brewers. :D

Some people have preconceived notions, in part by their experiences with homebrew or homebrewers. My old neighbor used to say "I've had homebrew before, and your's tastes much better!" I take it he had some bad homebrew in the past.

In terms of homebrew vs. wine, I tell 'em to read "The Brewmaster's Table" by Garrett Oliver. ;) I find that even the most wine-educated people don't necessarily have a clue about beer. Most people can't even tell the difference between a lager and ale without saying something like ales are darker than lagers. :rolleyes:

On the whole I find people are pretty interested, especially as craft beer gains in growth and sales.
 

Revvy

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Nah, that perception is changing as Craft beers rise in popularity, and names like Sam Adams are on tv...if you google beer food pairings you will find out how seriously popular beer is becomming...and not just to beer geeks like us...It may not seem like it in your "circle" but beer is hip right now...maybe more so than during the craft beer "revolution" of the 80's

Beer is being called the "New Wine" in places like the New York Times, or like this article from the Washington Post Heady Complements - washingtonpost.com

Heck, even a radiostation I listen to from Windsor Ontario has a weekly craft beer segment on their 5:30 news program.

Chefs and Restaurants are putting on beer/food pairing parties all over the place.

Even the fact that the Macros are putting out Ales now, (including Bud) is part of the growing shift in palates and consciousness away from wine to beer.

And it is a good time to be a home brewer, and knowledgeable about beer in general. I'm on a couple of other non beer related forums (including a dating site) where I have homebrewer in my profile, and I get a lot of food/beer pairing questions from people, especially women on the dating site...It's usually the conversation opener when a woman writes to me on the dating site.

I've gone on a couple of dates with women to brew pubs, they seem to enjoy themselves....
 

ohiobrewtus

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Most people that I talk to about homebrewing are interested in the process and want to try my beers. Some come into it with an open mind and are open to trying styles that they've never had (and never heard of) before, while others think that all beer tastes like Bud or Miller Lite and that anything else is just weird.
 

david_42

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Which is amusing, as 5 gallons of wine has 2-5 times the alcohol content of beer. Who ever heard of a beero?

And if you are in Oregon, wine festivals are family events, but beer fests aren't.

Perceptions are changing. It's a slow process.
 

MrNate

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...others think that all beer tastes like Bud or Miller Lite and that anything else is just weird.
I see you've been to New Jersey! Around here, having something "exotic" on tap usually means Becks, Heineken, or more likely Corona. They just don't realize beer comes in different flavors.

Case in point, I set up my porta-bar for a party and was affixing my custom taphandles that have just the style name (I think the taphandles in question were Helles and Bohemian Pilsener) on the medallion part. A friend of mine looks at them and says, "You made these (the handles)? They're pretty cool! I figured you must've made them, because I don't know of any beers by those names!"

I've only heard one reference to my "hillbilly homebrew" once, though, and that was a friend of mine who comes from the same part of PA my family does. So I don't really count that, since he knows I really am a hillbilly.

Around here, though, winemaking tends to be considered less highbrow, since a lot of the Italian immigrants made their own wine, and therefore a lot of people grew up around homemade wine and winemakers. It's considered more of an old-world pastoral activity, something your father and grandfather have always done. Not unlike the way 'shiners are viewed in certain parts of Appalachia. :drunk:
 

TheJadedDog

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I've never had someone judge me because I brew beer, most people I talk to are pretty interested and want to hear all about it.

As for the difference between beer and wine in general, wine has always been associated with the well to do while beer is the working man's drink. Here's an example, while traveling in CA this summer we went to Napa to go to some wineries; had to pay between $5 and $25 a person to get 4-6oz of wine per tasting. Then we drove over to Lagunitas (also went to Anchor Steam), where we got 7 half pints and a full brewery tour for free.
 

GilaMinumBeer

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"If you brew beer, you're........."

And if this is how you feel about it you aren't worth my time.


I had a client turned friend who is pretty much into anything that conveys status (shallow I know but he does make the money) and while he does drink beer he's never had anything good to say about homebrew. Apparently, he and some frat mates gave it a go back in the 80's or something using those cheap, cidery, "kit and kilo" type extract brews. Nowadays he's into wine. I mean INTO wine as in had a storm shelter put in the garage for a wine cellar and buys from a few select reserve stashes (so he says).

He invited me and the wife over for dinner and I brought a bottle of my homebrew. Unlabelled, and corked in a wine bottle. Ever since that night, when I hear from him and we are getting together he asks me to bring a tasting of my latest brews.

Maybe he is being polite but it comes off a geniuine (which this guy is not really known for).

Anyway, point is, based on his prior experience with homebrew he thought brewing was "backwoods redneck swill" but, it seems now he has some respect for it. I have even seen some of the bottle I gifted to him stashed in a section of his celler reserved for the "fancy stuff".
 

HBHoss

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Seeing all the different brews in the grocery store these days shows me the perception is changing towards beer. It's not JUST something you slam down after a hard day at work. I think that because wine is always served in glasses but beer can be drank from the bottle it seems less "classy". Now that more people are drinking beer from a glass it gives it that sophisticated look to it. When I told my mom I was brewing another batch of beer she said, something to the effect of, "don't become an alcoholic." I wonder if she said something like that to my brother when he opened his winery?:cross:
 

ChshreCat

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I hate those double standards. It's like... if you make your own furniture, you're a craftsman. If you upholster it with human skin, you're a sociopath. Sheesh! Judgmental people everwhere! ;)
 

Revvy

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Seeing all the different brews in the grocery store these days shows me the perception is changing towards beer. It's not JUST something you slam down after a hard day at work. I think that because wine is always served in glasses but beer can be drank from the bottle it seems less "classy". Now that more people are drinking beer from a glass it gives it that sophisticated look to it. When I told my mom I was brewing another batch of beer she said, something to the effect of, "don't become an alcoholic." I wonder if she said something like that to my brother when he opened his winery?:cross:
+1...Every grocery store or big box combo store has at least a half dozen craft beers amid their mile long BMC row in the beer aisle...and some have even more (meijer's has a huge selection in Michigan, as does Kroger's) The fact that grocery chain buyers are putting them in means their is a market for it. Nothing gets shelf prominence in a grocery store unless their's money to be made.
 

blacklab

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I've never gotten attitude about my brewing hobby. But, this is Oregon. Despite all of the Pinot Noir-ish press our state gets, I'd say microbrews are more popular by far.
 
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Not Joking.

What the beer world needs is a few pretentious $40 - $200 bottles of beer- something that allows restaurants to have a huge mark-up.

Of course you and I know better, we'd make our own.
 

summersolstice

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Believe it or not, there's even a hierarchy among home wine makers. Similar to the way some all-grain brewers dismiss extract brewers, some wine makers who make wine with grapes look down upon those who make wine from kits (even premium kits). Then you have some premium kits wine makers who look down upon wine makers who make wine (country wines) from fruit. I've seen a lot of comments stating that wine can only be made from grapes and if it's made from fruit, it isn't wine. I just accept the fact that some people are dicks.
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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Not Joking.

What the beer world needs is a few pretentious $40 - $200 bottles of beer- something that allows restaurants to have a huge mark-up.

Of course you and I know better, we'd make our own.
Oh, they are out there.... Dues, Utopia, and the reserve series beers from most major Micros. If you take the price of a single bottle and equate it to a bottle of wine (750 mL) many of the bottles would be $20-30 750's. That's a $40 bottle in a restaurant.

I find in my area, people are genuinely intrigued when they find out I am a homebrewer. I also think it has a lot to do with presentation... if you are wearing a stained wife beater and drinking a 40 oz of Mickeys and note that you brew your own beer, people will have a different impression than a guy in a sport coat passionately describing their hobby and enthusiasm about beer.
 

BierMuncher

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A few things as I see it:

In a few weeks, you’ll be able to walk into virtually any retail store and see the “beer in a box” kits for the Christmas season. In a few months, Christmas wrappings will be waiting at the curbside while hundreds of thousands of “new brewers” are boiling away their new home made beer. The sheer availability of homebrew kits compared to wine kits lends itself to a sh!tload more beginner homebrew being brewed in neighborhoods and shared with friends and family.

There is a vast difference between beer that comes out of a Mr. Beer kit from a first time brewer and an all grain batch that has just been brewed by someone who has 30+ batches under their belt. In the last three decades (since Homebrewing was re-legalized back in 1978), most Homebrewing has been done in the form of kits and liquid extract…and a vast portion was brewed by new brewers who dabbled in the hobby, shared their product, then got out of the hobby.

I consider my beer servable to any audience…but it wasn’t always that way.

Certainly high quality homebrew has been the exception rather than the rule the last 30 years.

Plus, there is just a different public perception between beer drinkers and wine drinkers. (Wrong though it may be)
 

zoebisch01

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What's with people?
I think most people have the inability to grasp the world outside of their own experience. :D

Wine has traditionally been viewed as the complement to an elegant meal. The gauntlet has been thrown down on tradition.
 

Revvy

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I find in my area, people are genuinely intrigued when they find out I am a homebrewer. I also think it has a lot to do with presentation... if you are wearing a stained wife beater and drinking a 40 oz of Mickeys and note that you brew your own beer, people will have a different impression than a guy in a sport coat passionately describing their hobby and enthusiasm about beer.
Yes, definitely! Appearance or marketing is everything.

This is a great BB podcast,

September 6, 2007 - "Marketing" Homebrews
Creative consultants Bob Corscadden and James Gardner of jimbob give us tips on "selling" the idea of drinking homebrew and other good beers in this day of mass-marketed big-boy beers.

Listen
 

njnear76

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And the problem is.............






JK. I have a sister-in-law who thinks I'm an alcoholic because I drink a beer at every family outing. Little does she know that she's the reason why. LOL. People are stupid. You're only an alcoholic if you can't drink responsibly.
 
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Deus is $29, Utiopias ~$100. There's 2.
How many 1000's of wines can you buy in that price range?

BTW: I said pretentious. I don't consider either of them pretentious.
 

Brewer3401

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I heard that a few times: "You must be an alcoholic if you make your own beer".

Total ignorance.

My reply is: "It takes at least a month before it's ready to drink - lot quicker to go to the store and just buy some"

Hey, we all can't be smart (well, the world needs ditch diggers too)
 

summersolstice

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And the problem is.............

JK. I have a sister-in-law who thinks I'm an alcoholic because I drink a beer at every family outing. Little does she know that she's the reason why.
That reminds me of the song by Hank Williams III called, "My Drinking Problem Left Today"!
 

GilaMinumBeer

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No one wants to see my old kegs. Trust me.
Yoop, Yoop, Yoop.

Honestly, it doesn't matter if your kegs are "sixtels" or half barrels. It's doesn't matter if they are new or old. It doesn;t matter if you hae a gorgeous rack or if they just sit on the floor.

The majority of men are just happy to see a "keg".

Which raises the question. If you don't actually see the "tap", have you really seen the "keg"?
 
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