Quantcast

Oops, I thought that they would be as excited as I was!

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

TimmysPaleAle

Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2009
Messages
13
Reaction score
0
Location
White Bear Lake, MN
Hey all-

I have my first-ever batch in a nice and bubbly fermentation right now, and I am happy with the process so far. What brings me to post here, however, involves my mistaken belief that the staff at my local specialty liquor store would CARE that I am brewing my own beer.


My bad, I get it. They are in the business of selling a product. For that, they need people to buy. Everything I've read says that you need to Relax and Have a Homebrew, and everything will be ok. Well, as I said this is my first batch, so I didn't have any homebrew!

So what do I do? I decide to hit the local specialty liquor store for some goods produced by a local micro (Furious, by Surly -- AMAZING). I mentioned to the clerk, whom I have spoken to about beers and breweries before, that I was going to brew my first batch.

I was obviously excited about it, and I had been waiting ALL DAY to get home and take care of business. The clerk, however, was NOT EXCITED, and in fact he attempted to rain on my parade. He told me that "home brew won't even come close to the quality of the beer that they sell," and that "in his opinion, it's a waste of time and money."

Can you believe this guy? What a jerk. I hope that my experiment goes well, and I never have to step foot in his store again.

Has anybody else had a similar experience with liquor store staff?
 

Revvy

Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Dec 11, 2007
Messages
41,298
Reaction score
3,681
Location
"Detroitish" Michigan
I have just the opposite, we have three great beer stores in town, (one of them even carries a small aisle of homebrew supplies) and the owners know I brew, and I like beer...so they always want to know what I'm brewing, and they turn me on to interesting beers...plus they also give be bottle boxes...

But just becasue I brew, doesn't mean I still don't buy beer, so they are not worried...which I'm sure was probably the reaction your person have..if people brew beer, than they might not be customers.

You should show them up someday and have them taste your beer....
 

carnevoodoo

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 17, 2007
Messages
4,258
Reaction score
24
Location
San Diego, CA
Ive taken a bottle or two to the local beer bar and have been well received. However, it is safe to say that 95% or more of homebrewed beer sucks. People are proud of their efforts and all that, but a lot of it is barely drinkable. I know plenty of people with this attitude and I do not blame them one bit.

However, as an employee of a store, it should be known that you are supposed to be nice to your customers. That is pretty ridiculous.
 

OLB

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2008
Messages
446
Reaction score
1
Location
Chicago, IL
However, it is safe to say that 95% or more of homebrewed beer sucks. People are proud of their efforts and all that, but a lot of it is barely drinkable.
Dude, you are raining on my parade. But seriously, I have now made 7 batches and am glad to see that the results aren't always great. The first three have had mixed results. The 4th is bottled and the last three are fermenting or dry hopping. The Hefe I just tried after 9 days in the bottle was probably better than what the first three batches produced. I enjoyed my first batches because I made them, but it was beer I wouldn't be willing to pay for.

However, I have found tips for improvement here and they are starting to pay off. After I tasted my first beer I decided to keep quiet about homebrewing until I could make something that I could objectively say was good. I know now I am definitely closer.
 

jmp138

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2008
Messages
328
Reaction score
7
Location
Pittsboro, NC
However, it is safe to say that 95% or more of homebrewed beer sucks.
Really, you can't honestly believe that. I would say the majority of homebrew done by anyone with a pretty good idea of the processes and not using John Bull and a pound of sugar is putting out pretty decent beer. Maybe not world class craft brew, but certainly not something that is barely drinkable.

Maybe your homebrewing friends just need to step up their game!;)
 

Stef1966

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2008
Messages
390
Reaction score
5
Location
Quebec, Canada
You should show them up someday and have them taste your beer....
I dont think so, they would just use the occasion to piss further on his enthusiasm even if deep inside, they would enjoy the home brew, for %90 of people, pissing on other people's enthusiasm is a national sport.

Never expect any sign of enthusiasm from other people about anything you try in your life, always do it for yourself, and if by any miracles, people enjoy it, take it for what it is and be content.
 

Stef1966

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2008
Messages
390
Reaction score
5
Location
Quebec, Canada
Ive taken a bottle or two to the local beer bar and have been well received. However, it is safe to say that 95% or more of homebrewed beer sucks. People are proud of their efforts and all that, but a lot of it is barely drinkable. I know plenty of people with this attitude and I do not blame them one bit.
Allow me to totally disagree with you on this.
I have tasted a $hitload of beer in my life, and as far as my home brewed beer and the ones from others i have tasted so far, i have nothing to shy about compared to any store bought beer.

Then again, it is always a matter of personnal taste, maybe you do not like the taste of home brewed beer.
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2005
Messages
7,733
Reaction score
74
Location
Nanaimo, BC
Yeah, I still go and buy beer, especially styles I have not brewed. soemtimes I buy beer to compare mine to. And it's not always convenient to lug a keg to a friends house just to half a pint or two.

Personally I like my beer better than most store bought and so do my friends. They keep urging me to start a brewpub etc. I just can't afford to do that.
 

boxerbrew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2008
Messages
63
Reaction score
0
Location
Michigan
I would never step foot in his store again...period. Whether this hobby works out for you or not. He was simply trying to bring you down, you can't be more than .00000000000000001 % of his business, so why would he care one way or the other. He was being a dick, and trying to crush your dreams cuz the only reason he has to get out of bed is to make sure the 20 dollar bills are real or not with his stupid marker. Don't let him or anyone else stop you from doing what you want with your life, you only live once!!!
 

john from dc

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2008
Messages
394
Reaction score
6
i moonlight at a bike shop and some of the mechanics give this same attitude to anyone who attempts to do work on their own bikes. it's so stupid and shortsighted to think that someone adjusting their own brake cable will hurt your business in some way. if people learn how to maintain their own bikes then their enthusiasm for riding grows and they end up spending tons more money on bike stuff. and if we help them out then they recommend the shop to their friends. that's just small business 101.

i've been pretty lucky that my favorite beer stores are totally into the fact that i brew and love to talk beer with me. and i still buy plenty of beer, often the expensive stuff because i like to know what i'm shooting for :)

i do think that a lot of homebrewers let their pride in their own beers cloud their judgement when it comes to objective assessment, and that's okay. but if you focus on making the best beer you can for any appreciable amount of time, you're bound to end up pretty damn good at it. and eventually you'll be able to consistently make beers that are not only on par with the quality of commercial beer, but are EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT. which is pretty awesome.
 

carnevoodoo

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 17, 2007
Messages
4,258
Reaction score
24
Location
San Diego, CA
Dude, you are raining on my parade. But seriously, I have now made 7 batches and am glad to see that the results aren't always great. The first three have had mixed results. The 4th is bottled and the last three are fermenting or dry hopping. The Hefe I just tried after 9 days in the bottle was probably better than what the first three batches produced. I enjoyed my first batches because I made them, but it was beer I wouldn't be willing to pay for.

However, I have found tips for improvement here and they are starting to pay off. After I tasted my first beer I decided to keep quiet about homebrewing until I could make something that I could objectively say was good. I know now I am definitely closer.
I'm at about two years of brewing. I've had some things come out amazing. and I've had some beer I think sucks, but my friends will drink it, so it keeps them happy. I have no delusions of my beer being better than a lot of craft beer, but I can definitely say I've made a few that have come close. I have a pretty refined palate and I can tell what is good and what isn't.

Being a beer snob helps me understand what good beer is and isn't. Like any of you, I am very proud of the accomplishments I've made, the medals I've won, and every honest compliment I get. I will continue to learn and improve everything I make, but I am always striving to make things better. You'll get to a point where you're happy with the beer you make, and every technique you improve will help.

I'm not trying to bum people out. I am honest about what I do and what I've seen. No reason for anyone to get defensive. I think there are a few people on here who are accomplished, and the rest of us have a long way to go. But that's why we're here, always learning.
 

woollybugger2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2009
Messages
534
Reaction score
3
My local specialty beer/wine store is great, they sell home brew supplies and will tell you where to get what they don't have! They are very happy to have me as homebrew customer and are very helpful and knowledgeable about home brewing! Kudos to City Beverage!!! Fat Tire tasting this Saturday too!!!!!

I'm working on my 4th batch and I'm going to need some more bottles.... I just got back from there and found an Oatmeal Stout on sale for $19.99!!! for a case of 24!!!! Now, I'm faced with the task of getting them emptied and cleaned up for MY beer!!!!
 

RCCOLA

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2008
Messages
1,082
Reaction score
122
Location
Northwest Arkansas
My local specialty beer/wine store is great, they sell home brew supplies and will tell you where to get what they don't have! They are very happy to have me as homebrew customer and are very helpful and knowledgeable about home brewing! Kudos to City Beverage!!! Fat Tire tasting this Saturday too!!!!!

I'm working on my 4th batch and I'm going to need some more bottles.... I just got back from there and found an Oatmeal Stout on sale for $19.99!!! for a case of 24!!!! Now, I'm faced with the task of getting them emptied and cleaned up for MY beer!!!!
I'm on my way over to help empty those bottles!Pesky breweries ,always filling those damn bottles!:cross:
 

SumnerH

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2009
Messages
2,057
Reaction score
44
Location
Alexandria, VA, USA
Really, you can't honestly believe that. I would say the majority of homebrew done by anyone with a pretty good idea of the processes and not using John Bull and a pound of sugar is putting out pretty decent beer. Maybe not world class craft brew, but certainly not something that is barely drinkable.
That's true, but it's like saying that most of the non-mass-produced commercial beer out there is pretty decent--it misses the mark in that most beer sold is that macro stuff.

But I'd bet 80% or more of homebrew is from things like Mr Beer or guys more like craigtube than revvy; people who are enthusiastic and willing, but don't take the time to get that pretty good idea of the processes. And they wind up producing the predictable "drinkable but not as good as even a lot of macro" stuff. Which is fine for them, because they enjoy doing it on some level (be it the achievment, the cost savings, or whatever).

By the time people make it to caring enough about learning that they're signing up for this board and posting about the process, they're probably way ahead of the game even if they're only making their first batch. So we probably get a skewed view of the average results.
 

SkewedBrewing

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 26, 2006
Messages
1,033
Reaction score
24
Location
Chicago
By the time people make it to caring enough about learning that they're signing up for this board and posting about the process, they're probably way ahead of the game even if they're only making their first batch. So we probably get a skewed view of the average results.
I completely agree. I found HBT almost immediately after I started brewing and have always come back here since. Its only lately, now that I'm in the real world post college and all, that I've realized just how many people out there consider Mr. Beer and products like that as a good way to homebrew.

That being said, I do think that more than 5% of homebrew is good, if not great beer, IMO.

And to get back to the OP's subject, I'd have to half-way agree with boxer. The guy seems like someone who's mad at the world, plain and simple. I wouldn't let it discourage me in anyway and I'd only go back there for beer emergencies.
 

dontman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2008
Messages
2,401
Reaction score
32
Location
Philly, PA
I do agree with carne in that most homebrew is not as good as the brewer thinks it is.

One thing weird that I have noticed. Most homebrew brewed by other people is not very good while mine is always excellent. Hmmm. (Please take that statement in the spirit of irony in which it was meant.)

I loved BM's graph contrasting people's perceptions of their own homebrew vs others perceptions of the same beer.
 

arover

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2009
Messages
289
Reaction score
3
Location
San Diego
Damn, I just read every single post in my thread while I have my first beer fermenting...I've been all excited about it, hoping it's going to turn out well and taste decent (having never had a homebrew before, I'll really have no clue). But now I feel like I should be shy about sharing my prospective accomplishments, lol. I'm a perfectionist, and waiting 4 weeks to see how well the fruits of my labor have turned out...and to think about this "95%" chance of it turning out subpar...it's a tad bit nervewracking. At least I'm not using Mr. Beer. I went for a two stage fermentation, with a mini mash and all. We'll see how well it treats me in the end :D
 

CBBaron

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2007
Messages
2,780
Reaction score
21
Location
Cleveland
The best beer and wine store in the area is also an HBS. So no I do not get that attitude from them.

Craig
 

JPicasso

Hackbrewer extraordinaire
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Mar 21, 2007
Messages
482
Reaction score
25
Location
Arlington Heights
Dude, I've been doing extract for two years now, and have only made two "bad" beers. One was an infection, and the other was a result of not cleaning my Immersion chiller. I'm pretty sure I am NOT a world-class brewer, and I think my results are pretty typical. Also consider you're already doing partial mashes, which puts you ahead of the game!

I've had several people tell me that it's the best beer they've ever had. So at least I'm better then Bud, Miller & Coors! :) In fact, one of my fiends decided that he did indeed like beer, just not cheap (BMC) beer, after having some homebrew.

Watch your sanitation, and fermentation temps, don't start with odd ball recipes, and you'll be making GREAT beer. I think it's true that you will enjoy your beer more than other people, but so what, who you doing this for anyway?

As an aside, I also think we are our own worst critics. I made a stout once that I thought was "off". After choking it down and wondering what when wrong, I purchased some stout from the local beer store. Turns out, I just don't like your typical stout recipe, I could have bottled what I made, and sold it.

Welcome to the obsession, it's going to be a great ride!:mug:
 

Gosassin

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2008
Messages
182
Reaction score
0
Location
Lawrenceville, GA
F that guy. When you need more beer, go to a different liquor store. I've found that i buy more and costlier beer since I've started brewing. I think it's partly because I'm looking for new styles and/or labels to taste and possibly clone, and partly because my tastes are maturing - or at least changing! :cross:
 

Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2008
Messages
12,265
Reaction score
730
I hate to piss on that guys parade (Not really, I will enjoy it) But much of the beer HE sells ain't as good as he thinks it is. There are some good brews out there, sure. Many of them though are merely adequate, and even more of them are a damned rip off. The only thing they have in common is that they are ALL over priced.

Sure there are some classics around, and you hear their names touted on this forum very often. Look though at the shelves in a good liqour store and count the brews that are never even mentioned on this forum full of beer lovers. There is a very good reason those brews rarely get mentioned.

Take that rude cashier guy who doesn't really like beer! :D

PS. As to homebrew, I'm still a noob, just a year in. I already have the occasional commercial beer that I know I can make better, or at least more tailored to my tastes. Screw you, dumb cashier guy that knows nothing about homebrew!
 

conpewter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2007
Messages
5,081
Reaction score
57
Location
East Dundee, Illinois
Well finding this site has made me a much better brewer than I would have been otherwise. I definitely know that using good sanitation, good recipes and fresh ingredients will get you beer that is on par with a lot of micro-brew.
 

david_42

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2005
Messages
25,582
Reaction score
180
Location
Oak Grove
Attitudes vary from place to place and person to person. 'Your' clerk may be a BMC drinker, hate his job or just snarky by nature. One of the LHBSs nearby, first and foremost, sells equipment and services to wineries. They have a small corner with homebrew stuff, but I doubt anyone in the store brews.

However, it is safe to say that 95% or more of homebrewed beer sucks.
Hardly true, or why would you continue brewing? There are certainly many bad batches brewed, but most people will be turning out good beer from the first batch. Great homebrew takes a little more effort. My first batch (using a BrewS(u)ck bag) was lousy, but my first real batch was good and many have been excellent.
 

Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2008
Messages
12,265
Reaction score
730
Well finding this site has made me a much better brewer than I would have been otherwise. I definitely know that using good sanitation, good recipes and fresh ingredients will get you beer that is on par with a lot of micro-brew.
I used the term "better" in the sense that it is tailored to your own tastes. Therefore it is better from one's own perspective. It's all words, I vote we just punch cashier guy in the throat anyway! ;)
 

SpanishCastleAle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2009
Messages
4,339
Reaction score
42
Location
Central Florida
I had all but quit drinking beer shortly after I quit brewing in late 1999.

I've had beer everyday this week.

And I'm sure at least some of this is what dontman alluded to.

My first question to that clerk would have been; "Sample size". If he's only tried a couple of homebrews he hasn't tasted enough to know imo. Or maybe he tried it and his brew sucked.
 

bull8042

I like 'em shaved
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jul 16, 2008
Messages
10,259
Reaction score
457
Location
Fort Mill
With regards to the quality of homebrew, it can be compared to a baby. You ask ANY parent and they will quickly pipe up that their baby is/was absolutely gorgeous, plain and simple. BUT, we all know that there are some pretty damn ugly babies in this world.
Of course, all four of my little ones were really beautiful/handsome..... but there are OTHER ones that are ugly....
 

carnevoodoo

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 17, 2007
Messages
4,258
Reaction score
24
Location
San Diego, CA
Hardly true, or why would you continue brewing?
I am interested in brewing as a process. I am interested in finding out what I can make and how far I can push a style towards exactly what it should be. I drink maybe 1/20th of what I make. The rest goes to my friends who will drink just about anything, especially if they've already been drinking.

I want to be a professional brewer someday, and this is just one step. I can tell when I try a beer whether or not I am going to be able to give it to my beer nerd friends, or if I just need to pass it to my other friends. The ones for my beer nerd friends are much fewer than the rest.

That said, I am meticulous and I will make sure everything I do is as good as it can be. You have to remember that the people on this site are a brewing minority. The one poster who mentioned people who just get Mr. Beer kits and brew them without any desire to make it better are the norm. We're different here. We're the obsessed.
 

DanVader

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2008
Messages
98
Reaction score
0
Location
tucson
forget the cluess clerk, theres a lot to be said for pride of ownership. I can see where homebrewing can be a waste of time compared to doing a lot of other things, but what a great way to waste time!! Wasting money is a completely different thing. Even without being able to break into bulk grain purchases yet, I'm putting out top notch beer at around 8 to 9 bucks a case. Extract brewing does seem to be getting pretty pricey lately and I don't think I'd ever want to go that route again. AG equipment will set you back a bit, but if you're an avid brewer (I'm OCD) it pays for itself pretty quick. It'll be a fun day when you can go in and tell the clerk "I tried so and so the other day for 7.99 a six pack and I can do as good or better for 1/4 the cost"
 

dontman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2008
Messages
2,401
Reaction score
32
Location
Philly, PA
Damn, I just read every single post in my thread while I have my first beer fermenting...I've been all excited about it, hoping it's going to turn out well and taste decent (having never had a homebrew before, I'll really have no clue). But now I feel like I should be shy about sharing my prospective accomplishments, lol. I'm a perfectionist, and waiting 4 weeks to see how well the fruits of my labor have turned out...and to think about this "95%" chance of it turning out subpar...it's a tad bit nervewracking. At least I'm not using Mr. Beer. I went for a two stage fermentation, with a mini mash and all. We'll see how well it treats me in the end :D
Damn, I didn't even think about the fact that you were a brand new brewer. Dude, your beer will be the best you ever drank when it is properly aged and carbed. YOu will be amazed.

This is not what I, or any of us really, was getting at. That homebrew is not very good. Quite the contrary.

Think of it like home cooking. I am a trained chef from back in the day. These days I make my own fresh pasta and pasta dishes. When people eat these dishes at my house they consistently say that this is the best pasta they have ever tried. BUT I live in a city with over a million Italians and nearly as many Italian restaurants and some of them are just stellar. There just ain't no way mine is as good as the best of those restaurants.

But that doesn't mean mine is not really really good and because I made it myself I like it all the more and people are really impressed that I did it.

Same with Home Brew.
 

bull8042

I like 'em shaved
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jul 16, 2008
Messages
10,259
Reaction score
457
Location
Fort Mill
Damn, I didn't even think about the fact that you were a brand new brewer. Dude, your beer will be the best you ever drank when it is properly aged and carbed. YOu will be amazed.

This is not what I, or any of us really, was getting at. That homebrew is not very good. Quite the contrary.

Think of it like home cooking. I am a trained chef from back in the day. These days I make my own fresh pasta and pasta dishes. When people eat these dishes at my house they consistently say that this is the best pasta they have ever tried. BUT I live in a city with over a million Italians and nearly as many Italian restaurants and some of them are just stellar. There just ain't no way mine is as good as the best of those restaurants.

But that doesn't mean mine is not really really good and because I made it myself I like it all the more and people are really impressed that I did it.

Same with Home Brew.
VERY well said, and a great analogy as well! :mug:
 

Zenman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2008
Messages
116
Reaction score
0
Location
Phoenix, AZ
But that doesn't mean mine is not really really good and because I made it myself I like it all the more and people are really impressed that I did it.
Yeah this is also do to freshness. I bet the majority of resturants in Philly are not hand making pasta from scratch every morning, the ones that are are going to be higher end in the price so most don't get to that on a regular basis. My wife is a wonderful cook and I can say when she makes something from scratch with the freshest ingreatients it kicks most everything else out there. This is due to freshness of ingredients (and of course her skills.) Kinda of like difference between frozen fish and fresh fish... major difference in texture and flavor!

So many home brews are supierior to us because we like fresh clean beer and understand what that means. It is the difference between a chef tasting a dish and a college kid tasting a dish, college kid just wanted some frozen chicken wings dunked in insanity fire hot sauce so didn't like the dish, chef recognized that everything was fresh and made from scratch and the ingredients meshed well to create a dish of fresh hot chicken wings from scratch. It is all perspective.

Many beer snobs I've run into look down on home brew, because they have had ones they dind't like, or they feel the quality isn't there. But then some get excited and want to try out what I have made, because they get it. Of course I am not always sure I even like what I brew, it is good and drinkable, but I cannot say it is the favorite I have for the style, so the obsession continues, to brew a favorite for each style that I can drink until I die. Due to that I am always buying specialty beer to understand the flavors for various styles, its how I learn and undestand how I am doing against a standard.

Cashier sounds like a young know it all, that tried some friends home brew but didn't like it cause it was 'nasty' problem was he likes malty scottish ales and the home brew was a hop monster IPA... never know what it was he tried or his tastes. I have a friend that drinks Coors & Keystone, recently switched to Bud Light cause it has been cheaper. He notices a big taste differnce (he claims). I notice a little difference but nothing to make me say one is better than another. He makes a nasty face for anything my wife or I get to drink that isn't fizzy yellow tastless, even our beloved home brews. I guess it is all in the tounge of the drinker...
 

Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2008
Messages
12,265
Reaction score
730
...and to think about this "95%" chance of it turning out subpar...it's a tad bit nervewracking.
Don't worry, I'm guessing that 95% of home brewers don't have the might and wisdom of HBT behind them! ;)


PS Bull, nice avatar! :D I used to own three lady goats. Have no fear. I know my way around a goat's udders. ;)
 
Top