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Homebrew, Commercial, or Both

So I’ve always been a bit curious on what the rest of the homebrew community drinks. Do you drink only what you brew, or do you find your fridge often stocked with a 6er of whatever commercial brew suits your fancy.

If you go for mostly or 100% homebrew (does “homebrew purist” sound good?), what are your reasons? Do you have the ultimate set up with a bar/taps and several batches so your palate doesn’t get bored, or is it mainly due to the fact that if you bought beer on top of the 5 or 10 gallons you brew, your liver would cease to function?

If you go for commercial as well do you go for something economical to fill a need, a staple from a favorite brewery, or something truly impressive that breaks the bank a bit?

For me, my passion for brewing comes from my goal to always acquire new knowledge in my attempt to brew the best beer I can brew. However, I wouldn’t be into homebrewing today if I didn’t have some amazing craft beers out there to inspire me, and I’ll always grab something off the shelf if its new or enticing. It’s all a learning process for me… a delicious learning process.

What say you?

Right now I’ve got 4 kegs on tap, 2 cases of a 71 IBU amber that is about ready to drink, about a case of Tripel, almost 2 cases of Weizenbock, and five 22-oz bottles of an Imperial Stout that I am aging (one I will drink on Saturday to celebrate Dark Lord Day). I also have about 3 good bottles of craft beer that is aging, 3 bottles of Panneport (2009) that were just given to me this past weekend, and two 16-oz cans of Sun King Osiris left, that I picked up in Indianapolis in early March.

No, I don’t really buy very much craft beer anymore, except when I’m out to eat, or going out to drink craft beer. Now that it’s summer, I will probably pick up some beer for get togethers because my wife thinks that we should (likely some kind of Sam Adams sampler or whatever craft beer is selling at Costco when she’s there) for “other people”. I do like buying beer in places I visit that is local, that I can’t get in NW Indiana.

I mostly drink my beer because it’s there, it’s cheap, it’s good and there’s lots of it around. I do bring home commercial beers from time to time for 2 reasons. 1) If I’m just really in the mood for something. Love Lagunitas IPA. Just gotta buy a 6er now and then. 2) A lot of my local shops have been getting into mix and match 6packs. Which is awesome! Let’s me try beers I’ve never had before without paying $10-$12 for 6 beers of something I may not like.

But as a whole, if I’m home, I’m drinking my beer. It’s on tap and it’s good!

Having said that, when I go out with the wife and/or friends I usually find myself trying to convince everyone to go to some sort of brewpub or microbrewery. Just to try some different local stuff.

I’ve only been brewing since January, and already I hate the idea of having to buy other beer. If I do, it’s basically for one of two reasons:

  1. I need more bottles
  2. Reference for a style I’m brewing or want to brew.

I currently have 3 full cases and a six pack of available as needed and 1 case of 4 different types in reserve to see how they do as they age. Ideally, that reserve ultimately will become 2 cases of 8 different types, if not larger, and I’d like to get it to where at least 4 cases is my minimum for front line beers.

I don’t buy much beer at anymore. To a certain extent it’s because my wife would kill me if I did because I have 4 on ales or lagers on tap and a fridge full of dark beers in bottles. There’s also the little cabinet in the shop with 8 to 10 kegs ready to go and enough ingredients around to make, at a minimum, 30 more gallons. I don’t know when I’d drink beer from anywhere else. When I feel a need for something other than homebrew I typically go with BV on ice, red wine or Templeton Rye.

I do enjoy trying local brews when we travel though.

Paul

I have two taps with usually one or two cornies on deck. I try to have a session beer on one tap and something I’ve never tried before on the other. I still bottle, but usually I reserve that for gifts or for larger beers I want to age awhile.
Concerning commercial beers: My palate has changed in the 2 years I’ve been doing this. I had a Miller Lite recently and was amazed at how it lacked aroma and flavor. Have I become a beer snob? I don’t know, all I know is when I try a craft beer I look for flavors, and aromas that I never knew existed in beer.
On tap: Petite Saisson D’ete, Patersbier
keg conditioning: Dunkelweizen
Bottled: SS Minnow Mild brown, last of the Winter warmer.
Primary;Kolsch
Secondary:Christmas 2012 barley Wine, Belgian Dubbel
Brew day Saturday: First attempt at All-grain farmhouse Biere de Table.

PS Life’s to short for Crappy beer.

99% Homebrew for me. Why? Because I prefer it. I feel well accomplished after a good brew day and each pint I tap reminds me of that feeling.
:cheers:

We never really buy commercial anymore. Like someone else said, we have a bunch of it around (3 taps, and about 5 different offerings in bottles). Whenever we go out though, we always go to a place with good local beer, but it’s been almost a year probably since I bought a 6’er at the liquor store.

I usually go by the last paragraph of the original post. I buy beer if I’m running low on homebrew and/or if it’s enticing or I’m researching a style. Especially in the fall, I buy lots of beer then. Love the harvest ales, oktoberfests, pumpkin beers, etc.

I mainly drink homebrew, but I also like to shop around for craft brews to see whats new and to get ideas. Its also a good way to try a hop variety that you may not be familiar with.

I go for both on a regular basis.

  1. I love good beer. Whether I brewed it or someone else did.
  2. commercial beer gives me a chance to expand my palate an therefore my interests in beer I might want to brew.

3)I definitely support small business and buying beer gives me a chance to support the local breweries around here in Los angeles.

Oh ya, and I like variety. So even though I have 4 or 5 different homebrews ready at any given time…i like to find new things.

[quote=“SlowBrew”]I don’t buy much beer at anymore. To a certain extent it’s because my wife would kill me if I did because I have 4 on ales or lagers on tap and a fridge full of dark beers in bottles. There’s also the little cabinet in the shop with 8 to 10 kegs ready to go and enough ingredients around to make, at a minimum, 30 more gallons. I don’t know when I’d drink beer from anywhere else. When I feel a need for something other than homebrew I typically go with BV on ice, red wine or Templeton Rye.

I do enjoy trying local brews when we travel though.

Paul[/quote]

Templeton Rye. Mmmmm. Introduced to this last fall.

Will buy something that is new. Or send some money with someone traveling to another part of the country.

Otherwise I drink what I brew. It’s good, it’s less expensive. And sometimes it much better then commercial beer.

I find myself buying a six pack here or there. Usually if I’m going to a party and don’t want to deal with any questions. Or sometimes I’m just in the mood for a particular beer and don’t have any bottles in my stash

It’s only 10% rye which I would barely consider that a rye and it’s not actually made in Iowa anymore! That stuff is overrated, although I’m sure it’s really good. I’ve only had it once, but I’m not much of a whiskey drinker to begin with.

The only time I buy beer is if I need more bottles, because I’ve given a bunch away. If I buy, I usually go for Sierra Nevada, Sam Adams or New Belgium beers. Usually.

buy it whenever I am out.
Also anything that peaks my interest that I want to try I go buy. Or if something I want to brew I might go seek out that style from a commercial beer I enjoy to see its flavors.
I couldn’t imagine not trying some of the great commercial beers that are out there. If I was to miss out on all those beers that would suck

I have 3 taps which are always flowing. I also bottle a few batches a year of stuff that I wouldn’t want to drink 5 gallons in a row of (imperial stouts, doppelbocks etc). I still run out a pick up about 4 bombers a week of stuff I haven’t tried before to share with my brewing friends. I’m always looking for inspiration there.

I do also run out and do tasting at our local breweries and am sure to fill a growler if there is something I like. Then again, that is one of the pleasures of living in San Diego. 38 insanely good breweries in a 40 mile radius.

That is mostly all ‘tasting’ though. When it comes to drinking, it’s usually mine.

[quote=“HellBound”]I go for both on a regular basis.

  1. I love good beer. Whether I brewed it or someone else did.
  2. commercial beer gives me a chance to expand my palate an therefore my interests in beer I might want to brew.

3)I definitely support small business and buying beer gives me a chance to support the local breweries around here in Los angeles.

Oh ya, and I like variety. So even though I have 4 or 5 different homebrews ready at any given time…i like to find new things.[/quote]

Same here granted my first two batches are still fermenting. I can’t see myself not buying the local brews, and some of my favorites crafts from across the county or the occasional macro. Sometimes I just need a watery Labatt’s after a hockey game!

I like to mix and match, I have 2 homebrews on tap, plus 2 styles in bottles. Whenever I go to the dicsount liquor store I like to grab a sixer of something I’ve never tried before. If I go commercial I do have a soft spot for “Old guy Beers” like my dad drank in his teens. I am quite partial to Schlitz, and will get Old Milwaukee on occasion.

I’ll be the first to tell you that I spend too much $$ on commercial beer. There’s just so much great beer out there, a lot of it that takes so long to make, and I’m always in the mood for what I don’t have on tap and what I haven’t already drank a gallon of in the last week. I have five taps, but too often I only really like one of them.

I mostly brew low ABV beers (~4% ABV) because you can’t really buy them and they’re easier to drink in quantity. For as much as I love huge hoppy beers, I’ve only brewed like three out of at least 50 batches.

I’m trying to catch up with my tastes, I have a sour beer in the basement now, not sure how long it will take or if it will be any good. Just crossing my fingers. I do also have plans to brew a few batches of Evil Twin and a DIIPA. Even when I do, I’ll probably get sick of them after a few nights and buy some commercial beer to fill the void.

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