Does Home Brew Taste Better? Or Is It Just Hype

I often wonder if my home brew actually tastes any good.

To me it does and it usually gets good reviews from friends and family, but is it really good beer or does it’s reputation precede it?

session 70

This month’s Session (beer bloggers sharing ideas) is hosted by Mr David J who asks whether hyped beer is good or bad. The particular question that got me thinking is this one:

Are we much better off knowing nothing about a beer, or is it better to have the knowledge as to what the best beers are?

What Mr David’s asking, I think, is whether taste can be objective, or if it’s too heavily influenced by the descriptions and opinions that are already out there.

When people drink my beer they usually enjoy it and spread the word. Others then try it after hearing about it by word of mouth (yes, it does happen).

This makes me nervous, fearing the beer won’t live up to the hype.

The reactions are different depending on the people.

Non-Beer Drinkers

Non-beer lovers tend to be impressed by home brew.

They’re often surprised that beer itself can be so tasty, and impressed that you can make your own.

But afterwards they go back to drinking lager. Nothing wrong with that, but it doesn’t help the case for my beer being delicious.

Beer Drinkers

It’s great when honest people with beer knowledge try a home brew.

This is where it’s judged against other good beers. If a beer fan says it’s delicious, they mean it don’t they?

And if there’s something wrong they tell you.

I’ve never offered a home brew without announcing it as such. Now I wonder how much the home brew tag affects someone’s taste buds.

I’m fairly sure it does.

Perhaps they’re extra critical and look for “home brew flavours”, only to be pleasantly surprised when they’re not there.

On the other hand, they might overlook small flaws and make allowances for the homemade beer factor.

One thing’s for sure: seasoned beer drinkers pretty much always want another glass.

What Do You Think?

I’m pretty sure that asking “do you want to try my home brew?” sets people up for a different experience than “would you like a beer?”

But what do you think?

Does your home brew taste better than the bought stuff? What response do you get when you offer it to others?

I’ll be hosting The Session next month. You can read the announcement post here.

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  1. Sometimes I feel my friends are too nice when it comes to my homebrew. I’m the same as you – I brew what I believe I’ll like and hope that others do too. But it’s hard for me to gauge a truly honest opinion.

    I had a friend who hates watermelon (who hates watermelon!?) try my watermelon wheat homebrew and said he liked it a lot, despite his preference to the fruit itself. I was very thankful, but also weary. I want people to enjoy my homebrew because part of the fun is being able to share it with others.

    … or maybe I just don’t want to feed into my own hype…


    • John

      Hi Bryan,

      If it’s enjoyable to the person who brewed it that’s a good start, and if friends also like it that’s even better. I guess it’s hard to ask for more than that.

      For honest feedback though, perhaps we need people with no personal interest in the beer.


  2. I asked that question many times. I actually really want some criticism in order to improve. Hard to improve if people say it’s great. So, that make somewhat suspicious…In the meantime I’ll keep brewing!