There is an understandable assumption made by many people that the beers available in supermarkets and liquor stores were all brewed by factory workers employed by some faceless corporation. It’s natural to associate a big seller with a big producer. However, a lot of people would be surprised to see just how many of the beers sold commercially were actually produced in a setting not totally dissimilar to your own home brewing station. Some of the more diverse beers, especially, were produced by independent brewers.

Many of the Belgian beers available commercially – the bottled ones which are often flavored with ingredients such as raspberry – are actually made by Trappist monks. Yes, those guys who live their entire lives barely speaking a word are actually making beers that will make hundreds of other people very talkative. The cloistered nature of their living and working conditions means that they can keep their brewing secrets very secret indeed, and as a result their brews are among the most unique and interesting on the market.

This does not mean that your own brewing will necessarily be so unique. You can go conventional if you want. If you enjoy the taste of a commercial lager, it is not impossible to achieve it with home brewing. You just need to follow the right instructions and be prepared to experiment in getting it absolutely right. But if you’re that keen on getting the taste of a commercial lager then it might be better and more economical to just buy it. You can lose a lot of money chasing a specific taste.

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