I it generally cheaper

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guysecretan

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I know it's not really about the money t do you find it cheaper than buying supermarket beer?
 

jof

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Yes its cheaper.
You may need to do several kits or move to partial mash or all grain brewing before you find a set of beers you are happy with.

But once you have control of the process, you will find when you go back to supermarket beers they are just a bit lack lustre.

In fact there will come a point where your pints will be comparable or better than you get in the pub.
This is usually once you learn how to tweak your brew to your own tastes. (Don't expect to do this straight away, it takes practice & also finding what doesn't work)
 

steve123

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Loads cheaper, my beers for AG 500 ml bottle cost 15-25p to make, cheapest beer is probably carling or similar at 50p a can, more expensive beer can be £4-£5. One of my favourite beers is la chouffe, for a 330ml bottle you won’t get much change from £4, I can replicate that at home for maybe 30-40p
 

prog99

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If you discount your initial outlay definitely. However I wont stop buying beer for "research" purposes.

I don't really care about the money and I've come very close or exceeded numerable times to commercial quality but there are a few styles Ive never quite nailed(belgium triple being one and I don't object to buying it)
 

trummy

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I just use good kits - reckon at 60 p a pint. Very very few supermarket beers come close - and then not the ones around a pound. I DID enjoy a good pint or two in the pub and did not mind paying £3.50 or so a pint (for the added ambience.)
Got a cupboard full of beers given to me at Christmas but they are taking some clearing!
 

Manners

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Iveonly really just started brewing but considering my outlay on kegs and kit thus far it is not! But at some point, probably soon come end of lockdown and starting socialising and BBQs again , the volume brewed/consumed will start to bring the average cost down. For me its not cost- rather the fact having a new hobby has kept me slightly more sane, the beer is nice and there is some element of pride in serving something that I created/nurtured/didnt fck up too badly!!!
 

feemackenzie

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Iveonly really just started brewing but considering my outlay on kegs and kit thus far it is not! But at some point, probably soon come end of lockdown and starting socialising and BBQs again , the volume brewed/consumed will start to bring the average cost down. For me its not cost- rather the fact having a new hobby has kept me slightly more sane, the beer is nice and there is some element of pride in serving something that I created/nurtured/didnt fck up too badly!!!
Hobby- I agree
 

Maxonian

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All grain is way cheaper in the long run but as has been mentioned, the short term outlay for equipment can be quite high, especially when kegging.
 

Moe

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Roughly my beers range from approximately £0.50 per litre (stout) up to £1.50 per litre (hoppy IPAs). There’s a huge range in cost, mainly due to choice of yeast and amount of hops used.

However this is just ingredients, the kit costs a fair bit to get up and running.

But I don’t properly track how much it costs it is a hobby. I enjoy brewing the beer and enjoy drinking it.
 

Sadfield

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The joke is, homebrewing is the most expensive way to save money.

I suspect there's confirmation bias in some of the calculations presented. That ignore equipment costs, energy, water, books, and all the other sundries we accumulate along the way. And how much your time is worth.

Supermarket beer is **** and repetitive
There's the odd exception, but generally agree that it's brewed to be cheap and inoffensive.
 
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LeeH

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There are some great beers in the supermarkets.

Cheaper? Maybe not...
 
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smcc

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I live in Bayern and so you can get some of the worlds best helles, pils and weißbiers for 15Eur for 20 500ml bottles, on a homebrew scale I cant compete with that but when you think that even here 330ml cans of IPAs and other craft beers are Eur2.50-3.50 for the cheap ones then being able to make a 20litre batch of pale ale for 40 Eur is cost effective. Plus theres way more enjoyment to be had drinking something you made yourself that tastes great and is guaranteed fresh.

There is a substantial initial investment needed but after about 20brews its probably paid for itself
 

Shunter

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Buying supermarket beer in bottles in France is very expensive, unless you want the Kronebourg or other watery French or European beers. Won't drink any beer out of tins.

Having said it's expensive, the abbey type brews from Northern France and Belgium are usually cheaper here than in UK. Good, nationally available beer served in Cafes/bistros are very expensive, with very few "micropubs" around to do the rarer brews.
 

moto748

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Agree with Manners. It's the pleasure of producing your own. As for considering what your time is worth, for me, and suspect a lot of others, I am 'time-rich'; I have plenty of time! I make all my own bread, and am pretty much self-sufficient in beer now too, which pleases me. Yes, it *is* cheaper, but that's not the driving force.
 
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obscure

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If you only look at ingredients then it Is almost certainly cheaper, likewise if you focus on cost control you can defiantly produce beer cheaper at home than you buy, even taking into account equipment costs.

If we‘re going to talk about cost a bottle of Banks Bitter (one of the cheapest beers on the market at £0.89 a bottle.


Brewing with kits your basic equipment is maybe £40 then a malt extract kit is £20-£25 for a two can kit, plus say £1 for sundries (sanitiser caps etc.)

So let’s say £26.00 and makes forty bottles your first batch costs £1.65 if you never brew again, second batch drops to £1.15 by your forth batch this has drpopped to £0.90 and by batch five you have dropped below the price of Banks Bitter. If you opt for cheaper kits say only Wherry at £20 a kit or one can kits with sugar this will drop faster. All grain has a higher equipment cost but the batch cost will be lower.

Of course in reality I’m often buying new gizmos or buying grain at the last minute, and not all my batches of beer are basic Bitter, £1-£1.50 a bottle is probably closer to the reality of my cost per bottle, of course I also don’t as a rule drink Banks Bitter, so it still compares pretty favourably with most commercial beer cost wise. More importantly I do not factor in time to my costing, if brewing ever became a chore rather than a hobby it would not be worthwhile, brewing is a hobby which happens to produce a rather enjoyable by product.
 

Leon103

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Supermarkets have improved with their limited craft ranges but it's all a bit of the same and become stagnant.

The better places and the smaller franchise supermarkets like nisa and londis, more of them are buying direct from the likes of verdant and bringing more choice yo the public.
 

trummy

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It depends a lot on what type of beer and what you are looking for. My bought bottles are usually presents and they seem to fall into two categories. Those that know about beer, they choose a good selection of good strong beers, problem is if I fancy a beer its usually with refreshment in mind and those gifts are too strong. The other end of the spectrum is those whose perception is 'its all brown and comes in a bottle'. They may buy lighter beers which unfortunately taste crap!
I like what I brew and whilst I can lift 22ltr or so of the brown stuff I intend to carry on doing it!
 

Show Me a Stein

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After the initial outlay, yes, it is for me, and by quite a bit too.

In Scotland, we have minimum alcohol pricing laws, where the minimum price alcohol can be sold for is 50 pence per unit of alcohol, so it's quite easy to see what the benchmark is -- not that most beers' prices were really affected by this law (mostly affected white cider).

Using one of my Dry Malt Extract beers as an example, for a 5 gallon batch (which just say actually produces 4.75 US gallons: 18 litres), it costs £20 for the malt, about £1.50 for the hops, and about £1.25 for the yeast. I would say the price for other additions, like orange peel, ongoing bottle-cap costs, etc. maybe come to another £2.50. All-in, you're talking about £25.25.

At 6% (which is conservative), and 18l, that works out to 108 UK units, for which the minimum legal price would be half of that, £54, so it would be basically more than double to buy from a supermarket. Realistically, most beers are sold for quite a bit above the minimum legal amount, and even the cheapest slop is running at 10% more than minimum.

I've done an an all-grain, and I'm sure the ingredient cost is cheaper again too. This is of course only considering the ingredients and at the expense of time, and other caveats. I'm sure you could spend a fortune on certain specialty ingredients, but then it's not really a like-for-like comparison.

TL;DR: Yes, it is cheaper in terms of ingredients and after the initial equipment outlay.

If I was to switch to home-brew only, I'd save hundreds of pounds a year.
 

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