Now that you homebrew your own beer, do you buy any less commercial beer? If you do buy less commercial beer, how much money are you saving?
Commercial Beer Purchase
I drink primarily stuff I make and I have been doing this long enough to have customized my recipes to my personal preferences. Thing is, I think I drink more beer now that I make the stuff than I did before I started brewing. Of course back when I started, Coors was considered exotic so I'm not sure the comparison is exactly fair. My equipment is not as expensive as some because I'm cheap but I have collected a fair amount of "stuff" over the years and I certainly will not put a number to it just in case my bride stumbles on to this website.
Do you mean as a consumer or as a patron like in a bar or restaurant? Let's assume as a consumer....rarely do I drink the same thing twice, so it hasn't saved me any more or cost me any less really. I did get into chasing the whales for a while, which definitely costs more. I've backed way off that.
Excluding equipment, we all know homebrewing costs much less, but even though it is a factor, never have I heard that as a sole reason for being involved in it. Maybe 20 years ago, it was more of a reason to make what one could not find locally. Now, you can obtain virtually anything, so why even bother making something yourself? Because, it is the process of making something and learning new things that homebrewers enjoy...it is craft, not work.
There has been no money saved from my homebrewing, considering the cost of equipment. But then I have never homebrewed to save money. I got into brewing because I was interested in the process and wanted to understand how beer was made. I have learned more about different styles and consequently have ended up buying commercial examples to inspire my brewing creations.