My brother and my father both brewed the same beer at the same time in the same general area. General area being each at their own home, but separated by about 20 miles and they are in different counties.
They used the same bag of yeast, the same bag of grains and everything, just to try to make it consistent. The equipment was essentially the same, my brother being newer at homebrewing than my father. They both used the same recipe for beer. It was a simple lager, forget the actual recipe name, but nothing dark or complex with tastes.
Both had measured to the same specific gravity and ended at the same within a small margin. When the beer was finished, they had two different tasting beers. Same general or basic taste, they both tasted like a simple lager, not a light beer, but just simple. The only difference that we could think of was the water source. Both are from the same river, but the two different counties process the water differently.
Is there a different reason for this taste difference you would think? Is this that plausible? How important is water content (sulfites, hard vs soft water, water acidity, water akalinity, etc.)?