Author Topic: Things Picking Up in the Carolinas  (Read 10251 times)

Offline MDixon

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Re: Things Picking Up in the Carolinas
« Reply #60 on: December 15, 2011, 04:39:13 PM »
Sounds like it will be a cinch for me to go to Beer Camp should I ever choose to attend  :P
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Offline repo

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Re: Things Picking Up in the Carolinas
« Reply #61 on: December 15, 2011, 04:48:54 PM »
Quote
...SN DFH and SA are merely stepping stones to the true craft breweries.


Whaaaaa???
Sierra Nevada IS a "true craft brewery".
In truth, it's one of the better ones. 
And if they are committed to maintaining the quality (as I'm certain they are) they'll still be a great "craft" brewery even if they eventually build five new plants

They are no where near as good, not even remotely close to a dozen "craft" breweries in San Diego alone. While they do make decent beer, they are big time macro  and approaching 1 million barrels a year. While I thoroughly enjoyed them 20 years ago, there were only a couple alternatives, unlike today.

'Craft' is not a descriptor of quality, simply of style. It is true that there are lots of breweries out there making better, or at least more interesting, beer than SN but they are still WAY better than shocktop or blue moon and more craft at that rate.

"craft" is a descriptor of size, uniqueness and innovation, or as  per the american brewers association  small, independent and traditional. While 6 million barrels is the  top of the scale and SN remains under that total I would not describe them as small. They are  a true pioneer of the craft beer movement and their success has certainly inspired hundreds of current breweries. I have never opened one of their beers taken a sip and thought wow thats damn good beer. But in matters of opinion there is no argument as you can't account for taste.

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Things Picking Up in the Carolinas
« Reply #62 on: December 15, 2011, 09:54:42 PM »
As long as he puts the right people in charge in NC, with the same vision, it will be easier to do so.

 Maybe I should apply for a job 8)
You'd get my vote - too bad it's not an elected position. :)
Tom Schmidlin

Offline euge

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Re: Things Picking Up in the Carolinas
« Reply #63 on: December 15, 2011, 11:25:41 PM »
As long as he puts the right people in charge in NC, with the same vision, it will be easier to do so.

 Maybe I should apply for a job 8)
You'd get my vote - too bad it's not an elected position. :)

You think they would hire people completely ignorant of brewing or seek folks with some experience and knowledge?
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Things Picking Up in the Carolinas
« Reply #64 on: December 15, 2011, 11:28:37 PM »
You think they would hire people completely ignorant of brewing or seek folks with some experience and knowledge?
I think it's impossible to say.  Maybe a mix of both, but it will be more important that the people they hire share the vision of the company and a passion for beer.  Knowledge can be taught, but if they don't buy in to the mission then they're worse than worthless.  That would be my hiring philosophy anyway.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline euge

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Re: Things Picking Up in the Carolinas
« Reply #65 on: December 15, 2011, 11:43:32 PM »
You think they would hire people completely ignorant of brewing or seek folks with some experience and knowledge?
I think it's impossible to say.  Maybe a mix of both, but it will be more important that the people they hire share the vision of the company and a passion for beer.  Knowledge can be taught, but if they don't buy in to the mission then they're worse than worthless.  That would be my hiring philosophy anyway.

+100

I'm sure they will hire Tubercle. ;D
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline punatic

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Re: Things Picking Up in the Carolinas
« Reply #66 on: December 16, 2011, 12:27:12 AM »
People tend to be loyal to (or biased towards) the way they initially learn things, so there is a lot to be said for hiring the trainable inexperienced.  However, I think Sierra Nevada has a vision, standards, and work ethic that is easy to be won over by.  Enthusiasm, especially for a clear vision and purpose, is infectious.

If they were opening a brewery in Hilo, I'd volunteer my time, just to be a part of the team (and have a chance at buying some of that limited edition bourbon barrel aged Bigfoot).
There is only one success: to be able to spend your life in your own way.


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Offline MDixon

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Re: Things Picking Up in the Carolinas
« Reply #67 on: December 16, 2011, 06:16:01 AM »
Seems like the deal must be close to being done. A friend of mine posted on FaceBook last night that Ken was at the MALT meeting in Asheville.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Things Picking Up in the Carolinas
« Reply #68 on: December 16, 2011, 08:25:54 AM »
Yes, Asheville is the current target.  If I had checked with my colleagues, I would have known that.  We are already working on the project.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Things Picking Up in the Carolinas
« Reply #69 on: December 16, 2011, 08:44:31 AM »
I guess it depends on how far it goes.  I just worry when breweries become macro in size that their products will be macro in quality.  It signifies a shift in how the business is operated, and it might not be for the better.  It might be awesome, but it already IS awesome, so in this case I fear change.

They talked quite a bit about this when I was at Beer Camp a month back.  There's no way they aren't going to grow, so you might as well get over that fear, Tom!  Thia is the most logical way for them to accomplish that.  It's lees expensive and more eco-friendly (in keeping with their philosophy) than shipping beer across the country.  Let's face it, SN is a business and as such wants/needs to keep growing.  Based on what I've learned about the company and their mindset, I'm much less worried about expansion from them than a company like, say, Ninkasi.

Have not read the whole thread, but this has been in the news for a while (East Coast Brewery).  At the NHC, Terence Sullivan was asked about it.  His response is "no decision, Ken's wife still has to decide".  What I read into that (this is my SWAG) is that she had input on where she was going to be living, as Ken would be there during the construction and start up. The SN quality ethic comes from Ken Grossman, so I am not worried.

New Belgium is also going to do another brewery in the Ashville area from what I read.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Things Picking Up in the Carolinas
« Reply #70 on: December 16, 2011, 09:11:42 AM »
Got through the thread.

SN has also said that they know that beers they have bought in the Northeast and overnighted back to the brewery show signs that they are not in top condition.  If you can cut out some of the time in distribution, the beer will be fresher.  This is also a reason to have a brewery closer to the Eastern markets.

The water is not a big deal, as Carl says.  That part of NC has soft water to beging with.  They can adjust to what they want, for the beer they are brewing.  Saw the big pallets of gypsum bags when I was at beer camp, just saying.

They get the base malt from Canada by the multiple rail cars at a time.  Do you think there will be a rail spur/siding on site?  I do. 

The hops will be shipped in from the same sources.  They might need bigger contracts in the future.

Ken Grossman owns the company.  His kids are in line to run it, and both work there now.  There are plenty of great people to run the brewry in Chico when the new one is being built.  How many days a year do you guess Ken Grossman is on the road now?  I would say a large fraction of the year, and things run fine when he is out on business. 

One final thing on the SN quality.  If you saw the talk Ken Grossman gave at the Oakland NHC, the first batch they brewed was good, but they dumped the next 12 until they found out that the yeast needed more oxygen.  He said they were not bad, but not to the quality they wanted.  That is some dedication to quality.





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Offline bluesman

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Re: Things Picking Up in the Carolinas
« Reply #71 on: December 16, 2011, 10:18:27 AM »
Making a quality product while still running a profitable business is a balancing act to some degree. Dumping beer is something that must be done from time to time in an effort to maintain a higher level of quality. Distributing anything short of good quality craft beer is not good for business. Keeping the focus on quality while maintaining good quality craft beer at the same time requires a lot of experience, knowledge, skill and effort, which I believe SN posesses. I think SN has a quality product due to their focus and experience.

If they establish a brewery on the east coast and maintain their current level of quality they will have to be disciplined and focused. I believe SN will have to have their key people working together in an effort to setup the new brewery initially, or at least until it can get on it's feet. It will take a lot of hard work and will require an orchestrated effort as well as a committment by everyone involved. Good luck to SN.
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Offline MDixon

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Offline el_capitan

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Re: Things Picking Up in the Carolinas
« Reply #73 on: December 16, 2011, 08:05:40 PM »
Gosh, I don't know why some of  you are getting so fired up over this!  Sierra Nevada has an unblemished track record, putting quality and accountability above all else. 

It seems really unnecessary to be so negative about it - what a bunch of naysayers!  I live smack dab in the middle of the nation, so I don't have any regional bias whatsoever.  Take a close look at how things are run at SN before you jump to a bunch of conclusions that this is a money-grab that will result in poor quality, and put aside your west-coast pride for a minute.

I just can't believe that people are smack-talking the business motives and the beer quality of one of craft beer's true pioneers.  Get over yourselves!   

Offline bluesman

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Re: Things Picking Up in the Carolinas
« Reply #74 on: December 16, 2011, 08:42:43 PM »
Sierra Nevada has an unblemished track record, putting quality and accountability above all else.  

+1

SN is a proven leader in the craft beer business. They have what it takes to broaden their horizons while maintaining their integrity.
Ron Price