Author Topic: tired of craft beer  (Read 3260 times)

Offline fredthecat

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Re: tired of craft beer
« Reply #75 on: October 12, 2020, 03:04:59 AM »
I agree that we have more variety now than ever before, but the marketeers still choose to pigeon hole us.
The "Craft Beer" section in my local SafeWay is shrinking.  What's left is mostly a mix of a million IPAs, the AB Inbev subsidiaries (I refuse), and an ever growing cider and seltzer section.  I am fortunate that my favorite local breweries brew a good mix, but a decent American Stout, Dunkel, or Brown Ale is increasingly hard to come by in the beer aisle.

i had a longer reply ready and was about to hit post but my computer crashed.

in short, yes big business is now fully into this. and everything they do is dictated by MONEY.

-seltzers are being pushed because they are CHEAP to make.
-"session" beers are just CHEAPER versions of whatever beer its supposed to resemble. and they are not leaving decent FGs, theyre just lowering the OG entirely.
-these sour/fruity/tangy whatever things seem to be low in alcohol, so again cheaper for them to make and they are hitting a market that previously didnt drink beer.

craft breweries used to be more competent tbh. i tried two dark beers from ontario microbreweries this week, both were flabby underattenuated and gross.

it's a huge pile of crap out there coming from north america right now.

Offline Wilbur

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Re: tired of craft beer
« Reply #76 on: October 18, 2020, 02:56:23 AM »
If given the opportunity to drink beer 40 years ago, 20 years ago, 10 years ago, 5 years ago or today, I would choose today every single time.  Our choices right now are an embarrassment of riches.  Sure, some beers are way overboard, but please don’t talk about the “good ol’ days of craft beer”.  We are in them, and they are getting better all the time.  Drinking craft beer isn’t about fitting in or IPA’s equaling Bud.  People drink craft beer because, for the most part, craft beer is reallly #!!*^!!  good. 

You know, Andy Rooney never understood Rock and Roll.
I agree completely. I also think beer quality is higher than ever. There's more knowledge easily available now than ever, and more quality equipment (to my limited knowledge). At this point, even homebrewers have access to professional beer analysis, ibu measurements, water analysis, etc. There are homebrewers that have and test for DO (far and few between, but that would've been unimaginable 10 years ago). More breweries does mean there's more of a spread in quality, but I do believe the median quality is higher than it's ever been.

I do think access has changed in mid level markets as the big boys (SN, New Belgium, Goose Island, etc.) push other breweries out on price/shelf space. On the other hand, go into any GAS STATION in Wisconsin and you can find 2-3 New Glarus offerings (No IPAs).

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Offline erockrph

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Re: tired of craft beer
« Reply #77 on: October 18, 2020, 04:52:09 PM »
If given the opportunity to drink beer 40 years ago, 20 years ago, 10 years ago, 5 years ago or today, I would choose today every single time.  Our choices right now are an embarrassment of riches.  Sure, some beers are way overboard, but please don’t talk about the “good ol’ days of craft beer”.  We are in them, and they are getting better all the time.  Drinking craft beer isn’t about fitting in or IPA’s equaling Bud.  People drink craft beer because, for the most part, craft beer is reallly #!!*^!!  good. 

You know, Andy Rooney never understood Rock and Roll.
I agree completely. I also think beer quality is higher than ever. There's more knowledge easily available now than ever, and more quality equipment (to my limited knowledge). At this point, even homebrewers have access to professional beer analysis, ibu measurements, water analysis, etc. There are homebrewers that have and test for DO (far and few between, but that would've been unimaginable 10 years ago). More breweries does mean there's more of a spread in quality, but I do believe the median quality is higher than it's ever been.

I do think access has changed in mid level markets as the big boys (SN, New Belgium, Goose Island, etc.) push other breweries out on price/shelf space. On the other hand, go into any GAS STATION in Wisconsin and you can find 2-3 New Glarus offerings (No IPAs).

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

One the one hand, I agree with all of these points to some degree. I love hop bomb IPA's, and if I'm bringing a sixer to a buddy's house or going out to eat there is no shortage of decent-to-excellent local, regional, or national options to choose from. There are countless nano breweries in my area, and the majority are producing good beer.

On the flip side, the signal-to-noise ratio is pretty high. There are too many new breweries to keep track of, and the majority of them are just selling another "me too" IPA unless I go to the brewery and drink on-site. And many beers are one-offs or seasonal. When I first started drinking Microbrew in the 90's, there were fewer breweries, and they almost always had a diverse, stable line of beers available. It was easy to find your favorite beers, styles, and breweries, even though there were fewer stores that sold a wide selection of craft beer. I like trying new beers or breweries from time to time, but now it seems like the majority of the time that's all I have to choose from.

So many of the beers and breweries that I grew up on, are either long gone or a chore to find fresh examples. For example, Otter Creek was my favorite brewery until Harpoon took over. I could drink their Copper Ale, Pale Ale and Stovepipe Porter year-round, I looked forward to their Octoberfest each fall, and I could find them cold and fresh locally. Their current beer list on their website consists solely of 4 year-round IPA's and one seasonal sour. Gone are the ubiquitous amber ales, porters and APA's that used to be a staple of every brewery's lineup.

I guess the most telling thing is my own homebrewing. When I started 10 years ago, I brewed IPA's more than half the time. NEIPA's weren't all over the place, and I was chasing something similar. Fast forward 7 or 8 years, and now I rarely brew IPA. I still enjoy IPA and drink it just as often, it's just that that almost every commercial beer I drink is an IPA. My homebrewing is mainly bitters, brown ales and lagers. It's not necessarily that I prefer those styles, but it's mainly because I'm always drinking IPA's everywhere else.

Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline denny

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Re: tired of craft beer
« Reply #78 on: October 18, 2020, 06:17:26 PM »
I still see the lack of variety thing being related to location.  Here in IPA Central there are still lots of other choices.
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Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: tired of craft beer
« Reply #79 on: October 21, 2020, 05:22:58 AM »
I also think beer quality is higher than ever.

It depends on how one defines the word "quality."  When it comes to beer quality and quality control, AB kicks the crap out of even the biggest craft brewer.  While a lot of people on this forum are not fans of AB's products, I challenge anyone to brew a beer as delicate as Michelob and do it with the same level of consistency from bottle to bottle as AB.  Now, factor in the reality that AB ferments at an O.G. of 1.080 and dilutes the finished product to maximize fermentation vessel space and no craft brewery can match their level of precision.  It is amazing how well AB can control ester and diketone production while starting with an O.G. of 1.080.   A lot of negative things have been said about AB's claim to age Bud on beech wood chips, but that technique has been used in U.S. since the nineteenth century.  Bavarian and Bohemian brewmasters brought the use of "chip casks" to America (chip casks are well documented in the Wahl and Henius book entitled "American Handy-Book of the Brewing, Malting and Auxiliary Trades").   Beechwood chips are a natural clarifying agent because they provide more surface area on which yeast cells can settle.

What craft brewing has done is increase variety; however, that is in danger because businesses are in business to make money, even craft breweries.  I think that I mentioned what I experienced last Friday night on this forum. I stopped at well-stocked beer store.  There was significant variety, but it was warm due to the beer coolers being completely filled with different shades of IPA.  If anyone does not believe that this trend is a problem, they are not paying attention.  What almost killed off craft brewing in the nineties was lack of distribution and self space.  The fact that this very nice beer store dedicated all of its cooler space to IPA should be troubling to anyone who is paying attention.

Offline fredthecat

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Re: tired of craft beer
« Reply #80 on: October 21, 2020, 05:37:03 PM »
I also think beer quality is higher than ever.

It depends on how one defines the word "quality."  When it comes to beer quality and quality control, AB kicks the crap out of even the biggest craft brewer.  While a lot of people on this forum are not fans of AB's products, I challenge anyone to brew a beer as delicate as Michelob and do it with the same level of consistency from bottle to bottle as AB.  Now, factor in the reality that AB ferments at an O.G. of 1.080 and dilutes the finished product to maximize fermentation vessel space and no craft brewery can match their level of precision.  It is amazing how well AB can control ester and diketone production while starting with an O.G. of 1.080.   A lot of negative things have been said about AB's claim to age Bud on beech wood chips, but that technique has been used in U.S. since the nineteenth century.  Bavarian and Bohemian brewmasters brought the use of "chip casks" to America (chip casks are well documented in the Wahl and Henius book entitled "American Handy-Book of the Brewing, Malting and Auxiliary Trades").   Beechwood chips are a natural clarifying agent because they provide more surface area on which yeast cells can settle.

What craft brewing has done is increase variety; however, that is in danger because businesses are in business to make money, even craft breweries.  I think that I mentioned what I experienced last Friday night on this forum. I stopped at well-stocked beer store.  There was significant variety, but it was warm due to the beer coolers being completely filled with different shades of IPA.  If anyone does not believe that this trend is a problem, they are not paying attention.  What almost killed off craft brewing in the nineties was lack of distribution and self space.  The fact that this very nice beer store dedicated all of its cooler space to IPA should be troubling to anyone who is paying attention.

great two part analysis.

i have been thinking lately that a small operation focusing exclusively on excellently brewed very strong and dark beers sold by the bottle to people who want that product could be a thing of a different type than the current "craft microbrewery - bar and 6 pack" sale.


Offline Megary

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Re: tired of craft beer
« Reply #81 on: October 22, 2020, 01:51:51 PM »
I also think beer quality is higher than ever.

It depends on how one defines the word "quality."  When it comes to beer quality and quality control, AB kicks the crap out of even the biggest craft brewer.  While a lot of people on this forum are not fans of AB's products, I challenge anyone to brew a beer as delicate as Michelob and do it with the same level of consistency from bottle to bottle as AB.  Now, factor in the reality that AB ferments at an O.G. of 1.080 and dilutes the finished product to maximize fermentation vessel space and no craft brewery can match their level of precision.  It is amazing how well AB can control ester and diketone production while starting with an O.G. of 1.080.   A lot of negative things have been said about AB's claim to age Bud on beech wood chips, but that technique has been used in U.S. since the nineteenth century.  Bavarian and Bohemian brewmasters brought the use of "chip casks" to America (chip casks are well documented in the Wahl and Henius book entitled "American Handy-Book of the Brewing, Malting and Auxiliary Trades").   Beechwood chips are a natural clarifying agent because they provide more surface area on which yeast cells can settle.

What craft brewing has done is increase variety; however, that is in danger because businesses are in business to make money, even craft breweries.  I think that I mentioned what I experienced last Friday night on this forum. I stopped at well-stocked beer store.  There was significant variety, but it was warm due to the beer coolers being completely filled with different shades of IPA.  If anyone does not believe that this trend is a problem, they are not paying attention.  What almost killed off craft brewing in the nineties was lack of distribution and self space.  The fact that this very nice beer store dedicated all of its cooler space to IPA should be troubling to anyone who is paying attention.

AB sure is top-shelf when it comes to quality control but if I had to drink Bud and Michelob I'd consider joining the Temperance Movement.  Not quite the same, but McDonald's makes a very consistent Big Mac as well.  I'll pass.

Denny must be right about location, location, location.  I walked in to my local gas station/convenient store and found at least a dozen different beer styles in the cooler.  Lots of IPA's for sure, lots of the genetically neutral Big Beers, and quite a few choices of the Stout, Porter, Marzen, Wheat, Nut Brown variety.  There may have been some pumpkin types in there as well, but I mentally block those out.  Many local options as well, which was nice to see. 

Offline corkybstewart

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Re: tired of craft beer
« Reply #82 on: November 27, 2020, 05:51:15 PM »
I wish I had your problem.  I live in beer hell-very little craft beer available here. Sierra Nevada and Fat Tire are considered craft.  There's a brewpub with pretty good beer, but it's been closed since March except for growler sales.
Lots of good beer is being produced 200 miles away in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, almost none of it is distributed down here except for a couple of beers each from La Cumbre, Santa Fe and Marble.
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Offline fredthecat

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Re: tired of craft beer
« Reply #83 on: November 27, 2020, 10:01:48 PM »
I wish I had your problem.  I live in beer hell-very little craft beer available here. Sierra Nevada and Fat Tire are considered craft.  There's a brewpub with pretty good beer, but it's been closed since March except for growler sales.
Lots of good beer is being produced 200 miles away in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, almost none of it is distributed down here except for a couple of beers each from La Cumbre, Santa Fe and Marble.

absolutely, i know that a lot of urban north america definitely has "good" up to incredible availability or craft and quality imports, but there is still a ton of places that do not have good beer. im in that boat as well to a degree.