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Author Topic: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?  (Read 4947 times)

Offline Megary

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #60 on: March 18, 2022, 09:58:02 am »
... because even though there are 90 craft breweries within a one-hour radius of me, most of them suck.
I've been to some craft beer festivals here and I have to say that I'm sometimes APPALLED at some of the beer being produced by small breweries.  I have had some undrinkable beer and that's not just because it was a style I don't care for.  It might be a pale ale or amber ale, etc. and it's just turrible.

I agree that it's disheartening when you taste some lousy craft beer, and I've definitely had some lousy ones.  But I find that most craft beers around me are good, some are very good, and a couple are exceptional.  The ones that suck are the rarity because when they suck, they don't last long.

Offline BrewBama

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What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #61 on: March 18, 2022, 10:01:49 am »
uhhhh am i missing something?


 You could be…

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #62 on: March 18, 2022, 10:34:53 am »
... because even though there are 90 craft breweries within a one-hour radius of me, most of them suck.
I've been to some craft beer festivals here and I have to say that I'm sometimes APPALLED at some of the beer being produced by small breweries.  I have had some undrinkable beer and that's not just because it was a style I don't care for.  It might be a pale ale or amber ale, etc. and it's just turrible.

I agree that it's disheartening when you taste some lousy craft beer, and I've definitely had some lousy ones.  But I find that most craft beers around me are good, some are very good, and a couple are exceptional.  The ones that suck are the rarity because when they suck, they don't last long.
My wife and I were in Lake Geneva, WI for the weekend and we went to a nice restaurant.  There was some local beer that we ordered and I feel like it was labeled as an amber ale.  The pints showed up and we both looked at each other like "whoa".  The beer literally looked like dirty dishwater.  It was sort of grayish and totally cloudy.  We both took a sip and the look on our faces must have been priceless because it was genuinely awful.  Like I can't believe they released this product to the public.  Horrific.  We both choked down about half of it and then ordered something else that was much better.  I feel bad for the brewery because they spend all this money and go through all this red tape and probably can't afford to throw out however much beer they made but once you release a beer like this your image is going to suffer. 
Ken from Chicago. 
A day without beer is like... just kidding, I have no idea.

Offline Megary

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #63 on: March 18, 2022, 11:07:08 am »
... because even though there are 90 craft breweries within a one-hour radius of me, most of them suck.
I've been to some craft beer festivals here and I have to say that I'm sometimes APPALLED at some of the beer being produced by small breweries.  I have had some undrinkable beer and that's not just because it was a style I don't care for.  It might be a pale ale or amber ale, etc. and it's just turrible.

I agree that it's disheartening when you taste some lousy craft beer, and I've definitely had some lousy ones.  But I find that most craft beers around me are good, some are very good, and a couple are exceptional.  The ones that suck are the rarity because when they suck, they don't last long.
My wife and I were in Lake Geneva, WI for the weekend and we went to a nice restaurant.  There was some local beer that we ordered and I feel like it was labeled as an amber ale.  The pints showed up and we both looked at each other like "whoa".  The beer literally looked like dirty dishwater.  It was sort of grayish and totally cloudy.  We both took a sip and the look on our faces must have been priceless because it was genuinely awful.  Like I can't believe they released this product to the public.  Horrific.  We both choked down about half of it and then ordered something else that was much better.  I feel bad for the brewery because they spend all this money and go through all this red tape and probably can't afford to throw out however much beer they made but once you release a beer like this your image is going to suffer.

Maybe "Dirty Dishwater Ale" is the new thing and you will find it in the next BJCP update.   :)

I get you, but that beer won't survive.  And maybe the brewery won't either.  Which is why I think there are far more craft beers that are >= "Ok" than the other way around.

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #64 on: March 18, 2022, 01:20:34 pm »
I am right in line with Goose - except my time is presently still too valuable to volunteer at a commercial brewery (still working toward retirement, so my free time is for my family and my hobby!)  I have been seriously approached over the years by individuals who have the location and desire to start a brewpub (for example existing successful bar owners seeking to add a niche brew to their offerings), but in each instance I have responded with "No, I enjoy brewing, and don't want it to become work."

As to equipment, I enjoy having a range of equipment to use, so I have different-batch sized items of equipment and multiple iterations of things like fermenters.  I probably have over $1000 of perfectly usable, but rarely used boil kettles, fermentation vessels, pumps and chillers.  I tend to go with 2 specific systems 95% of the time (Anvil Foundry for 5 gallon batches and an 18 gallon Stout Electric kettle and 20 gallon InfuSSion Mash Tun in a 3-vessel Herms system for bigger batches).  I will likely give my son and son-in-law the extra equipment, because they will get good use out of it as they both are getting to the point in life that they have both space and time for this hobby.

What a great hobby!
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"

Offline fredthecat

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #65 on: March 18, 2022, 01:56:46 pm »

My wife and I were in Lake Geneva, WI for the weekend and we went to a nice restaurant.  There was some local beer that we ordered and I feel like it was labeled as an amber ale.  The pints showed up and we both looked at each other like "whoa".  The beer literally looked like dirty dishwater.  It was sort of grayish and totally cloudy.  We both took a sip and the look on our faces must have been priceless because it was genuinely awful.  Like I can't believe they released this product to the public.  Horrific.  We both choked down about half of it and then ordered something else that was much better.  I feel bad for the brewery because they spend all this money and go through all this red tape and probably can't afford to throw out however much beer they made but once you release a beer like this your image is going to suffer.

There was one regional brewer here in the late 2000s that was notoriously bad (Trafalgar brewery https://www.ratebeer.com/Ratings/Beer/ShowBrewer.asp?BrewerID=1976 ). but somehow they were "in" with the provincial alcohol corporation and stuck around forever despite horrendous products at their best and simply bizarre quality problems at their worst. i had a pale ale i tried of theirs that just had basically yeast sludge in it, like spoonfuls of it.

i rarely try craft brands i haven't heard multiple good things about because i hate paying money to be disappointed.

can't even imagine some craft brewery in wisconsin not taking things seriously when their competition is new glarus and more.

Offline tommymorris

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #66 on: March 18, 2022, 02:09:19 pm »
Y’all have some seriously bad experiences with craft brew. Most craft brew I try is decent to pretty good. In that mix is lots of beer that could benefit from a better recipe for the style or could have been conditioned longer to clear the beer, but I rarely get dishwater beer or worse.

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #67 on: March 18, 2022, 02:14:24 pm »

My wife and I were in Lake Geneva, WI for the weekend and we went to a nice restaurant.  There was some local beer that we ordered and I feel like it was labeled as an amber ale.  The pints showed up and we both looked at each other like "whoa".  The beer literally looked like dirty dishwater.  It was sort of grayish and totally cloudy.  We both took a sip and the look on our faces must have been priceless because it was genuinely awful.  Like I can't believe they released this product to the public.  Horrific.  We both choked down about half of it and then ordered something else that was much better.  I feel bad for the brewery because they spend all this money and go through all this red tape and probably can't afford to throw out however much beer they made but once you release a beer like this your image is going to suffer.

There was one regional brewer here in the late 2000s that was notoriously bad (Trafalgar brewery https://www.ratebeer.com/Ratings/Beer/ShowBrewer.asp?BrewerID=1976 ). but somehow they were "in" with the provincial alcohol corporation and stuck around forever despite horrendous products at their best and simply bizarre quality problems at their worst. i had a pale ale i tried of theirs that just had basically yeast sludge in it, like spoonfuls of it.

i rarely try craft brands i haven't heard multiple good things about because i hate paying money to be disappointed.

can't even imagine some craft brewery in wisconsin not taking things seriously when their competition is new glarus and more.
It's weird how some places stick around.  There is a little quasi-country town near me (Long Grove) and people go there to go to little shops, antiques, furniture places, little restaurants, etc. and a brewery opened there.  There have a really nice building and a ton of space outdoors with a deck and picnic tables outside, a fire pit, they built a stage, there is nice outdoor lighting at night, they have food trucks come into the parking lot for eats, etc. and it's really done up nicely.  The trouble is that I have never had a decent beer there.  Truly.  There is a "Bohemian Pilsner" that is a cloudy, funky mess.  There is a pale ale that is passable.  They made a dunkel that tastes like it's 75% roasted barley.  Many of the styles they make are WAY outside of the average beer-drinkers experience and so those beers don't sell.  They made a fruit beer that I tried... tasted awful.  It seems to me that if you have a "craft brewery" you can brew and attempt to sell any style but I feel like you have to have a well-made pale beer of some type:  American Lager, German Pilsner, Bohemian Pilsner, Helles, Blonde Ale, Kolsch, American Wheat, etc.  You know that some people are going in there saying "Well, I usually drink Coors Light so tell me what to order".  You could say "GET TF OUTTA MY BAR, DUDE!" or you could say, "Try our Blonde Ale.  It's not Coors Light but I think you'll like it".   
Ken from Chicago. 
A day without beer is like... just kidding, I have no idea.

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #68 on: March 18, 2022, 02:21:21 pm »
Y’all have some seriously bad experiences with craft brew. Most craft brew I try is decent to pretty good. In that mix is lots of beer that could benefit from a better recipe for the style or could have been conditioned longer to clear the beer, but I rarely get dishwater beer or worse.
One thing I notice (and that peeves me) is that a brewery will have a "kolsch" on tap (as an example).  Okay, I'm in.  It's on the darker side, is cloudy, tastes like it might have Citra in it or something and is not what I envisioned.  I don't expect it to be FRUH but come on, man.  Not only is that not right for an experienced beer person but it's also not right for the newbie beer person because they will hear "kolsch", experience that beer and forever equate the two.  That's not right.  Similarly, there was a beer Craftshaft Kolsch brewed by Metropolitan in Chicago.  Crisp, clear, very kolsch-like.  I emailed the brewer and he was nice enough to send me the recipe.  The grain bill looked good and he used a Kolsch yeast. The hops he chose were Nugget and Santiam.  Not traditional by any stretch but he probably decided that these were the best & freshest hops he had for a Kolsch and he went with it.  A delicious beer and a good nod towards a Kolsch, IMO. 
Ken from Chicago. 
A day without beer is like... just kidding, I have no idea.

Offline Megary

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #69 on: March 18, 2022, 02:22:44 pm »

My wife and I were in Lake Geneva, WI for the weekend and we went to a nice restaurant.  There was some local beer that we ordered and I feel like it was labeled as an amber ale.  The pints showed up and we both looked at each other like "whoa".  The beer literally looked like dirty dishwater.  It was sort of grayish and totally cloudy.  We both took a sip and the look on our faces must have been priceless because it was genuinely awful.  Like I can't believe they released this product to the public.  Horrific.  We both choked down about half of it and then ordered something else that was much better.  I feel bad for the brewery because they spend all this money and go through all this red tape and probably can't afford to throw out however much beer they made but once you release a beer like this your image is going to suffer.

There was one regional brewer here in the late 2000s that was notoriously bad (Trafalgar brewery https://www.ratebeer.com/Ratings/Beer/ShowBrewer.asp?BrewerID=1976 ). but somehow they were "in" with the provincial alcohol corporation and stuck around forever despite horrendous products at their best and simply bizarre quality problems at their worst. i had a pale ale i tried of theirs that just had basically yeast sludge in it, like spoonfuls of it.

i rarely try craft brands i haven't heard multiple good things about because i hate paying money to be disappointed.

can't even imagine some craft brewery in wisconsin not taking things seriously when their competition is new glarus and more.
It's weird how some places stick around.  There is a little quasi-country town near me (Long Grove) and people go there to go to little shops, antiques, furniture places, little restaurants, etc. and a brewery opened there.  There have a really nice building and a ton of space outdoors with a deck and picnic tables outside, a fire pit, they built a stage, there is nice outdoor lighting at night, they have food trucks come into the parking lot for eats, etc. and it's really done up nicely.  The trouble is that I have never had a decent beer there.  Truly.  There is a "Bohemian Pilsner" that is a cloudy, funky mess.  There is a pale ale that is passable.  They made a dunkel that tastes like it's 75% roasted barley.  Many of the styles they make are WAY outside of the average beer-drinkers experience and so those beers don't sell.  They made a fruit beer that I tried... tasted awful.  It seems to me that if you have a "craft brewery" you can brew and attempt to sell any style but I feel like you have to have a well-made pale beer of some type:  American Lager, German Pilsner, Bohemian Pilsner, Helles, Blonde Ale, Kolsch, American Wheat, etc.  You know that some people are going in there saying "Well, I usually drink Coors Light so tell me what to order".  You could say "GET TF OUTTA MY BAR, DUDE!" or you could say, "Try our Blonde Ale.  It's not Coors Light but I think you'll like it".   

My opinion only:

The first thing that a Craft Brewery needs to survive is a good IPA.  The second thing they need is another good IPA.  From there, it doesn't matter.

Offline HopDen

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #70 on: March 18, 2022, 02:33:37 pm »
Y’all have some seriously bad experiences with craft brew. Most craft brew I try is decent to pretty good. In that mix is lots of beer that could benefit from a better recipe for the style or could have been conditioned longer to clear the beer, but I rarely get dishwater beer or worse.

To touch on this, Ohio has a lot of craft breweries in general and NE Ohio has quite a few in particular. I have to include Western PA also.  With that said, most that we visit are decent to the extent that we return for another visit. My wife and I will  travel a tanks worth of fuel to visit breweries new and old.   Some are outright fantastic and have nailed what I think makes a superior brewery and the small percentage that struggle with quality early on improve with the committed help from the tight knit community of brewery owners and brewers in our area. They certainly have a mindset of cooperation over competition. I have had the pleasure of meeting many of them and forging friendships.

Offline ttash

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #71 on: March 18, 2022, 03:37:29 pm »
Good points!  A hobby is something that a person uses to get away from the stressful nature of life.  That is why i homebrew.  Does it cost $$ to set up a home brewery, damn straight.  But it's a hobby and what person doesn't spend significant money on a hobby.  Once the bug bites, a person will grow into it more.

I did the pro thing parttime for six years with the idea of maybe opening up my own place.  But the amount of work (other than brewing) cured me of that.  It would have turned a passion I have for making good beer into a stressful job and would kill the passion buzz.  When i want to keep my pro brewing feet wet, I simply volunteer to help out at a brewery (as I do in FL every year) and use this to get some new ideas and share ideas with the brewers.
The other thing I keep hearing is that if you OWN the brewery then you're probably not brewing beer because you're too busy with other stuff and HELLO... that's kind of the point.  I want to brew beer!  Maybe I don't want to OWN a brewery, I just want to brew in one.   ;D  Although I know that brewers don't make much money so maybe when I retire.   :P

For me, one of the big problems with brewing commercially is that you have to brew what people want to buy, not what you want to brew.
Also true.  What if I have a passion for German Lagers but all the customers keep asking for Belgians?   ???

I'm sure that everyone's experience is different, and we each have different motivations. I consider myself lucky. I've been homebrewing for 30 years, and this is my 25th year as a professional brewer. And I love what I do. I don't own the brewery (except for the one at home 😁) but I run the brewery. I knew a long time ago that I didn't want to own a business, my skill set was in brewing. So I've worked for others my entire career, and I'll retire as a brewer. Zero regrets, and my career has taken my wife and I to some amazing places to live. I had a different career before brewing, and even though I was very good at what I did,  it eventually became soul crushing drudgery. There was no passion at all, just work and pressure. When I found brewing, everything changed, for the better. There's work involved, to be sure, but I like this type of work. So it didn't ruin my hobby of homebrewing, and I'm as obsessed as ever about it. Pro brewing and homebrewing are very, very different, but they compliment each other as well.
As to being forced to brew only what the customer wants, well, that's not been my experience. But I do brew a lot of different styles so maybe it's a two way street, I  keep everybody happy and I stay engaged and creative.
I've solved the German lager vs. Belgian ales dilemma by giving them both.
As always, YMMV.
Cheers, 🍺

Offline Megary

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #72 on: March 18, 2022, 05:50:12 pm »
Good points!  A hobby is something that a person uses to get away from the stressful nature of life.  That is why i homebrew.  Does it cost $$ to set up a home brewery, damn straight.  But it's a hobby and what person doesn't spend significant money on a hobby.  Once the bug bites, a person will grow into it more.

I did the pro thing parttime for six years with the idea of maybe opening up my own place.  But the amount of work (other than brewing) cured me of that.  It would have turned a passion I have for making good beer into a stressful job and would kill the passion buzz.  When i want to keep my pro brewing feet wet, I simply volunteer to help out at a brewery (as I do in FL every year) and use this to get some new ideas and share ideas with the brewers.
The other thing I keep hearing is that if you OWN the brewery then you're probably not brewing beer because you're too busy with other stuff and HELLO... that's kind of the point.  I want to brew beer!  Maybe I don't want to OWN a brewery, I just want to brew in one.   ;D  Although I know that brewers don't make much money so maybe when I retire.   :P

For me, one of the big problems with brewing commercially is that you have to brew what people want to buy, not what you want to brew.
Also true.  What if I have a passion for German Lagers but all the customers keep asking for Belgians?   ???

I'm sure that everyone's experience is different, and we each have different motivations. I consider myself lucky. I've been homebrewing for 30 years, and this is my 25th year as a professional brewer. And I love what I do. I don't own the brewery (except for the one at home 😁) but I run the brewery. I knew a long time ago that I didn't want to own a business, my skill set was in brewing. So I've worked for others my entire career, and I'll retire as a brewer. Zero regrets, and my career has taken my wife and I to some amazing places to live. I had a different career before brewing, and even though I was very good at what I did,  it eventually became soul crushing drudgery. There was no passion at all, just work and pressure. When I found brewing, everything changed, for the better. There's work involved, to be sure, but I like this type of work. So it didn't ruin my hobby of homebrewing, and I'm as obsessed as ever about it. Pro brewing and homebrewing are very, very different, but they compliment each other as well.
As to being forced to brew only what the customer wants, well, that's not been my experience. But I do brew a lot of different styles so maybe it's a two way street, I  keep everybody happy and I stay engaged and creative.
I've solved the German lager vs. Belgian ales dilemma by giving them both.
As always, YMMV.
Cheers, 🍺

Great post.  Glad to hear from someone who is in the business put forward that the brewing business doesn’t actually ruin the fun of brewing.

Offline Lazy Ant Brewing

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #73 on: March 24, 2022, 11:32:52 am »
Based on the time I spend on this hobby--forget about equipment--my homebrews are probably more expensive than simply buying beer. But it's worth it, because even though there are 90 craft breweries within a one-hour radius of me, most of them suck. I brew for my palate, and my palate alone. If other people like my beers, that's a bonus.

Absolutely!!! I agree with brewing for yourself.  I have limited options for buying beer I like because my tastes are quite specific.
It's easier to get information from the forum than to sacrifice virgins to appease the brewing gods when bad beer happens!