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Old 11-16-2012, 09:57 PM   #61
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I've never been impressed with SA because as much as Jim tries to play off the 'homegrown' vibe, their beer was contract brewed from the get-go.

Jim Koch has been an excellent advocate for craft, so I don't want my words to be minced. With that said, I no longer hold him in the same regard as say Ken Grossman, despite the fact Sierra Nevada is almost as big.

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Old 11-16-2012, 09:59 PM   #62
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Look what happened to Four Loko, Joose and the like. (not beer, I realize, but still an alcoholic beverage) The FDA shot the products down claiming the mixture of a stimulant and a depressant was a health risk. They're still on the shelves today, but now all of the caffeine, guarana etc have been removed from the recipe. The same thing happened to Moonshot as well if I'm not mistaken.
I had vague recollection of this, which is probably why I didn't think it was even legal, thanks for the reminder.

Nonetheless, not helping the person who co-founded SA with him because investing in her company would be "unethical" is lame IMHO.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:00 PM   #63
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I disagree, and I will attempt to explain. I believe an intermediate tier between "true" small scale craft beer and BMC needs to be acknowledged. I propose a tier for the likes of Sam Adams, who produce somewhere between what I think of as craft beer, and BMC at the macro level. I appreciate what SA has done for craft beer, but at the same time it's important to stay realistic.

I don't believe there will be a craft bubble "burst." I think that there will continue to be a virtual "land grab" for the craft beer market share and that through through business practices there will be a new mini-macro division of brews (think Sam Adams, Shock Top, SN, Widmer etc..) that will do unto "real" craft brews as BMC has done unto.. well, everyone.
I still stand by that statement. The land grab will dry up because not everyone wants a beer with more flavor. Why are flavorless light lagers so popular? It's mostly because American palates like bland flavorless light lagers.

The bubble won't burst in a huge way, but it'll pop when the demand tapers off.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:12 PM   #64
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I think we're gonna see a shift from the extreme ends of the style to more quaffable sessionable beers as well.
I think the opposite will continue. More f-ed up ultra imperial extreme beers. This is no joke. It's already happening. Not content to make classic styles, everyone has this paradox groupthink of "brewing to style is what douchebags do". Never mind that Duvel is and always will be the best beer of its kind simply because of its simplicity not in spite of it, just to name one example.

Imperial Turkey Gravy Blonde Ale.
Maytag Bleu Hefe
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:18 PM   #65
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I've never been impressed with SA because as much as Jim tries to play off the 'homegrown' vibe, their beer was contract brewed from the get-go.

Jim Koch has been an excellent advocate for craft, so I don't want my words to be minced. With that said, I no longer hold him in the same regard as say Ken Grossman, despite the fact Sierra Nevada is almost as big.
If you have a problem with contract beers, you have a problem with about 95% (no exaggeration) of the beers sold in the world. That includes MANY craft beers. Stevens Point makes some of the most ho hum beers in the world under their own label, but they make some pretty solid brews for other people.

And contract brewing doesn't mean "You give us the recipe, we make it." It can also mean that they hand the keys to the brewery over to the renter for a limited term. They bring in their own stuff, with their own people and operate the equipment.

I heard an interview maybe a year ago with the dude from Crooked Stave brewery. They don't make their own wort. Or at least didnt. Someone else does. They ferment it, but the wort is shipped into them in raw form. I don't think anyone would dispute the legitimacy of the end product, even if it wasn't wholly made in house. But people dog on Granite City for doing that same thing. It's the same concept.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:24 PM   #66
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I think we're gonna see a shift from the extreme ends of the style to more quaffable sessionable beers as well.
oh man, I sure hope you're right.

I am absolutely appalled at the "metrosexualization" that many craft breweries seem to be aiming for nowadays
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:29 PM   #67
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fwiw, Sam Adams eventually bought the Penn. contract plant.

I saw Beer Wars, and remember the lady that was trying to get her "strange brew" off the ground, and her getting turned down by pretty near everyone she spoke to. Jim Koch works for a publicly held company, which should be all it takes to understand why he wasn't able to help. A publicly held company can't arbitrarily give away a box of paperclips without violating regulations and/or laws...

Cheers!

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Old 11-16-2012, 10:34 PM   #68
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I don't think the market is necessarily over-saturated, but I think we'll see more instances of macrobreweries acquiring craft rivals like with AB/InBev and Goose Island. With these mergers comes better distribution opportunities for the bought-out crafts, but the breweries that don't sell out to the Evil Empire might get squeezed out of space on the shelves/taps.

On the other hand, it seems like most cities with a vibrant craft brewing scene are pretty accepting---even welcoming--of new breweries opening up. I can see things increasing with really small-scale breweries that don't distribute outside of a very local area, or just a couple of brewpubs.

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Old 11-16-2012, 10:58 PM   #69
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I don't think the market is necessarily over-saturated, but I think we'll see more instances of macrobreweries acquiring craft rivals like with AB/InBev and Goose Island. With these mergers comes better distribution opportunities for the bought-out crafts, but the breweries that don't sell out to the Evil Empire might get squeezed out of space on the shelves/taps.

On the other hand, it seems like most cities with a vibrant craft brewing scene are pretty accepting---even welcoming--of new breweries opening up. I can see things increasing with really small-scale breweries that don't distribute outside of a very local area, or just a couple of brewpubs.
I work for a nano/brewpub and I love hearing that new brewers are starting a nano/micro. It gives me new brews to try and it is such a relativley small scene here that most of us know each other on some level. We don't share secrets but we do freely discuss some plans and even new brew ideas with each other. Always have to keep in mind that they are ultimatley competition at some level but it also drives the market and brewers to up their game for at least temporary bragging rights.

I have also many times told beer tourists to stop by and check out the others giving them detailed directions to the others location as well as reccomendations on brews to try while there. Some are surprised when you say something along the lines of, "you have to try x place they have amazing brews".
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:01 PM   #70
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What suppresses the craft beer market in the US is not demand, its the law. If the laws made sense, every bar would be a brewpub.

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