• We have a new forum and it needs your help! Homebrewing Deals is a forum to post whatever deals and specials you find that other homebrewers might value! Includes coupon layering, Craigslist finds, eBay finds, Amazon specials, etc.

Beer used to be better

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Jtvann

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2017
Messages
934
Reaction score
298
I like to visit random small town breweries whenever we go on vacation. It's still fun wether the beer is a amazing or not. In the past few years, I don't know if it's my pallet or not, but beer used to be better. I mean, you've got to have something, at least one beer on your menu that's unique. Also, using the word "hazy" just to market a beer is bad when the beer comes out crystal clear. I happen to like a good neipa, but when I saw it had 85 Ibus, I knew it wasnt a neipa, even if it said hazy.

Oh well ... on to Montana. Cold Smoke awaits, and that is one good unique beer.
 
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
150
Reaction score
110
Location
duncannon
I have to agree, and i have wondered the same thing ( is it me? ) have i become a complete beer snob? maybe a little, but i also think i respect certain styles more at the same time. that however does not make it ok to call a beer hazy when its clear or a neipa with 85 ibus. i was at a local brewery before the apocalypse and they had a beer that was labeled an ipa, i would not have even called it an apa and was pretty disappointed. anyhow, enjoy Montana.
 

MMP126

Lotsa Dude's Thumbs On Here...
Joined
Apr 21, 2016
Messages
129
Reaction score
135
Location
NE Ohio
Yeah man, running trend in craft brewing right now.

I hit up breweries a lot too (or, used to, really), and I will say, its a 50/50 shot whether or not you are going to have good beer.

Its people wanting to hop on the craft brewing money train. Its someone who has cash, and not so much skill. Which makes me really sad, because I am sure there are some REALLY REALLY good homebrewers ( I know a few) that have the skills to make great beer on a commercial level, but dont have $1/2mill to open a brewery.

Welcome to 2020 craft beer...
 

Qhrumphf

Stay Rude, Stay Rebel, Stay SHARP
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 2, 2011
Messages
15,684
Reaction score
4,991
Location
Arlington (DC)
Does it taste and smell good? Then who gives a f*** if it's hazy or not. There are some fairly bitter NEIPAs out there. Plus if you've ever brewed an IPA before you should know how little of the story IBUs actually tell.

So it's just snobbery.

The haze insistence and adjunct insistence and fruit insistence is what is killing craft beer.
 

Brewmasher

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2016
Messages
149
Reaction score
45
You are right. Breweries used to have a good mix of styles. Now the whole menu is either a hop-monster IPA, or Imperial Stout, or Imperial something or other. I like the yeasty Belgians or Hefeweizens, which have fallen out of style. I asked my local brewmaster why he doesn’t brew them anymore, his reply was “they don’t sell”. Apparently my contributions weren’t paying the overhead.

Which brings me full circle again. If I want to drink beer that I like, I have to brew it myself, just like the old days! 😊
 

MMP126

Lotsa Dude's Thumbs On Here...
Joined
Apr 21, 2016
Messages
129
Reaction score
135
Location
NE Ohio
The haze insistence and adjunct insistence and fruit insistence is what is killing craft beer.
I agree and disagree with this.

Agree because I REALLY believe the love for classical styles is being lost behind all the trends. It sucks when I talk to other beer people and they dont know what a Helles is, or a Pilsner is. The fruit thing is a total joke, and that crap isnt beer. Its fruit puree with a shot of beer. Same with the adjunct thing.

Disagree because I also know a lot of people that LOVE hazy IPAs, and thats what got them into beer. And now, some of them have found that they like Schwartzbiers and Dunkels, along with the hazy beers. Same with pastry stouts and fruit beer. Hazies can be an entryway into loving all types of beer.

Either way, I dont think these types of beer are the things that is killing beer. Its the loss of the love for classical styles. And that makes me sad, because I love it all, even the coconut, coffee, caramel, bourbon, oreo, imperial stouts!
 
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
150
Reaction score
110
Location
duncannon
Getting ready to brew a hefe myself to replace the belgian i just kicked not to long ago. i have a 4 tap keezer and my list will be. wcipa, neipa, hefe, and kolsch. there are some great local breweries around me that brew some amazing stuff so dont get me wrong when it comes to that but it seems like walking into a random one and having a beer that is "good craft beer" is harder to find.
 

Qhrumphf

Stay Rude, Stay Rebel, Stay SHARP
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 2, 2011
Messages
15,684
Reaction score
4,991
Location
Arlington (DC)
Oh I said "insistence" because there's nothing inherently wrong with any of them. The problem is the Insta-Influencer beer culture around them such that if it's not hazy triple fr00ted kettle soured NEIPA with breakfast cereal instead of hops, it sucks.

Untappd review: "tastes and smells amazing, but not hazy enough, 1 star".

Or a review of a brewery that does classics, and does them well, saying they're "not creative" and "don't understand craft".

I love traditional fruit sours. I think the gloop glop would be more tolerable if the cans weren't exploding on people. A brewery that knowingly puts out a can that unstable should have their brewers notice revoked. "Keep cold drink fresh" disclaimer isn't good enough.
 

OldDogBrewing

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2020
Messages
92
Reaction score
68
Some breweries are like that, you have a 50/50 chance on having a good beer, other breweries are pretty solid though, Garage Beer Co is my go to here in Spain, they are local to me and every beer I have tasted from them it's pretty good, as it's local, I can get beers canned 2 days ago or the day before so I can drink some hop bombs

But other breweries one day they give you a 5/5 DIPA and the next day they add vanilla to a El Dorado DDH IPA and you just want to throw it away hahahaah
 

Qhrumphf

Stay Rude, Stay Rebel, Stay SHARP
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 2, 2011
Messages
15,684
Reaction score
4,991
Location
Arlington (DC)
To the point though, as your beer and brewing experience grows, you may notice flaws you didn't before. Especially if you start judging beer competitions, it can be tough to turn off the analytical part when drinking and just see the beer as what it is. Flaws are flaws. But griping because something isn't "to style" gets you nowhere.

The other part is lots of new players in the game, many who jumped in before they were ready. The technology and ingredient access and understanding available to small brewers is leagues beyond what it once was, so there's also a lot of really good small breweries out there that weren't there 20 years ago, but not everyone takes advantage. So there's a lot of garbage out there as well. I'd say the latter outweighs the former.
 

Spartan1979

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 13, 2011
Messages
1,964
Reaction score
401
Location
O'Fallon, MO
I think part of it is we're spoiled, at least I probably am. 15 years ago, if I had walked into a bar with 100 taps, you'd have a hard time getting me out of there. These days, I have trouble finding enough beers out of the 100 that I want to drink. But if a bar with 5 taps has one decent beer, I'm still satisfied with that.
 

dawn_kiebawls

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2017
Messages
446
Reaction score
192
overall I agree, but I am somewhat fortunate where I am. I have 2 breweries a block from my house. One turns out decent (at best, IMO) beer but never adds anything new because what they have on tap pays the bills and pulls a crowd. The other, has a 'core' rotation of about 8ish taps depending on season and all are good (some exceptional) and they also have another 8ish taps of unique/seasonal/funky/not-to-style beers. Another, about a 5 minute drive is similar but they focus on Belgian beers and they are ALL incredible (2x Gold Medal winning Bier de garde, kellar biers, amazing saisons, quads....mmmm I might make an evening visit there tonight). So, as I said I'm pretty fortunate here at home but when my wife and I go on road trips we have to visit the websites to see what their taplist is. Its getting harder and harder to find a menu not dominated by imperial anything or 80+ IBUs...or any variety for that matter.

It really is a shame, but it makes me appreciate the good breweries that much more.
 

jayrome2722

Active Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2015
Messages
35
Reaction score
19
I like to visit breweries in towns where I travel too. It's nice when you find a diamond in the rough, but I think I've seen more that struggle. I've also seen some places start rough, but figure things out and make good beer. The opposite has also happened. There's nothing worse than sitting down to a beer after a long car ride and having it taste like butter....then trying another kind that also tastes like butter.
 

Knightshade

Member of..
Joined
Mar 31, 2020
Messages
92
Reaction score
42
Location
SoCal
I've come to the belief that "hazy" amongst other adjectives are pure marketing. A Hazy IPA and a NEIPA are not the same thing. At least that's my take, YMMV.

With that being said..I consistently try and drink local when I travel.
 

OldDogBrewing

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2020
Messages
92
Reaction score
68
overall I agree, but I am somewhat fortunate where I am. I have 2 breweries a block from my house. One turns out decent (at best, IMO) beer but never adds anything new because what they have on tap pays the bills and pulls a crowd. The other, has a 'core' rotation of about 8ish taps depending on season and all are good (some exceptional) and they also have another 8ish taps of unique/seasonal/funky/not-to-style beers. Another, about a 5 minute drive is similar but they focus on Belgian beers and they are ALL incredible (2x Gold Medal winning Bier de garde, kellar biers, amazing saisons, quads....mmmm I might make an evening visit there tonight). So, as I said I'm pretty fortunate here at home but when my wife and I go on road trips we have to visit the websites to see what their taplist is. Its getting harder and harder to find a menu not dominated by imperial anything or 80+ IBUs...or any variety for that matter.

It really is a shame, but it makes me appreciate the good breweries that much more.
I hate the imperial trend we have in Europe, you can't imagine how hard it is to find a good stout that is not like 10% ABV or higher, there's a contract brewery in my zone that made a pretty good one at 5 or 6% ABV but anything else is at least 8%, while the things in the North (Norway, Denmark, Sweden, etc) can go as high as 16% for a pastry stout, with an ingredient list longer that my shopping list

They don't make bad beer, don't get me wrong, but there is a lot of space to be covered in terms of offer as a lot of breweries are brewing the same stuff so nobody makes a stout that is sessionable to certain extent, or a good roasty IS
 
OP
J

Jtvann

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2017
Messages
934
Reaction score
298
Does it taste and smell good? Then who gives a f*** if it's hazy or not. There are some fairly bitter NEIPAs out there. Plus if you've ever brewed an IPA before you should know how little of the story IBUs actually tell.

So it's just snobbery.

The haze insistence and adjunct insistence and fruit insistence is what is killing craft beer.


The beer had no aroma, had bland flavor and was well out of balance. It was so heavy in crystal that it had an ear wax taste. I was simply trying to say that to call a beer "hazy" seems more to be a marketing ploy just to get people to buy it, rather than actually selling what you're claiming to be producing.

That one particular beer was one of 7 on draft. I tried a sample of them all because I wanted to buy a growler. I've been looking for the copper colored drink tank growler in a brewery and goulding found one. I finally did.

I'd rather be conflicted over the 2-3 choices of good beer to fill it with, rather that just asking my wife to pick one that she can tolerate, which was the case.

One doesnt need to be a neipa fan boy to like a variety of IPA flavors. Step off the soap box, and try not to turn this thread into how big your scientific vocabulary is.
 

OldDogBrewing

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2020
Messages
92
Reaction score
68
I've come to the belief that "hazy" amongst other adjectives are pure marketing. A Hazy IPA and a NEIPA are not the same thing. At least that's my take, YMMV.

With that being said..I consistently try and drink local when I travel.
Where I live, you can find NEIPA marketed as Hazy IPA, the same way you can find a West coast style IPA with DH that makes it a bit hazy, marketed as hazy IPA too

And some breweries calls their NEIPAs as IPA, DIPA or TIPS and when they brew a classic beer, they add the West Coast distinction, oh and some people calls their hazy, juicy IPAs, modern IPAs hahaha

The only issue with that is that you can get disappointed when the beer doesn't taste as you expected from the name, which can make a good beer look really bad to you and it's not as enjoyable
 

Knightshade

Member of..
Joined
Mar 31, 2020
Messages
92
Reaction score
42
Location
SoCal
Where I live, you can find NEIPA marketed as Hazy IPA, the same way you can find a West coast style IPA with DH that makes it a bit hazy, marketed as hazy IPA too

And some breweries calls their NEIPAs as IPA, DIPA or TIPS and when they brew a classic beer, they add the West Coast distinction, oh and some people calls their hazy, juicy IPAs, modern IPAs hahaha

The only issue with that is that you can get disappointed when the beer doesn't taste as you expected from the name, which can make a good beer look really bad to you and it's not as enjoyable
Sounds like you live in SoCal. I do and see similar behavior, drives me nuts. Mostly tongue in cheek, but sometimes I just do below.

Beer? Check
Is it enjoyable? Check

Great..keep drinking.
 

OldDogBrewing

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2020
Messages
92
Reaction score
68
Sounds like you live in SoCal. I do and see similar behavior, drives me nuts. Mostly tongue in cheek, but sometimes I just do below.

Beer? Check
Is it enjoyable? Check

Great..keep drinking.
I live in Spain, it's crazy how a good beer can be ruined by that, I had an Imperial IPA which for the name, I was expecting it to be old school, it was so old school that it basically tasted like an ESB in esteroids hahahaha it was good though but it was a bitter with 8% ABV, not an Imperial IPA as they said in the can, and to a bigger disappointment, its was allegedly made using the All Together recipe



As you can see from the color, this is quite far from an All Together, the thing is this brewery usually makes great hoppy beers and they brew the best beer in Spain according to many people, I haven't tried it by myself yet, but this one was a bit disappointing because it's not what they where promising
 

Knightshade

Member of..
Joined
Mar 31, 2020
Messages
92
Reaction score
42
Location
SoCal
Wow..that is actually the first non NEIPA All Together IPAs that I've seen. The original recipe did spec out a regular IPA and NEIPA. Not surprised to have seen more NE vs...yeesh...umm...traditional? classic?

Oh..I know. New marketing for existing style. Olde IPA
 

pdxal

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jul 19, 2010
Messages
1,816
Reaction score
240
Location
Portland, OR
I feel lucky in the Pacific NW/Oregon. Lots of great beers. Certainly, not all are great, though.
When I travel, though, I feel the OP- lots of either not good or not so great beers out there.
Many factors, probably, as mentioned.
As we get more breweries that percentage of bad brewers will result in more bad beer, it has become a trend with lots of people jumping on the bandwagon, and making great beer is tough.
Hazy IPAs are certainly a trend/popular right now, so many breweries will market their beers as such, good or bad.
I expect that many of these not-so-good breweries/brewers will not be around in a few years as things shake out
 

Dgallo

If you ain’t first, you’re last Ricky Bobby
Joined
Jan 15, 2017
Messages
3,318
Reaction score
5,118
Location
Albany
Idk if anyone else mentioned this already but I think there are 2 things going on. Lots of breweries are making great beers. Especially specialty stouts, IPAS, and sours. You use to only find a handful of great examples and now there are plenty so your expectation of quality probably went up, I know mine has. The second thing is practically every state has some program for start up breweries and makes it really easy to open. Now many inexperienced brewers with financial backing can open a brewery and they have no idea how to make good beer to begin with let alone be able to producer quality beer at the bigger scale
 

zacster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2008
Messages
1,200
Reaction score
61
Location
Brooklyn
I live in Brooklyn, which you would think is the home to a gazillion breweries but it's not. It has a few though. But on a driving trip out to Santa Fe last summer we would always stop for food and beer at a place where the local brews and BBQ were available. Some were good, some weren't. I recall Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Joplin Mo, and on a second trip, Downtown Denver, Boulder, Leadville, Alamosa, Taos, and Santa Fe. Also San Francisco. Nothing was memorable, but always enjoyable.

But here's the thing, I don't usually order the most potent, most bitter, most cloudy beer, I always want to try what they do with a pilsner and a standard IPA because that's what I usually brew.

And here in Brooklyn, we discovered a brand new brewery that has the misfortune of opening during the pandemic. We bought 4 4 packs, one of each they had so far. Enjoyable, but not noteworthy. They want to be able to serve on tap of course, have a great space to work with, but can only serve to go at the moment. Maybe this week they were allowed to serve at outside tables, I don't know. I guess I'll have to go find out. ;)
 

_BullDog_

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2014
Messages
222
Reaction score
121
The beer had no aroma, had bland flavor and was well out of balance. It was so heavy in crystal that it had an ear wax taste. I was simply trying to say that to call a beer "hazy" seems more to be a marketing ploy just to get people to buy it, rather than actually selling what you're claiming to be producing.

That one particular beer was one of 7 on draft. I tried a sample of them all because I wanted to buy a growler. I've been looking for the copper colored drink tank growler in a brewery and goulding found one. I finally did.

I'd rather be conflicted over the 2-3 choices of good beer to fill it with, rather that just asking my wife to pick one that she can tolerate, which was the case.

One doesnt need to be a neipa fan boy to like a variety of IPA flavors. Step off the soap box, and try not to turn this thread into how big your scientific vocabulary is.
An earwax taste..... first time hearing that descriptor. Better luck next time
 

OldDogBrewing

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2020
Messages
92
Reaction score
68
Wow..that is actually the first non NEIPA All Together IPAs that I've seen. The original recipe did spec out a regular IPA and NEIPA. Not surprised to have seen more NE vs...yeesh...umm...traditional? classic?

Oh..I know. New marketing for existing style. Olde IPA
I had two that were non-Neipa haha, and the other one was a bit of a mixed thing, it was clearly a West coast looking at the malt bill and the fermentation profile but it had some East coast hops too

I've seen that "style" a couple more times here, this kind of West-East hybrids, and if well done, they are pretty good and surprisingly refreshing with the lemony pine notes and the mago juice ones all together
 

Boilinginsc

Consumer of beer and spirits
Joined
Mar 22, 2017
Messages
70
Reaction score
16
Location
Greenville
It’s time to start getting the local brewers into a traditional style only contest it sounds like
 

rwinzing

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 23, 2009
Messages
524
Reaction score
75
Location
Bordentown
IMO it is driven by two things. What consumers (of mass) want. If I am small brewery and I make styles like Hef, Porter, Pilsner (which is taboo because of big beer companies) etc no one will come. Consumers right now want hazy NEIPA or some fruit cereal beer. We may not like it but that is the reality.

Also just hang on as the next fad beer is right around the corner. First it was how many IBU's can i put into a beer followed by how high ABV can I get, how much bourbon in a beer, then sours, now NEIPA. It is all about whatever the current trend is. Craft Beer is now more about the culture than the beer.
 

TheMadKing

Western Yankee Southerner and Brew Science Nerd
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 17, 2015
Messages
3,427
Reaction score
1,372
Location
Gainesville
The other part is lots of new players in the game, many who jumped in before they were ready. The technology and ingredient access and understanding available to small brewers is leagues beyond what it once was, so there's also a lot of really good small breweries out there that weren't there 20 years ago, but not everyone takes advantage. So there's a lot of garbage out there as well. I'd say the latter outweighs the former.
This reflects my experience as well. Having moved from the west coast to Georgia, I was absolutely shocked at reduction in overall quality of craft beer compared to what was considered "standard fare" out west. I think a lot of it is regional, and a lot of it is experience. The craft beer scene was really a West coast thing and it's had a lot of time to mature and weed out the breweries that don't have the chops. I think the rest of the country, excluding New England, is catching up with that. There are simply a lot of breweries opening up that don't have the brewing chops to keep up in a competitive market, but there's not enough good competition at the local scale yet. As time passes, I would expect the average quality of beer to go up. But we're talking on the order of decades, not months or years.
 

OldDogBrewing

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2020
Messages
92
Reaction score
68
IMO it is driven by two things. What consumers (of mass) want. If I am small brewery and I make styles like Hef, Porter, Pilsner (which is taboo because of big beer companies) etc no one will come. Consumers right now want hazy NEIPA or some fruit cereal beer. We may not like it but that is the reality.

Also just hang on as the next fad beer is right around the corner. First it was how many IBU's can i put into a beer followed by how high ABV can I get, how much bourbon in a beer, then sours, now NEIPA. It is all about whatever the current trend is. Craft Beer is now more about the culture than the beer.
That's the point, every one brews the same but that doesn't mean that these styles are the best ones for each brewer, so you have great NEIPAs and some NEIPAs that are acceptable, those aren't bad but next to brilliant examples, they look pretty bad, if the brewery with the acceptable NEIPAs could brew another style where the brewer can show off (maybe a tripel or anything he or she is best at) that brewery would be making better beers than the pastries or NEIPAs that are trendy now

I think I brew way better dark and belgian beers that the trendy NEIPAs, so this might apply to professional brewers too
 

MIWI

Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2020
Messages
13
Reaction score
1
My son and I love visiting local craft brewers. We have two in our town that one is terrible and is just a marketing intent to pull people into the restaurant because they sell the high end meals. The other is a local home brewer going into the business and some are great beers others OK and some experiments that you never know what you are going to taste. He is a hop head and most all strong IPA type. We are not the high IPA drinkers so I tend to watch closely the IBU value that he offers. We found a real awesome little micro brewer 40 miles away. He is a industrial chemist that started a micro brewery and almost all of his beers are awesome. He is friendly and if not busy will sit down and talk brewing with me. He is a believer of quality and proper brewing technique. Only beer that is hazy are his hefivizen types and he stated that any others are either rushed or not properly brewed.
 

BrewMan13

Whole Nother Level Brewing
Joined
Jul 26, 2011
Messages
594
Reaction score
695
Location
Delmar
Some good points made; I feel somewhat the same. Wherever I go I enjoy trying the local places, and of course some are hits and some are misses. It's the nature of any industry with so many new entries; they can't all be good. As mainly a porter/stout guy the whole flavored stout thing has been particularly annoying. Try to find a stout or porter without adjuncts and not pushing 10% abv... There are times and places for these of course, but it's become so common place it drowns out everything else. I find even some places with mostly "normal" offerings, still put coffee and stuff in their dark beers.
I also just wish there were more "classic" styles represented, particularly German styles. Love bocks, but it's rare to find one, and when you do it's usually not done well.
 

couchsending

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 21, 2016
Messages
2,337
Reaction score
1,366
For the most part the only people that care about traditional styles are brewers. The vast majority of customers at most craft breweries aren’t brewers (homebrewers past/present or professionals). Gotta keep the lights on and give the people what they want. A bigger problem is most of these new places have no brand identity, nothing that makes them unique whatsoever. They have to brew what’s popular in order to get people in the door as that is all they have.

Personally I’m glad the traditional craft brewery/brew pub SOP of thinking you need 6 different styles of beer and one of every color is dying. That usually equates to 6 mediocre beers instead of places that concentrate on say 2 maybe 3 styles. I’d rather go somewhere that does one or two things well. Whether that be hoppy beers or lagers, Saisons or bitters, etc.
 

Immocles

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2019
Messages
1,202
Reaction score
2,786
Location
Minnesota
Personally I’m glad the traditional craft brewery/brew pub SOP of thinking you need 6 different styles of beer and one of every color is dying. That usually equates to 6 mediocre beers instead of places that concentrate on say 2 maybe 3 styles. I’d rather go somewhere that does one or two things well. Whether that be hoppy beers or lagers, Saisons or bitters, etc.
I agree. Ive found that to be common in the craft breweries in my area. They all keep a wide variety of things, but they tend to push folks to their strength beers. One new place makes a fantastic cream ale, saison, dopplebock and WCIPA, but severely suffers with trendy beers. Mercifully, they realized that (and the fact that this area isn't much in the way of enjoy honest craft beer) and have simplified their menu a ton in recent weeks.

I hope they're brewing that dopplebock again soon....
 

Brooothru

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
Messages
624
Reaction score
376
Location
Either in the brewery or on the road
But here's the thing, I don't usually order the most potent, most bitter, most cloudy beer, I always want to try what they do with a pilsner and a standard IPA because that's what I usually brew.
Totally.

If a brewpub can make a good "classic" style, then I'll venture into their "hipster" styles if one's on the tap list. If their pilsner or APA sucks, most likely their non-traditional beer does as well.

Since retirement 6 years ago, SWMBO'd and I have covered over 110,000 miles visiting all 48 contiguous states and 5 Canadian provinces in a motorhome (make that two motorhomes, about to be a third). I always try the local brews whenever and wherever we stop for the night. Large or small, most are really good, though some are merely 'tolerable'. And there have been a handful that were truly memorable and remarkable. Those can be counted using the digits of fewer than two hands. Nevertheless, all were (on some level) 'enjoyable'. The one common thread however has been that those who produced a solid "standard" beer were more likely to produce a respectable "non-traditional" one.

The opposite has proven never to be true.
 

Knightshade

Member of..
Joined
Mar 31, 2020
Messages
92
Reaction score
42
Location
SoCal
I feel like I only need to do this out of my local area, but if I'm at a restaurant I've taken to asking if something that appears to be a house beer is actually brewed in house. I've noticed a business model which distributes beer and allows anybody to slap their own branding on it. Meaning ABC Mac & Crack Lager and XYZ Brats & More Lager are actually LMNOP Crappy Beer Inc Lager.

I'd like the Sours, Seltzers or some sickeningly sweet high ABV stouts to go away...but that's just me personally. So many different tastes, with so many different appealing characteristics to many, great times for all.
 

bkboiler

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2015
Messages
856
Reaction score
257
Location
San Diego
I've gone to enough local breweries that are just getting started and brew a bad batch and still serve it...when I ask about how the fermentation went and the owner tells me "oh our heater and/or glycol broke during the ferment"...
nothing could turn me away from a brewery worse than knowingly serving a bad product...
I mainly just go to my local beer bar since they only carry beer if it's good, if it's bad they just don't buy the keg...
There' no real price difference between them and the breweries anyway...which means either the brewery is keeping more profit when they sell a pint or they're running a inefficient taproom (expense-wise)...
 

nine9bullets

Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2020
Messages
15
Reaction score
3
Disagree because I also know a lot of people that LOVE hazy IPAs, and thats what got them into beer.
I also know that with all the rage of hazies, pastry stouts, slushies and fruited sours, those breweries have more "new" beer drinkers because some of these beers are incredibly easy to drink. These styles appeal more to those not familiar with more traditional styles.
 

OldDogBrewing

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2020
Messages
92
Reaction score
68
I also know that with all the rage of hazies, pastry stouts, slushies and fruited sours, those breweries have more "new" beer drinkers because some of these beers are incredibly easy to drink. These styles appeal more to those not familiar with more traditional styles.
I introduced my friends to craft beer through a Triple NEIPA that I knew was pure juice and no alcohol flavour at all, they all loved it, so yes, they can sell this beer to more people
 

Brewmasher

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2016
Messages
149
Reaction score
45
I've gone to enough local breweries that are just getting started and brew a bad batch and still serve it...when I ask about how the fermentation went and the owner tells me "oh our heater and/or glycol broke during the ferment"...
nothing could turn me away from a brewery worse than knowingly serving a bad product...
I mainly just go to my local beer bar since they only carry beer if it's good, if it's bad they just don't buy the keg...
There' no real price difference between them and the breweries anyway...which means either the brewery is keeping more profit when they sell a pint or they're running a inefficient taproom (expense-wise)...
Yep. They usually call it some kind of “Belgian” 🤢🤮
 

idylldon

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
78
Reaction score
55
Location
Idyllwild
To a certain extent, I totally understand where most of you are coming from. When I started building my brewery, my goal was to have as diverse a selection of beer styles that I could reasonably maintain with the emphasis NOT on IPAs. While I think they're a wonderful style of beer and are remarkably popular right now, I had grown weary of walking into pubs/breweries and seeing six or eight of ten taps devoted to IPAs. With that in mind, I set out to provide some choices. At this point, I have 21 beers on tap that are all brewed on the premises. I have everything from Berliner Weisse to Barleywines aged on peaches in bourbon barrels, Irish reds aged in rum barrels to barrel-soured beers, real lagers and pilsners to fruited wheat beers, and, of course, many of the "usual" suspects, Browns, Porters, Stouts, Scotch Ale, many Belgians, etc. Yes, I do have IPAs, but only three out of 21 taps. I have a session, our "regular," which is a balance between English and west coast, and I have a IIPA. The session and IIPA are fermented HOT with Hornindal so they're not the usual suspects. I do not currently have any NEIPA, though the session and IIPA have some of the same attributes.

Having said all that, I don't claim to be a "master brewer" because I don't believe in the moniker due to the fact that brewing is as much art as it is science and I don't think anyone can really master all of it. Are all my beers world class? Of course not, but that doesn't mean I don't continually tweak the recipes I know can be better every time I brew them. At this point, I probably have about 3/4s of the over 40 styles of beer that I've offered at the pub in final recipe form. The rest are still in development to one extent or another. It makes brewing interesting to make slight changes to see how they affect the final product.

In the end and IMHO, if a beer is well brewed and clean, it comes down to whether or not a person likes the flavors presented. It's totally subjective. There is a lot of playing around with style guidelines these days, which I think is a good thing, so necessarily nailing a style or comparing a "composite" beer to a strict style isn't always preferred for some. For example, I often have customers tell me "I don't like dark beer." I tell them that's cool but "dark" isn't a flavor descriptor. I then question them a bit about what they do like in a beer and try to give them samples of dark beers that seem to align with what they're looking for. Literally, nine times out of ten they like one of the dark beers I've given to them and end up ordering a glass. To me, that's one of the most rewarding aspects of being a brewer; that is, turning someone on to a beer they would have never tried otherwise.

I had been home brewing for 25 years when I turned "pro," wrote for a magazine called Brewing Techniques in the 90s, and entered and won some competitions, but I was DEAD SCARED when it came time to open our pub. In fact, I missed our grand opening because I was in the hospital with atrial fibrillation due to the stress of four years building the place and then stepping into the brewery to produce our product. Opening a brewery isn't for the faint of heart and it requires constant dedication and an unwavering work ethic. In the beginning, there were many 14-16 hour days. I'm happy to say that's not the case anymore because, frankly, it would have killed me. I'm proud of the fact that we've sold every drop of beer we've brewed and haven't had to dump anything . . . yet, but we pay scrupulous attention to all aspects of the process and ESPECIALLY sanitation. Doing anything less invites problems.

Anyway, my $0.02.

Cheers,
--
Don
Partner / Head Brewer
Idyllwild Brewpub
 
2
Top