Overrated Breweries at GABF

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stageseven

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I agree with the blog. There is waaaay too much hype for some of these breweries. Today's "micro"- breweries are like rock stars, and we are like teenage girls idolizing the breweries. Beer is beer, there is nothing on the face of this Earth someone else hasn't brewed before. But the breweries need the hype to stay in business, that's how the things work.
I would add the Firestone Walker to the list, just because of the "aging in oak" BS, and because their head brewer has to look like a punk-rock starlet from the 90's, of course.
Wow, I'm pretty much going to have to disagree with about everything you've said here. The craft beer industry has an established reputation for being friendly, helpful, down to earth people. Heck, the guys from stone share their recipes with home brewers. I met Sam Calagione of Dogfish at an event at DFH and he took time to chat with me about home brewing and discussing recipes. I'd hardly compare these guys to rock stars. It's pretty obvious that they're about good beer, whether they make it themselves or someone else does.

As to needing the hype to succeed, there's a big difference between hype and reputation. There are plenty of choices out there when it comes to style, flavor, etc. If you don't like something from a particular brewery, don't buy it, simple as that.
 

jbrookeiv

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wow, i'm pretty much going to have to disagree with about everything you've said here. The craft beer industry has an established reputation for being friendly, helpful, down to earth people. Heck, the guys from stone share their recipes with home brewers. I met sam calagione of dogfish at an event at dfh and he took time to chat with me about home brewing and discussing recipes. I'd hardly compare these guys to rock stars. It's pretty obvious that they're about good beer, whether they make it themselves or someone else does.

As to needing the hype to succeed, there's a big difference between hype and reputation. There are plenty of choices out there when it comes to style, flavor, etc. If you don't like something from a particular brewery, don't buy it, simple as that.
+1.
 

throwbookatface

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It's amazing how varied the human palate is. Tumbler is the most boring brown ale ever produced by a craft brewer. Glissade has an odd, cloying tart/sweetness to it after more than one. The rest of their beers are phenomenal. PA, Torpedo, Summerfest, Celebration, Kellerweis, all of the Harvest and Estate offerings and the 30th Anniversary series are fantastic. I haven't had their stout or porter.
In total agreement with your Tumbler opinion. I like my brown ales nutty or malty, and all that character is lost in Tumbler. I like bitter browns, too, but all I get is some bittering hops, the bitter roast, and nothing else on it. I really miss the Anniversary Ale, a good mild IPA for the cool weather.

I really recommend either the stout or the porter. In my opinion these should be their 2nd or 3rd most popular brews. Hell, I'd place them at #1 if their APA wasn't so well-rounded. (I've just never actually seen a brewery whose flagship beer was a dark beer - sad state of affairs). They're not unique, but I compare them to the PA as excellent style examples and extremely well-brewed.

I really need to try Torpedo and Glissade, I love American bocks and there aren't enough (and who can argue with IIPAs?). American bocks can get a bit corny/sweet, though, so if that's not your preference, makes sense.
 

Thakog

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Ok, the thing is, you have to judge big breweries by their special offerings, not by the 6 packs they crank out to supermarkets everywhere. As true craft beer drinkers, some of us look for the extra special things and not the beer that makes that famous. Bear Republic for example- I tried a specialty beer of theirs called "The Grizz" It was some kind of brown ale, barrel aged over nectarines with some belgian candi syrup... delicious! I don't care for their regular brown though.

Even Widmer in Portland (not a fan of them normally) produces some good seasonal and specialty stuff.

I will kind of agree with him on Russian River though. I tried Supplication, and after all the hype, and the 15 bucks for a very small bottle, I was expecting to be blown away and I wasn't. I don't think that's Vinnie's fault honestly, I just think his reputation has exceeded any mortal's brewing prowess.
 

jkarp

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Meh.

Opinions are like a**holes. Everyone's got one and they usually stink.
 

throwbookatface

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Haha! Dogfish tweeted about the subject:

Tweet from Dogfishbeer:
"Glad to be in good company ... "Overrated breweries: A six-pack of hype for #GABF" http://bit.ly/9b8nES"
 

Pappers_

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Goose Island makes outstanding beers. Bourbon County Stout, Juliet, Matilda, Sofie and Green Line are among my favorite beers produced anywhere. Just including Goose Island in his list makes me question anything else he writes.

And I agree with the earlier comments about the lack of value in writing this blog - so much positive that he could write about and he chooses to write a negative article instead.
 

neomantra

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Wow, I'm pretty much going to have to disagree with about everything you've said here. The craft beer industry has an established reputation for being friendly, helpful, down to earth people. Heck, the guys from stone share their recipes with home brewers. I met Sam Calagione of Dogfish at an event at DFH and he took time to chat with me about home brewing and discussing recipes. I'd hardly compare these guys to rock stars. It's pretty obvious that they're about good beer, whether they make it themselves or someone else does.

As to needing the hype to succeed, there's a big difference between hype and reputation. There are plenty of choices out there when it comes to style, flavor, etc. If you don't like something from a particular brewery, don't buy it, simple as that.
I agree that the people at the breweries are down to earth. I also met Sam C by total accident at a bar once and he was super nice. I don't think they are trying to turn themselves in to rockstars but it's sort of happening by accident anyways because (as Scooby mentioned) many people these days "are like teenage girls idolizing the breweries".

But I guess on the plus side that means popularity of craft brewing is spreading and that means I'm less likely to get stuck choosing only between BMC products when I go out these days. In the end having lots of good choices is the main thing I care about :mug:
 

FreakinA

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DFH sucks these days. I head to total wine constantly, the largest DFH seller there is(other then DFH) and they have no beers that homebrewers would ever want to drink? DFH has lost their roots and now produces $4857 dollar beers that arent even good. I did like the saison du buff, but thats probably only because Koch saved Sam from dumping every ingredient that he could think of that isn't supposed to be in beer in the kettle.
 

Bobby_M

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Yeah, total rockstars. Vinnie from RR wrote a three paragraph reply to a question I had within 15 minutes of me sending it. What a total ******.
 

beerjunky828

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Yeah this guy's "elaborate" methodology of finding the most overrated breweries is puny. He offers no valid information other than that he doesn't like it. Who gives a $*#* about this guy that we here at HBT have to comment? If you like their beer then support them and if not then make your own or find another brewery to support. But don't bash these guys and gals for creating a product that seems to be popular with the general consensus.
 

remilard

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He seems to be listing breweries that have been heavily hyped for a number of years. Basically hating success. I remember people turning on Sierra Nevada and then Rogue etc. In a few years The Bruery will be the new whipping boy.
 

Bob

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Bloggers like this give bloggers a bad name, though. I guess I just get tired of this elitist mentality.
Okay, I have to ask: What, precisely, is 'this elitist mentality'?

Moving on.

Frankly, I rather agree that many microbreweries are enjoying popularity due to trends, and have garnered a somewhat undeserved reputation based on dubious street cred. And you know what?

It's all our fault.*

Rather than enjoy a solidly-crafted, medium-strength beer and be comfortable with that, we poo-poo anything that isn't a 10%ABV, 179 IBU flavor-bomb that Chuck Norrises your tonsils into catalepsy. I regularly see slams on American Lager here on HBT which make me froth at the mouth.** And you know something? That just points to how unenlightened we are as aficionados. If it's not "bigger faster louder MORE", beer enthusiasts are the worst kind of jaded "meh" hipster.

And that's just wrong.

Today's "micro"- breweries are like rock stars, and we are like teenage girls idolizing the breweries.
That's exactly true. Look, I've gotten drunk with Sam Calagione after he's had to duck phanbois all day at a beer festival. It's nuts!

The brewery I respect has a stable core of rock-solid, tasty, not-in-left-field beers I can sit and drink for hours. The brewery I respect neither rides the coattails of a few ultra-niche beers nor makes their entire stable ultra-niche weirdness.

As I often say on this board, any monkey can brew IIPA, because overwhelming flavors hide a multitude of flaws. It takes a brewer of real skill and experience to brew Budweiser.

That's my take, anyhow. Maybe I'll just stick with Hendrick's and tonic...

Bob

* As beer enthusiasts, I mean.
** When you figure out how to be a better brewmaster than the ones at BMC breweries, you let me know.
 
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This article is pointless. It's one man's opinion about a handfull of breweries. Personally, I really like Russian River's beers, including Pliny. I've had everyone of the those beers and they are all good.
 
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Today's "micro"- breweries are like rock stars, and we are like teenage girls idolizing the breweries
That is soo true! I worked the Lost Abbey booth at GABF Friday night and I saw this first hand. People were ****ing yelling and trying to Tomme's attention all night. It was really annoying to have people ask me, to ask Tomme something, I'm not his ****ing personal assistant!
 

joebagodonuts

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My first thought when reading that list was that this guy is just trolling. He's saying obviously stupid things with the purpose of getting people fired up.
It's a great way to get a lot of traffic.
But I am really surprised to read how many people agree with the list - so i guess I'm wrong.
The real kicker about a list like this is that taste is subjective. some people like Budweiser, some like Wyncoop IIPA. The person that likes the IIPA would say that Budweiser is horrible - yet the person that likes Budweiser would say that the IIPA tastes like ****.
You might not like something that a brewery creates - so in your mind it's overrated. A Budweiser drinker would think that Stone IPA, Lagunitas Maximus, Pliney, Chimay, and Sierra Nevada all suck. He would think that they are the worst tasting beers on earth.
I actually think that dogfish Head is underrated. I wonder what brewery he's visiting at the beer fest? Budweiser, Coors, and Miller probably.
 

remilard

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That's exactly true. Look, I've gotten drunk with Sam Calagione after he's had to duck phanbois all day at a beer festival. It's nuts!
double lolz for the name dropper accusing others of being fanboys.

The brewery I respect has a stable core of rock-solid, tasty, not-in-left-field beers I can sit and drink for hours. The brewery I respect neither rides the coattails of a few ultra-niche beers nor makes their entire stable ultra-niche weirdness.
Let's take Russian River. They make a great pale ale, porter, a few IPAs, a belgian golden ale etc. They literally can't be riding the double IPA niche since, well, Vinnie created it. So they seem to meet your criteria.

Goose Island makes outstanding english beers and hit lots of other under-appreciated styles. I mean I guess with all those BCS beers they are riding the coattails of, who was it that made the first bourbon barrel aged beer? Oh yeah, that was Goose Island.
 

joebagodonuts

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DFH sucks these days. I head to total wine constantly, the largest DFH seller there is(other then DFH) and they have no beers that homebrewers would ever want to drink? DFH has lost their roots and now produces $4857 dollar beers that arent even good. I did like the saison du buff, but thats probably only because Koch saved Sam from dumping every ingredient that he could think of that isn't supposed to be in beer in the kettle.
?????
90 minute IPA
Burton Baton
World Wide Stout
I could go on, but I don't have to.
None of these cost $4857 and home brewers drink them all of the time.

Perhaps extreme hyperbole?
 

Bob

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double lolz for the name dropper accusing others of being fanboys.
Name dropping? Not at all. I was merely giving an example of the 'rock star' phenomenon. I freely admit to being an admirer of Mr Calagione (who, for the record, probably couldn't remember me if you put a gun to his head), more for his business acumen than his beer; that thing about niche is making him a lot of money. I'm glad I used to have the opportunity to hang out with a lot of "name" brewers at beer festivals in the Northeast. One of the perils of actually being a professional brewer. ;)

I don't know your name or I'd use it. Would you rather I had been cryptic, hinting darkly about "a famous brewer who shall remain nameless"? I'd hope not, because that's fracking stupid.

Let's take Russian River. They make a great pale ale, porter, a few IPAs, a belgian golden ale etc. They literally can't be riding the double IPA niche since, well, Vinnie created it. So they seem to meet your criteria.

Goose Island makes outstanding english beers and hit lots of other under-appreciated styles. I mean I guess with all those BCS beers they are riding the coattails of, who was it that made the first bourbon barrel aged beer? Oh yeah, that was Goose Island.
First, had you read more closely you would have noted I mentioned neither of those breweries in my post.

Second, you would have noted that in my previous post I agreed with the phenomenon described in the article, not the author's judgment calls on those particular breweries.

Third, you misunderstand. Mr Cilurzo and Co. set the benchmark for the style of IIPA. The success of Russian River is dependent on their flavor-bomb beers. I invite you to have a look at the Russian River website, where the only year-round beers listed are Pliny the Elder, Damnation and Blind Pig. No session beers there; the low-gravity stuff is only available locally or in their pub. Over here on the Right Coast, those big beers are the only Russian River products one sees with any regularity on retailers' shelves.

Fourth, on beer-rating sites such as BA, Ratebeer and here on HBT, even high-quality non-flavor-bomb beers which are listed by BJCP as benchmarks of the style are more and more commonly considered "Meh" or worse, while El Humongo IIIIIPA gets rated through the stratosphere and beyond. As an example, first click here, then click here. Compare the scores. If you don't see something completely screwed up about that, you're part of the problem.

It is possible to ride the wave you yourself created in a market you yourself defined. It's one of the great secrets to making a gajillion dollars; just ask Bill Gates! :) I don't really begrudge that. I begrudge grumpily the excellent but less overwhelming beers being shunted aside as less than worthy merely because they don't have A. 70+ IBUs; B. come from a barrel; or C. are greater than 6-7% ABV. I begrudge artificially jaded "raters" who rate poorly excellent beers because their taste buds have dissolved in the alpha-acid soup they call IIPA.

If a brewery wants to brew a massive beer and get famous for it, great. A brewery is not great when that brewery can only brew well one product, one massive beer. Because the true test of whether or not a brewer is skilled is how well he brews the least flavorful beer in his portfolio. There, at least, we appear to agree.

Cheers!

Bob
 

joebagodonuts

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I happen to be friends with a guy who owns a succesful brewery (that I won't mention so I won't be accused of name-dropping).
He only makes safe beers. They have to be right in the style sheet - I happen to find them bland and I don't drink his beers (I'd never tell him this) - Michael Jackson raved about one of his beers - but I just don't care for them.
The point is - it's not that I like monster beers because they are hip - I like them because I like them.
it's the same reason i like hot wings. I like extreme taste, if I want to be bored I wouldn't even bother with craft beer - I'd drink BMC.
However - I think that what puts some of these breweries above the others is creating. Are you just brewing a beer that someone else created and you're doing it well - or did you invent something? That is a huge difference in my book. That's why I think DFH is not overrated - they are always doing things that no one else is doing - and they're doing it well.
 

bierhaus15

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IMO, I think we will see a trend back towards more traditional, honest beer styles in the near future. Gimmicky beer can only sell for so long before it becomes plebeian and normalized. DFH and Russian River made their name brewing unusual - high quality beers, but that won't last forever; That is, unless beer becomes the new wine. Which sorta is what they are doing with all these "special" limited edition beers. Though, drink what ya like and hell with the rest.
 

jkarp

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I worked the Lost Abbey booth at GABF Friday night and I saw this first hand. People were ****ing yelling and trying to Tomme's attention all night. It was really annoying to have people ask me, to ask Tomme something, I'm not his ****ing personal assistant!
Well, the flipside of this is (and I'm not implying anything about YOUR knowledge as I don't know you), some of us actually used to go to GABF not to get hammered or look like *****ebags with pretzel necklaces but to TALK to our favorite brewers and LEARN.

Too many of the volunteers pouring nowadays at GABF bother to learn **** about the beers. "What ya pouring?" "Ummm, beer. It's real cold and sudsy."
 

jturie

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I agree 100%, but the fact that you are trashing him is friggen ironic. maybe you should go through and post underated blogs...instead of tearing down what this ****** blogger does....
Just my opinion.....maybe I should have had 7 or 8 beers and waited to post, like you.....

I didn't write the blog, just reacting to it. Besides, HE is passing himself off as an "expert". I'm just a lowly amateur homebrewer, but since I have a great big a**hole, I also have a stinky opinion :)
 

throwbookatface

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Bob; The success of Russian River is dependent on their flavor-bomb beers. I invite you to have a look at the Russian River website said:
high-quality[/I] non-flavor-bomb beers which are listed by BJCP as benchmarks of the style are more and more commonly considered "Meh" or worse, while El Humongo IIIIIPA gets rated through the stratosphere and beyond. As an example, first click here, then click here. Compare the scores. If you don't see something completely screwed up about that, you're part of the problem.

It is possible to ride the wave you yourself created in a market you yourself defined. It's one of the great secrets to making a gajillion dollars; just ask Bill Gates! :) I don't really begrudge that. I begrudge grumpily the excellent but less overwhelming beers being shunted aside as less than worthy merely because they don't have A. 70+ IBUs; B. come from a barrel; or C. are greater than 6-7% ABV. I begrudge artificially jaded "raters" who rate poorly excellent beers because their taste buds have dissolved in the alpha-acid soup they call IIPA.

If a brewery wants to brew a massive beer and get famous for it, great. A brewery is not great when that brewery can only brew well one product, one massive beer. Because the true test of whether or not a brewer is skilled is how well he brews the least flavorful beer in his portfolio. There, at least, we appear to agree.

Cheers!

Bob
I really have to disagree with these points. Since when did we staff missing the forest for the trees?

A brewer's overall prowess means nothing to me (personally) unless I enjoy the beer. Who cares about styles sheets? Is a brewer more worthy of respect because he can brew pilsners, browns, wheats, and pales all to style? Or is he worthy if people want to drink his beers, even if it's just two or three recent styles?

I understand the need for critical objectivity. However, you're comig from a base that that assumes all styles are of equal value - AND that they're required to be taken seriously. If the dude who makes the world's best Imperial Stout can't make a good lager, or doesn't care enough to make one, does that make his Stout the lesser for it? Should the category or individual beer lose points because the brewer chooses not to engage other styles? Doesn't that miss the point of good beer being good beer?

I know that making a flawless low grav lager takes just as much, if not more, skill than the average ale. That doesn't lead me to conclude that you must master the former to be respected or good at the latter. If I make the world's most technically flawless camphor oil lager, that doesn't grant the camphor oil category a high rating minimum if the style itself is judged to be worse than something else. That's the same reason Bordeaux wines are safely assumed to be superior than New Mexico red wines, Cuban cigars over Dominican, etc. I can't knock the guy who makes the world's best burger if he can't make a souffle or a perfect boring chicken broth to save himself - I must take him at face value with what he chooses to make. If burgers are assumed to better than plain chicken broth, that's outside of whether he's good at what he does or not.

In sum (since I'm repetitive here): I believe it's possible for One category to be better, or more important, than others. In addition, I think a brewer can be considered great if they choose to brew only selected styles that they're good at. I don't think anyone's obligated to expand their repertoire to be considered good - look at DFH, Guinness, or AB. Anyone would say they have great brewers behind them, and they're all great at what they each set out to do (be pioneers, style leaders, or technical experts).
 

JNye

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I only agree with his DFH comments...obviously an overrated/overhyped brewery. I haven't had any of their beers I wanted to ever consider buying again. 60 minute is the only exception, but I haven't yet.

I think i'll write a blog on the best song ever written:rolleyes:
tenacious d

Goose Island makes outstanding beers. Bourbon County Stout, Juliet, Matilda, Sofie and Green Line are among my favorite beers produced anywhere. Just including Goose Island in his list makes me question anything else he writes.

And I agree with the earlier comments about the lack of value in writing this blog - so much positive that he could write about and he chooses to write a negative article instead.
well, yes this is true. such a solid brewery, he's obviously missing out.
 

Bob

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I know that making a flawless low grav lager takes just as much, if not more, skill than the average ale. That doesn't lead me to conclude that you must master the former to be respected or good at the latter.
See, there's where we'll disagree. In my worldview, mastery of the craft happens after you master all the "boring", "average" stuff. You can't properly do the Path of the Drunken Monkey until you've practiced kata enough to prove you've mastered the basics.

If I make the world's most technically flawless camphor oil lager, that doesn't grant the camphor oil category a high rating minimum if the style itself is judged to be worse than something else.
What is the point of judging a category or style against another? There is none. If you give Blatz Premium a D- because you really like El Humongo IIPA, your opinion is meaningless. Because ratings like that only matter when the rating is given as a comparison against a stlye/breed/whatever standard. Judging a beagle against a wolfhound is fracking stupid. You need to judge beagles against beagles and wolfhounds against wolfhounds.

That's the same reason Bordeaux wines are safely assumed to be superior than New Mexico red wines, Cuban cigars over Dominican, etc.
Assumptions are almost always wrong. The probability exists there of "aficionados" driving those opinions instead of any really quantifiable superiority existing. I've smoked Cubans. I've had crappy Cuban cigars, just as many as I've had excellent Dominicans. In fact, I find I prefer Dominicans. I've had $100-per-bottle French wines that were far inferior to $15 domestic wines. It's in the tastes of the beholder.

And you cannot deny that a climate exists where people automatically think a thing is better because it's from a certain place, or from the workshop of a certain craftsman. "Ooo, it's Chateau Lafitte, it's got to be good." "Ooo, it's a Cuban Cohiba." "Ooo, Vinnie Cilurzo brewed it." Neither statement really means anything. If you like Chateau Lafitte, Cuban Cohibas or Vinnie's massive beers, that's one thing. But to use that as some sort of objective criteria against which you can judge, in reverse order, Premium Lager, Galoises or Welch's - see the beagle/wolfhound comparo above - is devoid of meaning.

To say a Bordeaux red is automatically better than a New Mexico red just as automatically overrates the Bordeaux.

I can't knock the guy who makes the world's best burger if he can't make a souffle or a perfect boring chicken broth to save himself - I must take him at face value with what he chooses to make. If burgers are assumed to better than plain chicken broth, that's outside of whether he's good at what he does or not.
In your burger analogy, many of the "better" things are simply more complicated and therefore more interesting to the non-craftsman. Not really "better", just more interesting. Moreover, more complicated items give more opportunities to hide very basic flaws in the work, flaws from lack of skill. Thus can the burgermeister* gain an undeserved reputation as a master. You wrote that it's possible to be good at a complicated thing and not be good at the more basic thing. In my considered opinion, if you can't do the basic thing well you're not doing the complicated thing well either. That's a basic tenet of mastery.

We don't - or shouldn't - have 'master porter brewers' or 'master lager brewers' or 'master IPA brewers'. We have - or should have - master brewers.

In addition, I think a brewer can be considered great if they choose to brew only selected styles that they're good at. I don't think anyone's obligated to expand their repertoire to be considered good - look at DFH, Guinness, or AB. Anyone would say they have great brewers behind them, and they're all great at what they each set out to do (be pioneers, style leaders, or technical experts).
I don't disagree. One doesn't expect a master woodworker to force himself to make Chippendale chairs when what we really wants to do is make tables. However, at the same time one expects a master woodworker could make a Chippendale chair if he wanted to, that he'd have the skill and knowledge to do so.

In the same way, brewmasters like Vinnie Cilurzo have proven their skills. Others have not.

This is a great discussion!

Cheers! :mug:

Bob

* Thank you for the opportunity to use a word in everyday conversation I've wanted to use for decades. :D
 

AmandaK

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Has anyone read the comments section on the "article"? The author's remarks in the comments section are kind of funny. :)
 

motobrewer

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what a garbage article.

Goose Island makes great beers, most of their good stuff is harder to find outside the midwest.

Colorado elitism - his first note on New Belgium: "Just to be fair, as a Colorado guy, I'll include a Colorado beer on this list.".
 

stageseven

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See, there's where we'll disagree. In my worldview, mastery of the craft happens after you master all the "boring", "average" stuff. You can't properly do the Path of the Drunken Monkey until you've practiced kata enough to prove you've mastered the basics.
It's a good premise, but I would argue that the basics that need to be mastered are things like recipe formulation, yeast pitching rates, fermentation temperatures, etc. All the proper practices that need to be in place to make a consistent, clean, repeatable beer. That doesn't necessarily mean that you have to have an in-depth understanding of replicating any or all of the BJCP styles to the letter before you can brew a decent beer.

What is the point of judging a category or style against another? There is none. If you give Blatz Premium a D- because you really like El Humongo IIPA, your opinion is meaningless. Because ratings like that only matter when the rating is given as a comparison against a stlye/breed/whatever standard. Judging a beagle against a wolfhound is fracking stupid. You need to judge beagles against beagles and wolfhounds against wolfhounds.
This is true for judging beers of a particular style against each other, but that's not all we're talking about here. Yes, you should always judge pure IPAs against other pure IPAs, but to use your dog analogy, a lot of the beers out there getting judged vs a "purebreed" style are actually mutts. How do you judge a beer that's an ESB fermented with a Belgian yeast strain? Or a 12% pale ale? You can't look at a non-comprehensive list of arbitrary guidelines based on historically popular style and say those beers aren't good just because they don't fit into a particular category.

When we take the style guidelines too seriously, and judge beers too rigidly against them, we end up with cookie-cutter beers that frankly, I think are boring. Taken to the extreme you end up with things like BMC, where in blind tests the die-hard drinkers can't even tell which one is their beloved B, M, or C. At a very basic level it limits the creativity and experimentation that is an integral part of the craft beer movement in America.


In your burger analogy, many of the "better" things are simply more complicated and therefore more interesting to the non-craftsman. Not really "better", just more interesting. Moreover, more complicated items give more opportunities to hide very basic flaws in the work, flaws from lack of skill. Thus can the burgermeister* gain an undeserved reputation as a master. You wrote that it's possible to be good at a complicated thing and not be good at the more basic thing. In my considered opinion, if you can't do the basic thing well you're not doing the complicated thing well either. That's a basic tenet of mastery.

We don't - or shouldn't - have 'master porter brewers' or 'master lager brewers' or 'master IPA brewers'. We have - or should have - master brewers.
I think it's faulty to imply that there has to be flaws in the beers of anyone who isn't a master of all styles. I'd say we have a fundamental disagreement about what the actual basics are. I don't need to have an understanding of how to make a perfectly to style saison or flemish sour to know that I need to mash at a particular temperature, pitch a certain amount of yeast, keep it at a certain temperature throughout fermentation, age it for so many days, etc. to make a great pale ale. I would agree though that you do need to be able to make a serviceable pale ale to make a good chili-pumpkin-chai pale ale or whatever other crazy things you want to put it in for the most part. I also think there is a bit too much of an attitude of "throw whatever in there" and sell it as a specialty. However, there is and should be a place for experimentation, and the good results of that should be judged on how they taste, not against a particular style.
 

HenryHill

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I don't care who says what brewery or beer is great. If I don't like it, I don't drink it. And vise versa, I don't expect anybody to like what I like; be it food, music or beer. To each his own, and I support free thought and a country that allows freedom to publish and post.

But really, this thread and the original blog are more like Gnome's 'Bands That We Should Like But Don't' thread.

....there is no accountin' for taste....and that's all I got to say about that. Except, it seems the country has now learned about Short's Brewery.
 

EricT

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The article is just one guys opinion, I agree with his Pliny review btw. I bought one of those overpriced Pint's and really didnt care for it. But thats just my opinion.
 

Bob

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This is true for judging beers of a particular style against each other, but that's not all we're talking about here. Yes, you should always judge pure IPAs against other pure IPAs, but to use your dog analogy, a lot of the beers out there getting judged vs a "purebreed" style are actually mutts. How do you judge a beer that's an ESB fermented with a Belgian yeast strain? Or a 12% pale ale? You can't look at a non-comprehensive list of arbitrary guidelines based on historically popular style and say those beers aren't good just because they don't fit into a particular category.
That's not really what I was talking about. I was talking about the effect of phanboi squeeing over flavor-bombs and following them with starry eyes while poo-poo-ing anything less flavorful. The attitude has been infecting beer rating sites for years, and now it's endemic. If you go to BA or ratebeer, you can see it. Truly outstanding - we're talking benchmark examples of the style - but relatively bland beers get rated C- or below, and 120+ IBU American Barleywines rarely go below A-.

That's also indicative of the issue at work in the referenced blog - people follow some breweries with almost messianic fervor, even when some or most of the beers from that brewery have nothing more going for them than "immense" or "weird".

Cheers,

Bob
 

throwbookatface

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^Maybe it's because bland beers aren't that great in and of themselves... if I make the best Imperial Water Lager (with a finishing gravity of 1.0001), do I deserve an A+? I'd argue that in a BJCP panel judging, yes, but on Ratebeer, no. It's possible for a beer to be exemplary of it's style and be inferior to a less-than-perfect example of another style. Watery beers suck - explaining their low ratings on RB and BA.

I agree there is a lot of fanboyism in beer. However, I dont think disparate style ratings are linked to that in any way. Besides, who's the victim here? BMC? Surely you cannot argue that the zeitgeist is against them right now. Is the style really underappreciated if 99% of the country is buying that beer?
 

Bullshivit-brew

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Well I can't get colorado craft brew and I like goose island ipa and oatmeal stout quit well thank you very much
 

bierhaus15

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With all this mindless banter about Beer Advocate and beer loser/fanboys, i'd thought I would share a little gem from BA to remind us all why no-one and I mean no-one that actually gives a honest sh*t about beer should care what BA'ers think:

ALLAGASH WHITE:

"The smell is good and you can tell right away its a bavarian wheat beer. The banana clove flavor is apparent in your nose."

"I tend to judge all wheat beers against my favorite -- Hacker Pschor."

"Classic aromas of banana and clove give way to rich but clean corn flavors and a bright finish."

"One of my favorite beer experiences ever was pounding like two cold bottles of this after playing tennis for two hours with no water."

This is some funny stuff! :cross:
 

motobrewer

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That's not really what I was talking about. I was talking about the effect of phanboi squeeing over flavor-bombs and following them with starry eyes while poo-poo-ing anything less flavorful. The attitude has been infecting beer rating sites for years, and now it's endemic. If you go to BA or ratebeer, you can see it. Truly outstanding - we're talking benchmark examples of the style - but relatively bland beers get rated C- or below, and 120+ IBU American Barleywines rarely go below A-.

That's also indicative of the issue at work in the referenced blog - people follow some breweries with almost messianic fervor, even when some or most of the beers from that brewery have nothing more going for them than "immense" or "weird".

Cheers,

Bob
consumer reviews are always going to skew toward the rare and expensive. If people drank barleywines daily, the average scores would drop.
 
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