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Are microbrews a fad?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Dan R, Oct 22, 2014.

  1. Dan R

    Dan R Poster Extraordinaire

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    You know, you have a point. Beck's and Bass are not what they used to be. That is a shame. I'd prefer Bitburger or Warsteiner, but they are hard to find now. I understand what people say about Guinness, Murhpy's is better, but also hard to find. The Duck Rabbit Milk stout I mentioned is very good, so I don't hate craft brews. My beef is that shelf space for old standbys has been crowded out. I'm happy everyone realizes these are just my opinions.

    Part of my point is that many companies have been making excellent beers for centuries. If they have been ruined by huge conglomerates, it's does not diminish their importance to brewing. As far as my taste, I guess I prefer a good German or English beer to most others. But beer is like food, it's good to enjoy many different types.

    Dan R
     
  2. bettyseldest

    bettyseldest Friend of Leo's

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    I first came across micro-brewing 35 years ago, a chain of London pubs (Fox & Firkin, Flyer & Firkin etc.) all brewed on the premises, the brew house being visible through various viewing windows throughout the pub. They were down to earth "spit & sawdust" places, no jukebox or gaming machines, just decent beers at slightly lower than average prices. I suppose we should call them brew pubs. The Firkin chain was eventually bought out in the 80's and lost it's way, I think that they have all been sold on now.

    We have lots of brew-pubs, micro-breweries and local independent brewers. They may cater just for a single pub, a handful or a few dozen. The UK also has a tradition of "Guest Beers", so a local pub may have a contract to sell three or four beers from one of the big companies, but will also take a barrel or two from one of the smaller producers. In the pubs prices for these beers is generally no more than those of the major producers. The beers are all cask conditioned, and are generally good, though there is always the danger of an odd bad or mistreated barrel. The smaller producers are also more flexible and adventurous, they produce more seasonal ales and special brews to commemorate significant events.

    We also have a house in Northern France, again there are various local independents, the next valley to us has a honey beer brewery, St Pol sur Ternoise has a brew pub (we stopped using it because the food is no longer up to scratch). Our own village has a bar which only serves bottled beers (a range of over 40). When I told the proprietor I had a preference for brown beers he said "We have Triskell from Britanny @ 6%, Trois Pistols from Quebec @ 9%, and .... @ 11%". The Triskell and Trois Pistols I highly recommend, I have never tried the strongest one. Can you et Trois Pistols in Canada? Try it if you can.

    The independents are here to stay, they make life so much more interesting, and in our part of the world cost no more than the big brands. I wish that there were more of them in Ireland, as my wife would like us to return to her homeland and I can only take so much Guiness. Perhaps I should set up my own micro-brewery!
     
  3. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I've had beer from the Weihenstephan Abbey in Bavaria. They claim to have been brewing beer since 768 (yes, 7-6-8). I don't know if they qualify as a micro-brewery, but it's clearly not a fad for them.
     
  4. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    No fad. Here in the States, I think the consumer woke up about a quarter of a century ago and realize what a good beer taste like. I attribute it to the fine beers being imported from Europe. I don't think anyone is going back to the mass produced beers unless you have not tasted microbrews.

    Now, those fruity beers are just for the beer drinking wannabes and hopefully is a fast dying fad. Surprised to read about all of the hoppy hate here, but the IPA is probably somewhat of a fad.
     
  5. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  6. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    Yea..those fu fu beers are questionable being called beers.

    Just like ciders , which are not. not sure what they are.

    .
     
  7. Flyboy

    Flyboy Tele-Holic

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    I'm not too keen on the USA IPAs but there's a lot of indiginous IPAs or pale ales I'm not fond of. Each to their own, and all that.

    In my opinion, mircobreweries have exploded over here in the last 15 years, more so up here in Scotland, where since time immemorial we had to sup the foul brews of Tennant's, Scottish and Newcastle and host of all others bar maybe Maclay's and Younger's before the wake-calls in the early '80s.

    Here's the 'Hymn Board' from my local The Volunteer Arms (aka 'Stagg's') in Musselburgh, just east of Edinburgh. The Emanation is an ale from Kelso in the Scottish Borders; all the rest are from England. The Gorlovka Stout is lovely but at 6.1% you gotta watch it!:twisted:
     

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  8. stankepanck

    stankepanck Tele-Holic

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    I for one love the overly hopped beers! Everyone likes different things. There are tons of micros available that arent hoppy at all. And no its not a fad. People are getting sick of drinking watered down garbage.
     
  9. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    Those dark Brittany beers are nectar.
     
  10. still_fiddlin

    still_fiddlin Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I agree with most that "craft beer" is not a fad - I've been enjoying some of those brands that are now pretty big outfits (New Belgium, Sam Adams, et al) for decades, and was glad when this started to be more widespread in the US. I was lucky enough to be in Germany, primarily, back in the 70s, and found out what beer could be. Found some Bass Ale after that [not the same thing I've tasted lately, I agree], and love the variety that's out there today.

    Now, I know some of these brewpubs and micros are probably surviving because the economy has been pretty good recently for some folks. Along with wine bars & cocktail bars, some of these will vanish if discretionary income shrinks. But, there's definitely going to be a lot of good beer left, no matter what, and that's a very good thing, for me, anyway. I really like going to the store and finding a wide range of good choices, even if they've gotten beyond the micro state, like our local St. Arnold and Karbach - feels good to keep business local. That's worth a buck or two a sixpack, I think.

    P.S. I've said I'm not an IPA drinker, but Karbach's "Hopadillo" IPA has almost converted me - not over the top hops, and reasonable ABV (6.6%). Try some if you can find it.
     
  11. hymiepab

    hymiepab Tele-Meister

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    I've been selling craft brews for almost 20 years now.
    When I first started out, there was was a huge wave of micro and craft brews here in the States.
    So many brands were coming out weekly that practically nobody bought the same thing twice, which led to the weaker brands shaking out of the market quickly.
    To be honest with you, over the last few years there has been another remarkable streak of new brews and it seems that there are more craft brew drinkers to support a bigger market this time around…..We'll see!
     
  12. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Trois Pistoles is from Unibroue, not exactly a small brewery, but they make good suds.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    My favourite is Maudite, because I like to say "maudite!".
     
  13. stealyerface

    stealyerface Tele-Afflicted

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    I am pretty good friends with three guys that started their brand up here, and as a sampler, I get to try some of the stuff before it hits the stores.

    One of the guys made a comment to me that struck me as something I had never even thought about before.

    I told him that I thought this new batch was really well done, and I hoped that by the time the next few batches came out, they would be as consistent and delicious at the first attempt, and how tough that must be to replicate.

    He said, "You want to know what is more impressive than being able to do that? The fact that Anheuser Busch has been able to make Budweiser taste exactly the same since the beginning of time. You look at the water, the hops, the grains, the soil the grains are grown in, the water quality over the years, all the variables, and you add all that up, and get the same beer for 138 years? That is impressive."

    ~syf
     
  14. kookaburra

    kookaburra Tele-Afflicted

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    Looking at the expansion of the microbrew industry, I think it's here to stay, although certainly there will be turnover in terms of the breweries involved.

    What I do see changing are flavor preferences. The west coast style (heavily hopped) is big now, but that may change. I was at a trade show here in Madison last night, and there seems to be quite a few sour beers being brewed, and some see that as the next big brew, along with session versions of the west coast style brews. We'll see.
     
  15. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    So many things in this that I disagree with:
    First, I don't think that all mass produced beer is 'swill'. My evidence to support that it isn't true is the blind taste testing and sales. In blind taste tests, many mainstream beers perform very well against 'premium' beers.

    A lot of our taste is formed with our minds and our perceptions. The actual drink may have little to do with our judgement that something is 'swill' or not.

    The whole designation of micro brew or artisanal brew is mostly marketing. People like to feel special and in their buying decisions the sense that they are part of a unique group or have a special taste or niche is worth money to them and they will spend.

    All of the beer business is about making money and selling beer. The other reason for smaller batches is market space. Folks will make what the market will sell and the market for beers that are 'niche' brews is intentionally small.

    Shelf space in supermarkets is SUPER competitive.... there are multiple considerations for how companies get space and keep space... if you don't like what your store stocks or how they do it, you can complain to the store manager or... switch stores...

    If the brand is viable in your area, someone will stock it. People vote with their pocket books, if enough people don't want a beer, it will disappear... with the caveat that in the purchaser's office, there are vendors offering concessions and help with ads and co-marketing all with one purpose--> selling beer and for the stores, drawing in customers and maximizing profits.

    In your case, your taste tells you what you like and what you are willing to pay for... and, well, that is great!

    There is great beer all over the world... different tastes and ingredients are embraced in different places... one guys swill is 'home' to another.

    Like, you, I have a few favorite beers (when I drink beer) and I will try a bottle or two of something 'new' and if I like it, great, if it fails, oh well..

    I DO AGREE that some of the 'new' beers are hit and miss... but that doesn't upset me... they are 'fringey' they are trying new things and some will work for some and not for most... that is why they are 'small barrel' beers, right?

    this is a great time for beer and LOTS of consumer goods, lots of opportunity to find fun new stuff...
     
  16. BradKM

    BradKM Tele-Holic

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    Dan R,

    Based on your location, I propose an experiment.

    Go to Westbrook and Holy City. Order a few tasting flights (not all at once).

    Report back to us.
     
  17. imwjl

    imwjl Poster Extraordinaire

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    Many seem daft to their surroundings or forget how rich we really are even if you are not a high asset or high earning individual. The beer choices yes, but so many more.

    In addition to those beer choices look at how many more items are in your grocery store. How many items were in a 1970 supply catalog for DIY stuff, remodeling, clothing, and so much more. Look at all the automobile makes and models. It could go on. Common folks have more choice than the elite once had.

    :)
     
  18. Tommy Biggs

    Tommy Biggs Friend of Leo's

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    I hope it lasts for a long while. There's some great stuff out there, and because folks are buying and trying, the stores are willing to carry more varieties.

    Trying local beers at the brewery is hard to beat.
     
  19. AirBagTester

    AirBagTester Friend of Leo's

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    Indeed! What really blows my mind though, is that even with such precise, scientific calibration of ingredients and environment, how does anyone know if it tastes the same as it did 138 years ago? Do they keep samples in cryo-freeze or something?

    Solution: time travel.

    Re: the OP - When I'm out, I try to sample whatever local beers are on draft. When I'm at home watching football, give me some Coors Banquet beer or Yuengling.
     
  20. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Doctor of Teleocity

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    Best part of my job.... Travelling all over the world 'researching' the trend for craft / artisan / micro beers and

    Certainly a resurgence in USA in the last four of five years. Nice hoppy, strong ales and real dark beers

    Have to say there is a bit of fad to create a 'craft beer' marketing thing in London at the moment - but not impressed yet but the medium sized Fullers do some great London brews.

    In Brussels next week - great drinking town! Conducting research into wheat beers of course. Some recipes not changed for 500 years!

    Beer!!!

     
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