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A brewery's standard lineup vs. their special lineup

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Ricelikesbeer, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. Some breweries use the yeast from the Pale Ale to repitch into the big beers, which require a boatload of yeast.

    At a beer dinner the guy from Founders said you need to drink their Pale Ale so they can make the high ABV beers.
  2. TheodorHerzl

    TheodorHerzl Savant (490) Indiana Mar 30, 2007

    Upland Brewing. I find their core portfolio almost undrinkable, but I really enjoy their sours and RIS.
    fredmugs likes this.
  3. Or for an even better example, Epic Brewing from Utah!
  4. fvernon

    fvernon Savant (370) Wisconsin Mar 1, 2010

    Came here to say this - draft-only specials; sours are pretty excellent, but the regular lineup is a little too malt-focused (although over the last couple of years the hop use has been improving, and the brewpub is a great place for lunch or dinner and a few pints whatever's on tap)
    fredmugs likes this.
  5. CircusBoy

    CircusBoy Savant (320) Ohio Mar 10, 2008

    Off the top of my head, most breweries' seasonal/specialty beers are their best.
  6. Founders, Bells, NG, Three Floyds and Miller/Coors would be mine...... JK, but on a serious note, none of these breweries would be around with out those "meh" normal lineups to support the crazy big beers only those of us on sites like this will even look twice at.
  7. Boilerfood

    Boilerfood Savant (425) Indiana Jun 5, 2012

    This 1000X times over. But I have been told that Sunlight alone pays for everything else they do, so I am ok with it.
  8. Jules11788

    Jules11788 Savant (390) California Feb 15, 2011

    Deschutes was the first that came to my mind
  9. Ricelikesbeer

    Ricelikesbeer Savant (350) Colorado Nov 29, 2006


    Yeah I agree, they certainly have their place, and I'm not knocking them, just saying that their lineup is pretty bland compared to their rare or unique stuff. Avery Ipa would be the exception for me. I think I can safely say that's pretty stellar. And I really enjoy white rascal as well. Drank plenty of that over thanksgiving.
    alexipa likes this.
  10. Ricelikesbeer

    Ricelikesbeer Savant (350) Colorado Nov 29, 2006

    On the other hand, there are also breweries that have a great standard line. I'd put deschuttes, Victory, and Ommegang up there as a few examples. Not to say that their more beer-geeky stuff isn't great too, but their standard line certainly doesnt' disappoint.
  11. ThickNStout

    ThickNStout Savant (495) Georgia Mar 8, 2011

    I'm not sure if it's fair to the breweries for a bunch of beer geeks to be having this discussion. The flagship/ year-round normal beers are meant to appeal to a wide audience. Of course most of us prefer the crazy limited/ seasonal/ one-off stuff. Those smaller batches are the beers brewed by beer geeks for beer geeks. From the discussion it seems that for the most part we are all hard pressed to come up with a brewery whose standard line-up is "as good" as their limited stuff. I think that's just the natural order of things.
    darknova306 likes this.
  12. Ricelikesbeer

    Ricelikesbeer Savant (350) Colorado Nov 29, 2006

    I think it's absolutely fair for "beer geeks" to be having this discussion. I'm merely saying that many breweries regular lineup are nothing to write home about, I'm not knocking ALL brewerie's standard lineup. As I mentioned earlier, there are plenty of breweries out there with great standard lineups, and some that eclipse their more specialty line. Look at Firestone Walker, for example. Everything they brew is great. I also like Victory, Deschuttes, Rogue, Bear Republic, and Ommegang to name a few. I think all of these brewerie's standard line is every bit as good as their more specialty or one off beers.

    I understand that not every beer is meant to wow beer geeks or anything, I'm just saying that some of the standard beers out there arent' all that great. (i.e. Ellie's brown, Samurai from Great Divide, Most New Belgium's standard line)
  13. harperman69

    harperman69 Savant (355) Tennessee Feb 11, 2009

    Crooked Stave is another good example.

    Better say I'm kidding before someone doesn't pick up the sarcasm.
  14. I'll bite. I can't think of a brewery whose special releases disappoint me with more regularity than GI. And yes, that includes BCBS.

    They make pretty bottles, however.
  15. Boilerfood

    Boilerfood Savant (425) Indiana Jun 5, 2012

    Founders.
  16. im going to agree and disagree with this. there are many times where im picking out my weekend 6er and i get something broomlyn. pilsner, brown, pennant. but i dont like lager, ipa some others. with the special release i consider it big bottles, seasonals, and brewmasters reserve. with those there are few i dont like drinking.
  17. It seems like Cascade's everyday line-up at the brewpub is fairly sub-par from ratings?
  18. fredmugs

    fredmugs Champion (820) Indiana Aug 11, 2012

    Schlafly A-IPA = Awesome
    Schlafly T-IPA = Awesome

    The other bottles I've had plus the 7 or so I had at their taproom = Meh
  19. LeRose

    LeRose Advocate (530) Massachusetts Nov 24, 2011

    Well, to invoke an example that might be a little strange, isn't that the Boston Beer model? OK - can argue they are now a macrobrew, but they do a pretty good selection of smallish batch stuff too. They have an every day lineup that has become pretty commonplace. Most places carry the Boston Lager and a seasonal. But they also have several separate "lines" with the Barrel Room series, and whatever they are calling the sahtea and gueze in the big bottles, they have Infinium, Millenium and what all else that they produce in smaller volumes. Whatever the model, you have to make something people will likely buy as an every day drinker to pay the bills and use the income to fund the "specials" or smaller volume products where you can (arguably, at least) advance the art. Seems smart business to me. The quality can go one way or the other, seems to me. Some places might do a better job on their workhorse products and are truly experimenting with the other brews. Others might do a bang up job on the specials and pay little attention to the daily drivers.

    I'll say that I've been equally disappointed on both sides of this here fence.

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