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Is Samuel Smith Too Corporate to be Good?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Brianhophead, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. I've been a huge fan of Samuel Smith beers for a long time. For me they're the standard by which I judge other English beers. Yesterday my brother said he thinks Samuel Smith is too corporate for its own good.

    So I put it to you guys. Is Samuel Smith too corporate for its own good, or are its beers still the yardstick by which to judge other English beers?
  2. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poobah (1,420) Wyoming Sep 14, 2002 Beer Trader

    I don't know about being the yardstick thingy but I know I love a lot of what they put out and some make it to my town. Too corporate? Does that equate to too big of a brewing company?
    hardy008 likes this.
  3. Why can't they be both? or neither? And what does "too corporate for its own good " mean?
    5thOhio, pitweasel, cmannes and 11 others like this.
  4. rlee1390

    rlee1390 Advocate (535) Indiana Mar 6, 2010 Beer Trader

    Yes, when I drink their beers I can taste the corporate. It really throws off the balance.
    Mgm54, 5thOhio, BladeRunner and 36 others like this.
  5. Danny1217

    Danny1217 Advocate (705) Florida Jul 15, 2011 Beer Trader

    Too corporate seems to imply that there large production scale has affected the quality of their beer. It hasn't. To me Samuel Smith makes some of the best English beers sold in the U.S.
    naloxone, fox227, Bung and 3 others like this.
  6. Everyone knows that once a brewery reaches a certain output that their beers suddenly turn mediocre.

    Must have something to do with the flavor of rare, but who knows? :p
  7. robboyd

    robboyd Savant (305) Indiana Aug 7, 2011

    Your brother's comments are why people label us beer snobs and is far from advocacy. If you pour it into a glass and give it to your brother blind, then beer just becomes beer, with no corporate association. Try it next time he's around and ask him if he likes it.
  8. sukwonee

    sukwonee Advocate (665) Washington Dec 13, 2011 Beer Trader

    Is organic chocolate stout their new offering? If so, I would say they still got it. It was tasty.
    nogophers likes this.
  9. match1112

    match1112 Champion (750) Illinois Mar 2, 2011

    sibhuskyx and Steimie like this.
  10. jesskidden

    jesskidden Champion (810) New Jersey Aug 10, 2005 Subscriber

    I say "neither".
    Pahn, Levitation, spry and 9 others like this.
  11. Mbennett

    Mbennett Savant (360) New York Jun 16, 2011 Beer Trader

    baby jesus what is this world coming to
    5thOhio, YogiBeer, Zach136 and 3 others like this.
  12. RDMII

    RDMII Savant (485) Georgia Apr 11, 2010

    Um, who cares? If you like their beers, cool. If your brother doesn't, also cool. To each his own.

  13. It's a yardstick to judge average English Beers by - that's for sure !

    They're an American export brewery in essence.

    The organic chocolate stout was ok as are some of the other stouts/porters - but theres a hell of a lot better on offer - ANYTHING Kernel for starters which you don't get in the US.

    7 out of the top 50 UK beers are Sam Smiths on here - that is laughable !

    You can only drink whats available to you in the US I fully understand but they are no yardstick believe me !
  14. I don't think so.
  15. yamar68

    yamar68 Champion (910) Minnesota Apr 1, 2011

    Perhaps the least exciting thread since the inception of BeerAdvocate.
    BigBarley, kirbmeist, ant880 and 4 others like this.
  16. What I mean by too corporate is simply this. Some breweries get so big they're more concerned with profit than making a great, characterful product. So the beer they make becomes bland so it can appeal to more people.

    Let me know if this makes any sense to everyone.
  17. Good idea, I think I might try that. Especially since I mentioned yesterday how much I love their porter
  18. meow, lol
  19. They don't seem to be following the same path as Sierra Nevada has, so... I'd say not even remotely.
  20. Blueribbon666

    Blueribbon666 Advocate (625) Ohio Jul 4, 2008

    Their Taddy Porter has always been my personal favorite. Sam Smith along w/Pre-Well's merger Young's were my introduction to English beers in the beginning & even then I bought Sam's only when I couldn't find Young's stuff which I preferred style wise in comparison. Glad to see Sam Smith is still around. I enjoy St. Peter's quite a lot but American craft has really squeezed a lot of their stuff out, gotta really look for it in NE Ohio, where as Sam's stuff is a lot more common particularly the oatmeal stout, which is solid but not earth shattering.
  21. They are not one I look for in England. Have been to a few of the historic pubs and the bitter on cask, if they have it, is bland.

    Some of the bottles in the US are good, but I am glad I have a medium-high Diacetyl threshold.

    I am with Ruds.
  22. aasher

    aasher Poobah (1,270) Indiana Jan 27, 2010 Beer Trader

    No, their Imperial Stout is a stout for the masses.
  23. ubenumber2

    ubenumber2 Champion (800) Arkansas Sep 1, 2012 Beer Trader

    I dont care of beer is made in some mega factory or made on someones carport , I just want good tasting beer. I think people get carried away with thinking because a beer is limited released to a small section of our country that it makes it better.
    kelvarnsen and CBlack85 like this.
  24. If and when the beer flavor starts to suffer you'll know that they've started sacrificing quality for profit. Until then, it's speculation.
    DubbelTrubbel likes this.
  25. steveh

    steveh Champion (970) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    Yeah, like that one in Northern California -- name escapes me now because it's so mundane anymore... someone help me out... :D
  26. The sad thing is, I suspect my brother has a strange fetish for American beer over British regardless of respective quality. So I think this puts an unfair slant on his opinion when it comes to British beers.
  27. North Coast Brewing? 21st Amendment?
  28. Drew26

    Drew26 Advocate (510) Wisconsin Nov 2, 2012 Beer Trader

    I'm guessing all breweries are hoping to make a profit...;)
    puboflyons likes this.
  29. The only real reason to open a brewery, if not, then you close the brewery. Sometimes the brewery is closed for you.
  30. Moose90

    Moose90 Advocate (740) Washington Nov 25, 2012 Beer Trader

    When I think corporation I think big advertising, lots of publicity (good and bad), et cetera. When I think of Sam Smiths I don't think huge corporation. They make good beer, and they seem to have a good distribution network. I haven't done a strategic analysis of the company by any means, but they don't seem to be too big for their own good.

    I've never seen an advert for Sam Smith, I've never seen them in the news. I've heard about their beers and that's it. They have great word of mouth marketing, and they have solid distribution networks. They don't refresh their labels every other year like BMC. Sam Smith is no where near the typical corporate beer abomination (BMC). Seem like a solid company who's focused on beer and not other motives.
    fox227, YogiBeer and Bitterbill like this.
  31. NickyDee21

    NickyDee21 Savant (490) Pennsylvania Dec 23, 2011 Beer Trader

    I'm definitely not an advocate for big business, but at the end of the day, if something tastes good, why can't that be all that matters?
  32. Loved their beers years ago until I knew better. Now I just sort of like'em. Mostly. Still, the behaviour of the likes of Humphrey Smith leaves a pretty bad taste in my mouth.
    tai4ji2x, jazzyjeff13 and jesskidden like this.
  33. Too corporate? No. To 'no dates on bottles and hang around for months and years so you never know how damn old your Pale Ale is?' Yes.

    Stingo, however, is dated, and fantastic, but a bit steep at $11 for an 18.7oz bottle.
  34. You're lucky. Living in Alberta, Stingo shows up on the shelves at frakking $16 per bottle.
  35. steveh

    steveh Champion (970) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    No, no... those don't ring a bell so they must still be small enough to be "acceptable." ;)
    FriarTuckInLuck likes this.
  36. They are. North Coast's "Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout" is one of the best imperial stouts I've EVER had.
  37. To be honest, if you went to Tadcaster, could get a proper look at the town, the brewery, their offices and its 200 odd pubs, corporate is probably the last word you could use to describe Samuel Smiths. Traditional, dated or feudal maybe but never corporate.
  38. Frankinstiener

    Frankinstiener Savant (405) Illinois Jul 28, 2009 Beer Trader

    are they publicly traded? What their ticker?
  39. jesskidden

    jesskidden Champion (810) New Jersey Aug 10, 2005 Subscriber

    And then, what if you looked across the street? Now that's "corporate". ;)
    Zimbo likes this.