Midwest vs West vs East Coast Breweries?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by HOP_KING, Sep 1, 2013.

  1. rgordon

    rgordon Advocate (590) North Carolina Apr 26, 2012 Verified

    OK, that's true, but tell me why Smutty Finest Kind gets no love, you New Englander you!
    ChipMurray likes this.
  2. bleakies

    bleakies Savant (430) Massachusetts Apr 11, 2011

    It gets fairly regular loving from me! (It also gets somewhat unorthodox and/or freaky loving from me, but I won't get into that.)

    Based on what I've read on this forum over the years it seems that Finestkind is loved by many, if not touted as the absolute best New England IPA. I think if we eliminated certain hard-to-get, need-a-tank-of-gas IPAs (cough VT cough) from this topic and focused on widely available IPAs instead, Smuttynose would be all over this thread.
    beertunes likes this.
  3. rgordon

    rgordon Advocate (590) North Carolina Apr 26, 2012 Verified

    Here, here!
  4. spoonhawk

    spoonhawk Savant (360) Iowa Dec 3, 2010

    Going Midwest
  5. DaveAnderson

    DaveAnderson Advocate (710) Minnesota Jan 11, 2011 Verified Subscriber

    There is most certainly doubt, Greg.
  6. DaveAnderson

    DaveAnderson Advocate (710) Minnesota Jan 11, 2011 Verified Subscriber

    This midwesterner disagrees. Sixpoint is top-notch.
  7. Lets just say it is a GREAT time to be a beer drinker anywhere in the USA !!!!!
    anglagard1 likes this.
  8. spoonhawk

    spoonhawk Savant (360) Iowa Dec 3, 2010

    Just to add a little something to this. I quickly entered the top 100 into a spread sheet and tallied them based on a loose definition of East Coast (I included Fl in this), Midwest (Great Lakes + IA and MO), Mt West/Plains (CO,MT,UT, the Dakotas, KS etc.), and Foreign.

    I ended up with following geographic representation in the top 100:
    E: 18%
    M: 26%
    MT W: 2%
    W: 33%
    F: 21%

    I stand by my Midwest pick, but here is an arbitrary marker worth engaging in this discussion.

    Perhaps a more interesting question is: Why is the Mountain West, in particular, not considered here and otherwise underrepresented in to top 100.
    Kurmaraja, beertunes and sacrelicio like this.
  9. DaveAnderson

    DaveAnderson Advocate (710) Minnesota Jan 11, 2011 Verified Subscriber

    This assertion that East Coast beers are overlooked smacks of the West Coast claim that their college football teams are overlooked.
    jakecattleco likes this.
  10. kingofhop

    kingofhop Advocate (555) Oklahoma May 9, 2010

    West Coast, overall. Midwest and East Coast and the South have great ones, too.
  11. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Champion (860) Michigan May 8, 2006

    Third Coast 4 life
    nickapalooza86 and sacrelicio like this.
  12. zid

    zid Advocate (525) New York Feb 15, 2010

    Yorkshire has the best squares.
  13. AdamF625

    AdamF625 Savant (445) Massachusetts Nov 25, 2010

    East Side
  14. Try as hard as you might, you can't beat Vermont Brews.
    WassailWilly likes this.
  15. Giovannilucano

    Giovannilucano Savant (460) Wyoming Feb 24, 2011

    I choose all of them equally because that is how I believe in approaching it. I love the West Coast, have traveled every state in the Mid West and the Great Lakes, and am currently live on the East Coast.

    I would say more so then just the beer, is also maybe a weighty subject of each regions attitudes on a collective scale. I can see how many can see the West as snobby but consider that Oregon and Washington are laid back to the extreme. I have found Mid Westerner's to be rigid and disciplined in their regional brews. And the East Coast, I am still trying to figure out!
  16. celfan

    celfan Advocate (525) Vermont Jul 4, 2004

    just check the trades forum
    BeahDrinkah likes this.
  17. celfan

    celfan Advocate (525) Vermont Jul 4, 2004

    I'll give you Alpine and Russian River, the rest is mediocre

    The great breweries are pretty spread out

    Hill Farmstead
    Cigar City
    Toppling Goliath
    Russian River

    I'm sure a few more..but not too many
  18. sacrelicio

    sacrelicio Advocate (635) Minnesota Feb 15, 2005

    As a Midwesterner, I am partial to what I can get here, but the West Coast hits it out of the park. They nail styles perfectly, are successful enough to expand widely, and just have the overall know how and skill to continue both. The Midwest/Great Lakes comes close, with lots of new guys popping up all over the place. The East Coast has plenty of good beer, and a few breweries are making best-in-style examples, but there just isn't enough world class stuff out that way.
  19. sacrelicio

    sacrelicio Advocate (635) Minnesota Feb 15, 2005

    Are you kidding? That is a solid list.
    jakecattleco and jrnyc like this.
  20. jrnyc

    jrnyc Champion (815) New York Mar 21, 2010 Verified

    C'mon, let's be real. Stone, FW, Alesmith, Lagunitas, you call these mediocre???? These breweries make some of the best beers in the country.
  21. celfan

    celfan Advocate (525) Vermont Jul 4, 2004

    I gave you Alpine

    Forgot about Kern
  22. beertunes

    beertunes Poobah (1,355) Washington Sep 24, 2007

    Two breweries equals "all of the West coast brewer's"? Sierra Nevada and Green Flash are the only one's I've heard of. Since there are at least 2 major mountain ranges (Cascades/Sierras and the Rockies) between Colorado and the coast, ya can't count those.
  23. bocky24

    bocky24 Savant (255) Iowa Apr 10, 2013 Verified

    Midwest by far! 3F's, Goose Island, Founders, Bells, Toppling Goliath, New Glarus, Jolly Pumpkin, Boulevard, Surly. Need I keep going? I will give props to West though, a lot of good breweries out there.
    djl9701 likes this.
  24. beertunes

    beertunes Poobah (1,355) Washington Sep 24, 2007

    If you count the states that touch either ocean, and the states that touch those states, there are 6 "West Coast" states. There are 20 "East Coast" states. It's a hell of a lot farther from Dickey, ME to Key West, FL, than it is Blaine, WA, to Imperial Beach, CA. It's roughly the same distance from San Francisco to Denver as it is Philadelphia to Kansas CityMO. There's so much territory to cover. I'd like to narrow our focus: which 1/2 mile radius has the best breweries?
  25. You for got Alaska! ;-)

    Had to sy that, as it is on the continent and the Pacific.
    juzy and beertunes like this.
  26. NooseJustice

    NooseJustice Advocate (615) Indiana Aug 4, 2010 Verified

    a couple great breweries. some decent ones. some i'd like to try. none on the level of Founders, New Glarus, 3 Floyds, Great Lakes or Fat Heads. don't be mad at me, man. spending an afternoon in Cleveland and Chicago going brewpub to brewpub is better than sex
    HOP_KING likes this.
  27. fredmugs

    fredmugs Poobah (1,120) Indiana Aug 11, 2012 Verified

    Divide the country equally in thirds and the west side kicks ass regardless of where Colorado falls.
  28. East coast. We know what lagers are and our IPAs have caught up with the rest of the country.
    dennis3951 and TongoRad like this.
  29. rgordon

    rgordon Advocate (590) North Carolina Apr 26, 2012 Verified

    Lager? What is this lager of which you speak? Is it lager than life or a piece of the lager question?
  30. No, they can count, but just not very much. Ditto Hill Farmstead. Ditto Crooked Stave. If you make the best beer on planet earth, but only make 5 gallons at a time... who cares? Size = availability, which has to factor into the discussion in some way.
    beertunes likes this.
  31. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Advocate (575) New Jersey Mar 6, 2008 Verified Subscriber

    Except for Anchor and Sierra Nevada none of them can brew a good lager.
  32. beertunes

    beertunes Poobah (1,355) Washington Sep 24, 2007

    I've gotta admit, it took far longer than I thought it would to get a stabbing headache from this thread, but here it is. New Glarus is one of the best breweries I've had beer from. Founders is excellent. Three Floyds is not even in the discussion. It's been been well over decade since I've had anything from Great Lakes, but I remember them as being good, but nothing that would make anyone do their happy dance of joy. Never tried Fat Heads.

    All that said, with the exception of NG, you can drive down I-5 from the Canadian border and not drive more than 30 miles without hitting an exit that has a brewery within 5 miles of the exit that matches the rest of your list. And that's before you even hit Oregon. Can you say the same thing about I-71?
    chimneyjim and draheim like this.
  33. Powderhornphil

    Powderhornphil Advocate (605) Minnesota Apr 30, 2012 Verified

    I would add:
    Toppling Goliath
    Dark Horse
    Town Hall

    All of whom have beers on the top 250.
    NooseJustice likes this.
  34. NooseJustice

    NooseJustice Advocate (615) Indiana Aug 4, 2010 Verified

    i forgot Surly and Dark Horse. i've heard great things about the others but havent had the privilege of trying their stuff. one day...
    Powderhornphil likes this.
  35. raymo55

    raymo55 Savant (475) Michigan Oct 3, 2011

    Best base barleywine...IMO
  36. Stevedore

    Stevedore Poobah (1,045) Wisconsin Nov 16, 2012 Verified

    This isn't another "the part of the country that is the best at brewing IPAs" thread is it?
  37. This is like asking the best football conference. SEC and West Coast, there should be no debate
  38. You are all arguing over 3 sections of the country. Why not just be happy we have that luxury and can say the US can compete with the entire rest of the World for great beers? It's been said that this is the best time (to date) to be a beer drinker in the US with so many great beers out there including all these little nano breweries popping up and making great beers for (mostly) local consumption.
    'Merica! Fuck yeah!
    cmannes, Potatocrawler and beertunes like this.
  39. supercolter

    supercolter Advocate (520) Wisconsin Apr 19, 2006 Verified

    As a Midwesterner that has traveled the country far and wide and has regular trading partners in all three of the markets in question... this is the correct answer. There is something to be said for being so close to the perfect climate for growing certain hop strains. That doesn't even touch on the mass of individuals already demanding finer libations with the entrenched wine culture (as well as easy access to these wine barrels for some excellent aging options). West Coast is clear winner here.
    You hit the nail on the head with your Midwestern brewery assessment as well. New Glarus is elite in nearly every facet and I can't wait to see what Dan does with the coolship being installed in the next year or so. I'm surprised that so many Midwesterner's are failing to mention some of the best things we have going on lately in the IPA market. We're getting better in the Midwest, though the majority of breweries are years behind. That said, imho Kuhnhenn DRIPA and Columbus Bodhi are two of the best DIPAs on the market today. Both are easily in the top 10 for my tastebuds. Ohio is really climbing as an IPA producer, with the most notables being White Rajah, Head Hunter, and Columbus IPA. I'd strongly recommend checking out any of them, though I'm sure it's hard to justify shipping for IPA with so many good options so accessible. Cheers.
  40. No questions about being a homer.......I love the Great Lakes beers I can get fresh. This country makes some amazing beers from coast to coast.