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Too Many Breweries? - Bubble Will Burst

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Celtics76, Jan 17, 2013.

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  1. Sarlacc83

    Sarlacc83 Advocate (640) Oregon Mar 2, 2008

    The only bubble that's going to burst is the one where a bunch of brewers with crappy business models and mediocre beer go out of business and even on that point I'm not sure because there are a number of PDX breweries that are STILL going despite their beer being average.
  2. Alexmc2

    Alexmc2 Savant (410) Oregon Jul 29, 2006

    Didn't that happen in the 90s?
  3. Right too many new businesses (not just breweries) lack any sort of concrete business model, and eventually get buried in debt due to overexpansion, poor marketing, etc. One step at a time is key.

    Here in RI, Foolproof just opened in early Jan. They are starting out by offering their beer on draft only and are having "launch parties" around the state to build word of mouth. In a month or so, they are going to start selling cans. The hope is that the launch parties will create buzz and the first batch of cans will sell out. I think it's a good start - baby steps.
  4. Hanzo

    Hanzo Champion (975) Virginia Feb 27, 2012

    I'll be honest, when I am standing in the multi isle beer section of the newly remodeled Total Wine near me and I see literally hundreds of feet of shelves stuffed, floor stacks, end caps etc with hundreds upon hundreds of different craft beers available, I do ask myself, who the hell is drinking all this?.....

    These breweries making sub par or even average run of the mill beers will eventually get weeded out, it is not a matter of if but when.
    LambicKing, AxesandAnchors and LeRose like this.
  5. I'm concerned about breweries like Pretty Things for that reason. They only sell bombers. And they're not cheap.
  6. Not yet. But there are more on the horizon.
  7. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Advocate (515) Kentucky Apr 20, 2004

    As I said in one (or probably many) of the threads linked. IT ISNT A BUBBLE. That isnt what the word means.
    SammyJaxxxx likes this.
  8. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Advocate (515) Kentucky Apr 20, 2004

    [quote="Hanzo, post: 849875, member: 661849"
    These breweries making sub par or even average run of the mill beers will eventually get weeded out, it is not a matter of if but when.[/quote]

    Absolutely. But, to pick on the title of the thread, that has nothing whatsoever to do with bubbles.
  9. i assume that's just from portland culture, having neighborhood pubs, that sort of thing.

    when i went up for the aftw release, i toured a few places and was really disappointed: migration, burnside, amnesia, lompoc, upright (generally), lucky lab, etc... all homebrew-level horseshit.
  10. Yup, they just starting distributing to CA, I personally have not bought one.
    Breweries like that have what seems to be a sell beer by expansion mindset. Sell beer to a market, good sales at first, then beer starts to move slow so saturate the next market, and on and on etc...
  11. I see some parallels to the sports card market. Back in the late 80s, early 90s, the sports card hobby had exploded. Initially, there were only 3 baseball card companies who offered packs of cards for no more than 75 cents each. Within 5 years, that had ballooned to over 20 (with many of the packs over $2) and the market crashed - ie. card values plummeted as the market became saturated and people became less interested due to being confused/overwhelmed. Now it exists only as a niche hobby.

    I don't think this will happen to craft beer at this level, but eventually there will be a "market correction" and many breweries that sell $15 6-packs/$9 bombers and/or poor quality product will go under.
    BrewsoBrewco likes this.
  12. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Advocate (515) Kentucky Apr 20, 2004

    Sorta, but not really. Craft volume didnt drop, but the number of breweries/brewpubs did. The strong craft breweries more than made up for the slack.

    It wasnt anything bubbly, it was just good old fashioned creative destruction.
    Zach136 likes this.
  13. I've wondered that myself. And I've noticed many of the larger liquor stores have expired beer sitting on the shelves for months at a time, and eventually go into a "bargain basket" for a buck a piece.

    And I'm talking quality beers from the likes of Troeg's, Victory, etc.
  14. We're over-saturated with mediocre breweries. And yes, the bubble will burst on them. You can already see the precursor to it with all the old bombers collecting dust in what should be thriving local markets. There are nowhere near enough great breweries though, and sometimes it takes wading through a lot of mediocrity to find the good ones.

    As for RI specifically - this is a state that had only one real brewery as recently as about two years ago, Newport Storm. Having 4-5 new ones isn't exactly overexpansion...
  15. AxesandAnchors

    AxesandAnchors Savant (300) Oregon Nov 21, 2012

    Upright clearly doesn't belong on that list. Maybe you just don't care for farmhouse style beer? I won't disagree with the rest. I really hope that wasn't the extent of your Portland tour, if so you missed some really exceptional beer.
  16. I agree, in that the 90s saw large growth in the volume of established breweries like Sierra Nevada. The big ones got bigger. Many medium and small breweries got squeezed, and if they did not have the product or the financial backing, they went under.

    Booms are not bubbles, but booms have a way of being followed by a bust, but that is not as bad as a bubble popping.
  17. Try the new smoked porter, leaning chimney. It's great. The Extra Pale, flying jenny, is tasty too.
    Providence likes this.
  18. well, it's my list, so i can say who belongs on it. :)

    i also hit cascade, deschutes, and hair of the dog (obviously). several of the places were pretty close to each other so that made it efficient.
  19. guajolote

    guajolote Advocate (530) Oregon Sep 12, 2008

    This video is NW-specific, but you get the picture.

    BrewsoBrewco likes this.
  20. AxesandAnchors

    AxesandAnchors Savant (300) Oregon Nov 21, 2012

    Fair enough, to each his own I guess o_O
  21. Cascade77

    Cascade77 Savant (250) Vermont May 14, 2009

    OK. The two links seem to contradict each other. The first says 3000 Lambic Breweries in Brussels (a number I am still very skeptical of). The second says 3223 breweries (not specifically Lambic) in all of Belgium. This number seems much more believable to me. Not buying the first unless I see a better source.
  22. In the late 90s Norwester, Saxer, and a few others went under in the PNW. Of course some opened in that timefrane.

    I don't see the number going down. I think there will be more closures, but there are so many opening small and nano sized places the numbers will keep going up, until the nano guys find out they have to grow or go out of business.
  23. Sarlacc83

    Sarlacc83 Advocate (640) Oregon Mar 2, 2008

    Most of my favorite Oregon breweries are found outside the city for a reason. Hair of the Dog is about the only place I visit with any regularity, with some side trips to Breakside because while not always great, it's at least going to be inventive and interesting. (And my wife really like it.) I think the Commons has a bright future, too.
    travMI13 likes this.
  24. Todd

    Todd Founder (1,685) Colorado Aug 23, 1996 Staff Member Fest Crew Subscriber Beer Trader

    YaKnowBrady and MarkIntihar like this.
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