A "PSA to the old school breweries" from Chris Lively, Ebenezer's Pub

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Todd, Feb 22, 2020.

  1. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,941) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

  2. Beer_Stan

    Beer_Stan Initiate (153) Mar 15, 2014 California
    Industry Trader

    Buyer's remorse? Mayhaps he shouldn't have gone with the "reputation" and bought based solely on his sense of taste. I know a lot of people who literally HATE certain styles and there's no variant on earth that can convince them that the beer style is good and worth buying. Whatever the beer is, I'm sure he won't have much trouble selling it to whomever wants it despite his personal tastes.
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  3. MattOC

    MattOC Disciple (369) Jan 13, 2013 Massachusetts

    He didn’t buy solely on reputation. He does say in the video that he and his staff enjoyed the beer so I would figure they’ve had it before.
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  4. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,935) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Society Trader

    Am I the only one who got the feeling that if this happens again he won't be so shy about naming the brewery?
  5. zid

    zid Meyvn (1,419) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    I listened to the radio edit version and it was only 2 seconds long.
  6. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,693) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    He did mention fermentation problems, so I think he's complaining about flaws.
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  7. Beer_Stan

    Beer_Stan Initiate (153) Mar 15, 2014 California
    Industry Trader

    Then that's shitty and he should get all his money back. I apologize, I wasn't in a position to watch the video and probably should have reserved commenting until after I had. Pardon.
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  8. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,693) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    No problem . He was still being maddeningly vague about it anyway, and relied on the word 'shitty' too much :rolling_eyes::slight_smile:.
  9. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,037) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    It looked like and sounded like a hungover scatological screed. I kinda don't feel sorry for him. I need to know more......
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  10. Coronaeus

    Coronaeus Meyvn (1,028) Apr 21, 2014 Ontario (Canada)

    Maybe shit is one of the ‘adjuncts.’
  11. honkey

    honkey Zealot (583) Aug 28, 2010 Arizona
    Society Industry Brewery Trader

    I'm not saying he's definitely wrong, I don't know the guy, but I've seen several instances where retailers have said similar stuff about other breweries and they were just ignorant and the brewery got slammed for no good reason. It sort of happened to me once where I saw a review of one of my beers saying it tasted like cinnamon starburst. It was a DIPA. I messaged the retailer and he told me he cleaned the lines and there was something wrong with the keg and sent me a link to a phenolic compound that can cause the flavor. I told him to take the keg off and refunded his money. Brought it back to the brewery and it was completely fine. I went back and reviewed his draught list and sure enough he had a cinnamon beer on for the week before. He went so far as to claim he cleaned his lines before admitting his mistake. It's no secret that there's a lot of bad beer out there right now, but it should be noted that without giving specifics this video doesn't do any good and should in fact call into question the retailer's credibility based on the frequency with which retailers are the ones that actually screw up.
  12. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,491) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Ebeneezer's pub in Lovell ME is a Belgian centric place. I've been there, some years back. As it is Belgian beer focused, would anyone guess that the shipment in question was bottled beer? Go online, they have cooler doors full of bottled beer in large bottles.

    @Todd -maybe you can level people up on who he is?
  13. zid

    zid Meyvn (1,419) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    @honkey - As usual, your post was a good one that adds a lot to the conversation, but it should be noted that the reputation of the bar has been extremely high over the years and that the man in the video has been "knighted" by the Belgian Brewers’ Guild. However, his language in the video was unbecoming for a beer knight. :wink:
  14. honkey

    honkey Zealot (583) Aug 28, 2010 Arizona
    Society Industry Brewery Trader

    I'm aware of his reputation. However, the video was unprofessional and lacked any details that would give credence to his claims. In all honesty, it sounded like an amateur complaining about beer without real knowledge of the subject. It's easy to believe that he is above that level based on reputation, but with the lack of professionalism displayed here, it gives reason to wonder if that's the case.
  15. honkey

    honkey Zealot (583) Aug 28, 2010 Arizona
    Society Industry Brewery Trader

    To add, I also wouldn’t be so adamant about calling out brewers if I was the owner of a failed brewing venture myself during an insane boom in craft beer throughout the nation.
  16. StJamesGate

    StJamesGate Poo-Bah (4,616) Oct 8, 2007 New York

    He said it tasted like they got a new brewer who just didn't care.

    Is that a metaphor or a hint?
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  17. tzieser

    tzieser Meyvn (1,121) Nov 21, 2006 New Jersey

    I have really mixed feelings about this. I’ve always wanted to go to Ebenezer’s. It’s been on my list for decades now but I just haven’t gotten around to it. I have a ton of respect for what they’ve contributed to the US beer scene (and those contributions are immeasurable) and I still really want to stop by someday.

    Having said that, if I were to read a transcript of his video without knowing who it were coming from, I would presume it was a 21 year old Tiktok cruising’ Zoomer who just started drinking craft and is amazed to discover that you can get burned from shitty bottles. I can appreciate his perspective, blowing $4k on toilet water would piss me off too; but he certainly could’ve addressed the issue better. Protecting the brewery in question doesn’t help either. This all just comes off as a bunch of whining/manufactured drama.
  18. Jacobier10

    Jacobier10 Poo-Bah (2,242) Feb 23, 2004 New Jersey

    I have no issue with him speaking his mind. This is a guy who has run a very successful establishment for many years and knows his stuff. He just spent $4k of his hard-earned money on an inconsistent product and is rightfully pissed off about it. Something tells me this isn't the first time it's happened to him. There is a lot of overpriced bad/mediocre beer out there at the moment and it sounds like he's been on the wrong end of it one too many times. Was the rant unprofessional? Maybe. But he clearly felt the need to vent and did it without calling out anyone specifically.
  19. ArrogantB

    ArrogantB Poo-Bah (3,812) Jun 9, 2006 Colorado
    Society Trader

    Looks like he was hitting the bourbon and dab rigs pretty hard the night before he made this
  20. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,393) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Hopefully Chris Lively directly (e.g., made a phone call) contacted the brewery to discuss his issue? Perhaps he did so and the result of that conversation was it prompted him to post this video?

    It would be useful to know more details here.

  21. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO Zealot (543) Mar 29, 2007 Massachusetts

    I hope it was Struise and they knowingly sent him a bad batch.
    hottenot likes this.
  22. readyski

    readyski Aspirant (260) Jun 4, 2005 California

    He comes off a little snobby/entitled. But it shouldn't matter what type of beer consumer you are (snob, reseller, noob, or just a occasional purchaser), you have the right to get what you paid for.
  23. maximum12

    maximum12 Poo-Bah (4,566) Jan 21, 2008 Minnesota
    Society Trader

    The comments on this video are pricelessly stupid. Lots of people making absurd claims - 8% ABV beers that are really 2%, craft beer is in the worst state EVER, brewers insulting other brewers - I guess if you start with a video on the bottom, you'll just keep scraping along that bottom.
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  24. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Meyvn (1,185) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    These were my thoughts as well.

    Is there a story behind this?
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  25. Sheppard

    Sheppard Meyvn (1,173) Mar 16, 2013 Virginia

    The industry is getting spread thin in terms of brewers and quality control. If this is a larger brewery (as he suggests), they should have a QC lab and a pipeline of brewing talent (i.e. they should have people lined up if their head brewer leaves). I don't know how advisable it was to make a video and obviously, the video was less than professional. I will say that I have been more disappointed by breweries in the last couple years than I have in the several years before that. It is frustrating and I can only imagine how frustrating it can be for a bar owner who is making a big outlay and getting burned on it. I don't know what compelled him to make the video, but I'd wouldn't be surprised if this wasn't the first time he was burned by a shipment.
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  26. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO Zealot (543) Mar 29, 2007 Massachusetts

    Ancient history now, 2009 I think, but Struise and Chris has a business arrangement that fell apart and Chris went on a similarly immature FB tirade at the time. I believe all parties have made amends since then but it was pretty epic at the time. Chris came off like a baby.
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  27. Bigrock

    Bigrock Initiate (83) Feb 4, 2013 Texas

    Just a personal thing...

    Whenever someone, family, friends etc., goes off on a profanity laced tirade, I quit listening.
    I don't hear their message. Guess I'm too lazy to pick through all the expletives and their personal, emotional baggage to even want to understand the message.
  28. ScaryEd

    ScaryEd Poo-Bah (2,377) Feb 19, 2012 New Hampshire

    It's funny, I live about 25 minutes from Ebenezer's but I haven't been there in a few years.

    Don't really feel like going back to be honest. I have never had a "bad" experience there but I can't say I've had a good one. Overpriced 12 oz pours, shoddy service, etc...

    Not that that's really relevant to this situation.
  29. morimech

    morimech Poo-Bah (3,772) Nov 6, 2006 Minnesota

    Is it true there is no more cellar list? I thought that was the draw of the place was the curiated, aged cellar beer.
    hottenot likes this.
  30. islay

    islay Disciple (333) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    Are quality issues (in which "the fermentation suck(s)" and the like) from "old school brewer(ies)" with "good reputation(s)" a widespread problem in the industry at present? I'll take Lively at his word for the moment about the brewery in question, but is there any reason to believe this is a systemic issue that requires a "PSA" and not an idiosyncratic issue specific to that brewery? I certainly think there's a ton of low-quality beer out there, but if there's one area in which the larger, veteran craft breweries with good reputations seem to run circles around their younger competitors, it's in brewing consistent, high-quality, non-"shitty" beer.
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  31. Rekrule

    Rekrule Defender (646) Nov 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    Tons of 'reputable' breweries in Maine are trash. Not at all a surprise. Only surprising someone spoke out.
    hottenot likes this.
  32. struise

    struise Initiate (97) Jan 19, 2008 Belgium

    We did not do anything of the sort you were hoping for Sir.
  33. southdenverhoo

    southdenverhoo Disciple (392) Aug 13, 2004 Colorado

    you say that like it's a bad thing or something...
  34. Kraz

    Kraz Initiate (121) Feb 12, 2018 Indiana

    Not to derail things, but, what does that drive-by comment mean.
    hottenot likes this.
  35. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,935) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Society Trader

    And just to clarify. You do LOTS of the things the rest of us are hoping for :grin:
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  36. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,664) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado

    The problem with going on a rant like this and not naming names is that people are filling in their own names now. This isn't just a social media jab, this is a straight-up call out.
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  37. spicoli00

    spicoli00 Defender (630) Jul 6, 2005 Indiana

  38. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (7,019) Sep 24, 2007 Liechtenstein
    Society Trader

    He did say it was from a brewery they had bought from before, and that he and his employees had liked.
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  39. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,903) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    For what he is ranting about, I really can't think of a clear example out there. Long time reputable brewer who's beers are now all gone downhill and all are shitty? That feels like a big stretch to me. Sure I get the brewmaster changeover issues happen, but for the entire brewers portfolio to fall apart seems really odd to me and that the guy Chris whom seems to be a very knowledgable guy in the industry, seems dumbfounded by it. I would think here on BA and other social media sites, or just word of mouth talking beer with all his patrons, this sort of info. on a brewer dropoff would be old news to him before he would sign up for a $4K purchase.

    PS: Ebenezer's has probably been my #1 bucket list place I still want to visit in the US. Now I'm a little leary after this guy's tirade on social media. Not sure I'd worthy of his level of beer snobbery or something if I had a conversation with him at his establishment..
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  40. bcp5296d

    bcp5296d Devotee (441) Aug 7, 2012 North Carolina

    For those looking for an example, I know of one near me (in terms of wild ales only), that had a great reputation as the best in the state for years, then the head brewer let someone else come in and brew them, and now they are nothing special for the most part, with signs of vinegar in almost every brew out the gate, that were not present in the past. Luckily, the rest of their beers have improved vastly, but I can see what he's talking about. Also there are places like Heist, where the head brewer left and product quality went way downhill. I don't have an issue with this at all. It is what is being said within the community of fanboys of those breweries anyway. Glad someone is coming out and saying it, as brewers commonly turn the blind eye to quality once they start making real money. In my town, there are several breweries where it is obvious they only put rel TLC ito the first batches of things to generate hype, and are constantly trying to lower the quality level in the name of producing more beer at a higher profit margin. Though most of these places were started by VCs with blank checks and don't care if their wild ales or BA stout is the best in the world as long as their bland NE IPA sells like hotcakes.
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