A Shakeout Coming?

Discussion in 'South Atlantic' started by turfy, May 8, 2013.

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  1. turfy

    turfy Maven (1,276) Mar 17, 2010 Texas

    Tagging onto a current thread about No Label, I would guess there will soon be a shakeout coming among the many new, and IMO, unremarkable craft brewers hitting the Texas beer scene. With heavyweights such as Firestone Walker and Founders arriving on shelves, it will be much harder for startups with less than average beers surviving the near future. If I'm going to spend $10 a six pack, it will be for a top notch brew such as Centennial or Union Jack and not a forgettable beer such as Pale Horse. I would love for Texas craft brewers to be hitting it out of the park, but the majority of new offerings are lacking. JK, Karbach, Saint Arnolds , 512 , and the other well positioned Texas brewers will continue to push the envelope and get my money, but it seems there are too many run-of-the-mill startups that will find it hard to survive.
  2. champ103

    champ103 Grand Pooh-Bah (5,230) Sep 3, 2007 Texas
    Pooh-Bah Society

    I agree. In reality, the only thing we can do as consumers is support the breweries we enjoy. The rest will sort itself out.
  3. Lutter

    Lutter Initiate (0) Jun 30, 2010 Texas

    You'd be surprised how popular No Label El Hefe is at our bar.

    I think a lot of breweries are sustainable as long as they don't overextend themselves.
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  4. Cablejelly

    Cablejelly Initiate (0) Sep 6, 2010 Texas

    That's kinda funny. I was just talking about this, from the another point of view, earlier today. I didn't elaborate too much and this is copy and paste but here was my view regarding the longevity of these heavyweights in Texas:

    Yeah Texas is odd. Everyone wants the one-off and limited while some superior beers sit around and gather dust. People in Austin used to go nuts over sculpin. They'd trade a ton, pay 3-4x sometimes, and beg people to come back with it when they'd visit family on the west coast. Now it sits on shelves everywhere. People who used to be happy just to get it now won't even touch it if its 45+ days old since bottling. The other side of the equation is people who would never dream of paying more than $4 for a 6-pack. Hell, since I'm on the ballast point subject, victory at sea even sits around. You can't even find it in San Diego usually. I see bad things happening to a lot of the breweries moving into Texas. We're spoiled with tons of great beer and more and more being brewed locally every day. It's a big "go local" environment so I just don't see any I these guys, no matter how good the brew, displacing what people consider staples or normally have in their rotation.
  5. cfh64

    cfh64 Pooh-Bah (1,934) Aug 16, 2005 Texas

    I think you're probably right unless some of these breweries make a change, quickly. I was at a bar the other day and they must have had at least 10 taps of local beer. There may have been one or two that I enjoyed (ie DE IPA and a Community beer) but I found myself going towards other breweries that have a better product and are more consistent. I really want to support local and I realize there are some growing pains but some of these beers are downright disgusting IMO and I'm surprised that some of these bars are carrying their product. It's almost as if they said "sure, you're local, we'll buy your beer" and never even tasted what they were buying.
  6. FUNKPhD

    FUNKPhD Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2010 Texas

    I think there's too many people that are just now getting into local breweries for lack of customers to put them out of business. I think if something happens and a bubble were to pop, it would be due to too much variety from a boom in local breweries.

    Either way, I would imagine it will put a lack of pressure on some of the heavy hitters to step up there game, as we've seen with an increase of variety from Karbach and St Arnold, as examples.
  7. champ103

    champ103 Grand Pooh-Bah (5,230) Sep 3, 2007 Texas
    Pooh-Bah Society

    I certainly agree that people should buy the best, and everyone's best is different. Though I almost always find myself buying Texas breweries. Of coarse there are a bunch of mediocre stuff being made right now, and the addition of Firestone and Founders are a bit of a game changer. Though I still buy more Live Oak, Karbach, 512, Saint Arnold, Real Ale and now Hops & Grain than just about any other brewery sitting on the shelf or a tap wall.
  8. mrkmrk

    mrkmrk Initiate (0) Jun 25, 2011 Texas

    This is a really salient post. It's weird how these things work, isn't it?

    (Also, I need to go buy like 4 Victory at Sea. It's one of my all-time favorites, but it's hard for me to keep dropping money on it. I'm part of the problem :slight_frown:.)
  9. cfh64

    cfh64 Pooh-Bah (1,934) Aug 16, 2005 Texas

    Of course having said what I did above, I realize not everyone is a beer geek and may not have the same tastes as I do but alot of these beers aren't even close to style and just taste bad (ie flat, obvious infection, bad homebrew taste, etc). There's at least one local brewery that I can think of that continues to shock me everyday it's still in business but it is. I think eventually, the competition will catch up to some of these breweries. To each their own though, I wish them all the best of luck.
  10. leoingle

    leoingle Initiate (0) Jan 28, 2013 Texas

    I"m glad i could inspire you to make this post. lol But I do agree with you whole heartily. I'm all about supporting local, but NL is just one I can get behind because their beers are a snoozefest to me. But here is a diff take on it....

    Texas isnt known for being a big craft beer place (at least not yet) our grocery stores are still filled with the stale corn piss crap. Places like NL making "easy drinking" beers isnt a bad thing. I just dont see it being for ppl like us here. I think they will def get their share of sales because Texas has so many macro beer drinkers and will always have those ppl looking for the gateway beers that are just slightly off the pace of that macro beer. I have several friends that are drinking ones like that now. So it's easy for ppl like is here to think those wont survive, but here in Texas, they will always have a place as long as they can get their beers out to that type of ppl.
    cfh64 likes this.
  11. kevinscott

    kevinscott Zealot (583) Oct 21, 2008 Texas

    That's how I feel when I am with someone who orders anything from Thirsty Planet.
  12. Chuk_Hell

    Chuk_Hell Initiate (0) Apr 12, 2012 Texas

    Thhe last 2 posts get it. Not everyone is a beer geek. There is a place for well made beers that are true to style but easy to drink. I have seen No Label do well in sales. Good for them. That is less money being spent on macros so as far as I'm concerned that's great.

    Go Texas.
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  13. leoingle

    leoingle Initiate (0) Jan 28, 2013 Texas

    thats def what it's all about.
  14. coldriver

    coldriver Initiate (0) Jul 13, 2007 Texas

    Agreed. Plenty of easy drinking stuff from the new brewers in the DFW area that I personally could care less about, that are creating quite a buzz amongst the BMC crowd I work with. No doubt some of the more adventerous newbies will follow the same path that many of us did and the brewers will be able to adjust their offerings to match those developing tastes...
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  15. leftymgp

    leftymgp Initiate (0) Apr 15, 2013 Texas

    I try really hard to buy as much Texas beer as I can, but I do think that the market is reaching a saturation point. Especially when we have these great new out of state beers arriving constantly. It's a happy problem for me, but it seems like lately new things come out faster than I can try them.

    I'm not really sure how some of the breweries in town that I consider to be "weaker" are surviving, but it seems like every time I visit one of them they are talking about not being able to keep up with demand. At some point this craft beer growth is going to slow as much as that saddens me. And then the strong will survive.
  16. Lutter

    Lutter Initiate (0) Jun 30, 2010 Texas

    I get the feeling that Deep Ellum is going to fail before anything else. Mark my words. Getting bad juju from their direction every day from owners jumping ship to faulty bottling/canning equipment to piss poor product in general when it comes to consistency.

    I say this as someone who loves Wealth and Taste & Dreamcrusher, BTW.

    The DE IPA in particular has been very inconsistent, even on draft for a while now though. I heard that they were having issues sourcing ingredients and were literally using whatever they could find to make product, modifying the recipe batch to batch due to which hops they could get their hands on.
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  17. kmello69

    kmello69 Initiate (0) Nov 27, 2011 Texas

    And somehow a certain brewery in S. Austin lives on......
  18. mattisloco

    mattisloco Maven (1,282) Feb 13, 2007 Texas

    Their local following is ridiculously large and their IPA and Blonde still sells out pretty frequently. Their advertising/art is beautiful, literally award winning. They won't be the 1st.

    I can't disagree with anything else you've said but I will say don't believe every little rumor about them you hear.
  19. Lutter

    Lutter Initiate (0) Jun 30, 2010 Texas

    That has still yet to produce a... third beer? LOL.

    I really don't understand how they stay in business with Adelbert's and Jester King producing Belgian-style beer in the same city. I blame tourists and how awesome South Austin (the place I live, not the brewery) is.
  20. leoingle

    leoingle Initiate (0) Jan 28, 2013 Texas

    And who would this be? All the ones i know are about downtown level and up.

    I dont like hearing that about the IPA, i know the first and only 6 pack i bought of it recently taste amazing.
  21. air

    air Initiate (0) Mar 28, 2007 Texas

    You know the No Label Thread? Majority of that can be applied to other cities as well since the same phenomenon exists elsewhere.

    Quality always trumps over local in my opinion. And particularly, within Texas, IMO these tend to be mutually exclusive, so I'm a little more apt to try a sample on tap before committing to a sixer.
  22. mattisloco

    mattisloco Maven (1,282) Feb 13, 2007 Texas

    I completely agree. I just feel with more and more people getting into craft right now and their palates being years behind ours they'll continue to support whats trendy and attractive. I don't see DEBC as the lowest quality in DFW, much less the state. That's why I dont see them as the "1st to fail".
    nsheehan likes this.
  23. mrkmrk

    mrkmrk Initiate (0) Jun 25, 2011 Texas

    Has anybody had Dark Truth from a bottle? I saw a 4-pack yesterday, and I really enjoyed it on tap, but DE's QC issues gave me pause.
  24. mattisloco

    mattisloco Maven (1,282) Feb 13, 2007 Texas

    Dark Truth is Boulevard and its great stuff. Darkest Hour is Deep Ellum and is really solid but never been bottled or canned... I confuse them all the time.
    mrkmrk likes this.
  25. air

    air Initiate (0) Mar 28, 2007 Texas

  26. jsboots21

    jsboots21 Initiate (0) Jan 19, 2009 Tennessee

    Texas is behind the curve in both appreciating quality products (beer in this case) and going local. That both these movements are happening simultaneously keeps them from being mutually exclusive to consumers. The general public perceives local as quality due to this timing. Given some time people here will learn what quality actually is and will begin to shun local products that don't advance in quality. This learning curve will lead to brewery failures (probably quite a few of them).
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  27. wolffman17

    wolffman17 Initiate (0) Jul 14, 2005 Texas

    I don't drink much No Label either, but I believe they are far from being on the wrong side of a shakeout. "Unremarkable" and "less than average" are just opinions. Have you been to a No Label tour? They are extremely, extremely popular. I went to a tour when they were just getting started and then again a few weeks ago. Hundreds of visitors. They aren't going anywhere.

    This all goes back to the false mindset that beer geeks, BA, and Rate Beer are more important than the rest of the market. If BA's don't like a particular brewery's beers, that brewery must be destined to fail. :rolling_eyes: We need to remember that there are quadrillions of BMC drinkers out there that are mind-blown with what others deem "unremarkable."

    I'm not saying a shakeout is not going to happen, I just think our (i.e. the beer geeks) perception of a brewery's success/failure is usually misguided.
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  28. air

    air Initiate (0) Mar 28, 2007 Texas

    In my case, that time was accelerated due to seeing the grass on the other side, but that also applies to people who travel often or are heavy traders. That expanded access means that whoever they share the bottles with picks up on what is going on elsewhere as well.

    I won't lie that I'm far more likely to drop money on something like BP/Founders/Sixpoint/FW over a local brewery, especially if they have a poor or no track record for consistency/quality. I am still open to taking risks, but in a more calculated manner versus how I would try everything under the sun in the past.

    Excellent commentary and we definitely cannot forget that in terms of consumers, we are a niche (more serious beer nerds) within a niche (craft beer in general). We are far from a majority. That whole "false mindset" was also summarized real well by Shaun Hill in that article I linked.
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  29. Danielbt

    Danielbt Initiate (0) May 4, 2012 Texas

    Pure snobbery. Sixpoint has nothing that's impressed me enough to buy more than one 4pack of, other than 3beans. FW has some amazing limited releases, but their standard line-up is...just standard. Some good, some fine, some meh.

    Kind of like most Texas breweries.
    crusian likes this.
  30. air

    air Initiate (0) Mar 28, 2007 Texas

    Way to conveniently cut out the part where I've mentioned seeing the grass on the otherside (aka living elsewhere), and have thus had access to Sixpoint/FW stuff that has yet to make it over here. The beers here have barely scratched the surface, but hey, dismiss them now meaning more for me.

    I've also visited the FW brewery and extremely fresh Double Jack is a very tough act to follow; mind you that is among their standard lineup as well.

    Oh yeah, and and don't get me started on Apollo...
  31. jamescain

    jamescain Initiate (0) Jul 14, 2009 Texas

    I'm not sure how people can see there being a saturation point yet. There are a lot of people who drink craft beer but are not on BA. If taste was a reason for breweries to go out of business then BMC would have closed their doors long ago, but we all know that is not the case. I've been to plenty of cities with brewpubs with sub par beers and they remain open because they meet a specific demand from their local crowd. Seeing as how craft beer nationally is only about 5% in sales and probably less then that in TX I can only see it growing. If TX is able to support this many breweries with only maybe 3% drinking craft, think of the number of breweries we could support if it was 10%. If Oregon and Vermont can support the number of breweries they have then TX easily can. I'm not saying I support breweries that brew bad beer, but I'm saying that just because us BAs don't like their beer does not mean they are not still selling a lot of it.
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  32. Danielbt

    Danielbt Initiate (0) May 4, 2012 Texas

    For Sixpoint, the beers here include all of their standard lineup and all of their seasonals, plus 3beans. That's plenty to judge them on. Dismissed. More for you includes the large amount that's sitting on shelves and has been for months. All the Autumnation and Diesel you can drink!

    Texas breweries in general are very solid. Apparently they need more super rare limited beers to be considered any good.
  33. jamescain

    jamescain Initiate (0) Jul 14, 2009 Texas

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  34. pwsoldier

    pwsoldier Initiate (0) Apr 26, 2007 Minnesota

    Hit the nail on the head. We as beer geeks are hugely outnumbered by "casual" craft beer drinkers and newbies. That is why there will always be a market for well-made amber ales, helles lagers, and pilsners. Hardcore beer geeks may ignore that stuff, but we don't represent the majority of craft beer drinkers. Not even close.
    fillmont, Texas_Speed, cfh64 and 3 others like this.
  35. cookiequiz

    cookiequiz Initiate (0) Apr 15, 2013 California

    I haven't tried Adelbert's full lineup, but I wouldn't say they're going to put anyone out of business.

    edit to add: They're not bad, just not worth seeking out.
  36. champ103

    champ103 Grand Pooh-Bah (5,230) Sep 3, 2007 Texas
    Pooh-Bah Society

    I agree for the most part, and some of my favorite beers are well made Helles lagers and pilsners. I guess I am not beer geeky enough:wink:
  37. wolffman17

    wolffman17 Initiate (0) Jul 14, 2005 Texas

    I'm with ya, Paul. I'm giddy as long as Hans' Pils and Zoe are around.
    champ103 and air like this.
  38. reverseapachemaster

    reverseapachemaster Initiate (0) Sep 21, 2012 Texas

    Mediocre beers -- even mediocre for "easy drinking styles" -- can survive because there's plenty of market left to conquer in this state. Too many colleges bringing in/keeping young, beer drinking crowds to be introduced to new beers. Not all of them are going to want to crowd around a table sharing $20 bottles of beer. Pedernales is about the only one I've come across where I have never heard anybody ever say anything positive about their beers but they have expanded into DFW so I guess they have fans somewhere.

    Breweries running defective operations with bad QC and inconsistent recipes are going to do themselves in much faster than a brewery with mediocre products. DEBC may not fall anytime soon but if they don't get themselves in line sooner or later it's going to happen.
  39. air

    air Initiate (0) Mar 28, 2007 Texas

    Seriously, I'm gonna just kick back with Zoe, Apollo, and All Day all summer and watch as everyone else fights over dem walez bro.

    Still ISO a solid Berliner to be out here with good availability. I think that'll catch immense attention from everyone.
  40. jsboots21

    jsboots21 Initiate (0) Jan 19, 2009 Tennessee

    Einhorn from ABW is pretty tasty. If only they canned it...
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