Are we spoiled in 2019?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Beer_Stan, May 23, 2019.

  1. Beer_Stan

    Beer_Stan Initiate (99) Mar 15, 2014 California

    Just looking at the current hot threads referencing breweries that have/haven't lost their way, styles that should come back/go away/stay gone, and I started to wonder, are we spoiled with the amount of beers and breweries that we currently have and the more that are going to pop up? Have we been? Since when? Older BAs sometimes celebrate the days when there were fewer beers, fewer breweries, and others seem to complain about not enough beer. What say you Advocates of beer, are we spoiled?
  2. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (5,986) Sep 24, 2007 Montserrat

    It's not that those of us of certain seniority want fewer options, we just don't find the current options to be an improvement.

    Is another, nearly identical and bland murkbomb an actual "improvement and innovation" over any other nearly identical Blonde/Amber/Red?

    It's not often, but, hell yeah, I just want a well made Blonde/Red/Amber. I've never had the thought "I'm in mood for an ugly, generic, trendmonster".

    Shrug. Strokes for folks.
  3. mkh012

    mkh012 Defender (638) May 7, 2015 New Jersey

    I would say yes, to an extent. I've only been into craft beer for about 5 years, but even in that 5 years, I've seen average stores go from a few good options to rows of good beer. Nowadays in NJ, even smaller stores have Industrial Arts, Interboro, Singlecut, Grey Sail, Toppling Goliath, Pipeworks, Half Acre, etc. etc. In the past 1-2 years especially, I've seen a lot of previously hyped beers become available, too (Mexican Cake, CBS, etc.).

    My deciding purchasing factor at this point is freshness/condition. Multiple great options, but which are refrigerated and fresh or properly aged? And to @beertunes already bringing up "murkbombs," I've seen a lot of lagers like Jack's Abby stuff recently.
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  4. Beer_Stan

    Beer_Stan Initiate (99) Mar 15, 2014 California

    I'm with you. I went to a new brewery in my area and they tried to push the hazy offerings on me but I went for the Brown Ale and it was one of their best beers, i took several crowlers home of it. They were shocked.
  5. Pgarand

    Pgarand Initiate (81) Jan 8, 2009 New Hampshire

    Yes, totally spoiled, but quite the first world problem. I think when you had fewer options you were more appreciative of a good brew vs. now when you can walk into any store and there is an entire row of good options. It raises the bar, as certainly the price tag has raised significantly over the past decade. Thus, I find myself only wanting to buy what I consider great beers and although there are shelves of good beers, that there is absolutely nothing wrong with, I'm probably going to pass on them, unless I'm in the mood for something specific or nostalgic. I think in the coming years it will lead to a contraction of the industry as the market becomes over-saturated. Because unless your beer makes you stand out in some way from the ever growing crowd of breweries, I don't see how you can stay in business.
  6. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (5,986) Sep 24, 2007 Montserrat

    By making a product that people want to buy, repeatedly, over a long period of time?
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  7. guinness77

    guinness77 Meyvn (1,120) Jan 6, 2014 New York

    Of course we’re spoiled. What I can get now as opposed to when I first joined this site as opposed to what I could get 10 years ago as opposed to what I could get 20 years ago is not even a question.
  8. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Zealot (577) Mar 28, 2009 California

    Crowlers of brown ale?! Now I know you’re lying.
  9. Doma

    Doma Initiate (29) May 19, 2019 California

    Maybe. The question makes me think about some styles reaching their possible limits. How long and with what styles can you continue to improve? Is the improvement always a desired thing? Germans do not improve their classics and it's actually turned out to be the virtue and not the vice. There are also classics in the US, Pliny, BPig, Heady, Swami's, etc. Can I be spoiled by the classics? If yes, so be it - with pleasure!
  10. Beer_Stan

    Beer_Stan Initiate (99) Mar 15, 2014 California

    LOL you wish. Some damned good Brown Ale sir. Hadn't had one that good, fresh from a local brewery, in a long time.
  11. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (1,636) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Society Trader

    I don't think we are spoiled at all. Supply and demand, the abundance of beer exists because of consumer demand. We have tons of styles and options because it sells and is profitable. I love the options we have and the growth of craft, and I hope it never stops.
    A prime example is food, look around your area at the number of restaurants/fast food. Then think of their numbers verse how many breweries are in the same area, then it does not look so spoiled.
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  12. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Zealot (577) Mar 28, 2009 California

    Local brewery makes a great brown, whenever it’s on tap I get it. I am also in the bring back Tumbler 6 packs group.
  13. DIM

    DIM Poo-Bah (2,661) Sep 28, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Supply is exceeding demand in my area, lots of dusty beer on the shelves. Saw some Stone Enjoy By 1-1-19 this week. But I can always find something fresh and amazing as retailers bend over backwards to keep consumers like me happy. The DDH (whatever) I bought and loved a few weeks ago is still on the shelves, but nah, this one's FRESHER! I am ridiculously spoiled and it can't last imo.
  14. Scrapss

    Scrapss Champion (842) Nov 15, 2008 Pennsylvania

    I am drinking whatever is fresh most of the time, so in a sense I am spoiled that I can usually get decent fresh beer like SN Summerfest, WWS or Nugget Nectar even in the vast wasteland I live in ... where the local distributor moves Keystone Light as his $ leader :rolling_eyes:
  15. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,810) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    See the problem with too many options is that beers turn slower, which leads us back to ad nauseam ... to the FRESHNESS thread. There’s more variety, more choices, but it’s not an improvement imo, quite the opposite.
  16. scream

    scream Meyvn (1,032) Dec 6, 2014 Wisconsin

    I both agree and disagree. I am not as staunch a believer in the FRESHNESS thing as many here are. I do understand that certain hops tend to drop off faster than others. That being said there are hops imo that retain their character for a longer period of time-maybe I am wrong - again.

    More choices and people experimenting/producing new beers is to me a wonderful thing. We do not need to like them all but it sure can be fun trying them !

    The downside to me is that beers that I enjoy in the past are no longer available. That I miss, especially British beers that are much less available than they once were, if at all.
  17. BeastOfTheNortheast

    BeastOfTheNortheast Disciple (368) Dec 26, 2009 Pennsylvania

    The market is oversaturated. We are at a point where breweries are releasing new beers weekly to appease us consumers. It's either sink or swim. Yes, we're spoiled.
  18. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,012) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Amen. And that is indeed an issue IMO.

    Is it really a good thing to have so many choices if the beer industry (Breweries -> Wholesale Distributors -> Retailers) are incapable (or unwilling?) to take the necessary steps to ensue that fresh beers are available to the consumers?:thinking_face:

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  19. BeastOfTheNortheast

    BeastOfTheNortheast Disciple (368) Dec 26, 2009 Pennsylvania

    You're in Central PA, right?
  20. sharpski

    sharpski Meyvn (1,125) Oct 11, 2010 Oregon
    Society Trader

    Yes, unequivocally.

    WA and OR beer drinkers have been spoiled for 10+ years and it has only steadily increased since then. We don’t have access to every high-caliber brewery in the country, but we do have access to excellent beer of every style.
  21. rgordon

    rgordon Savant (931) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    We are spoiled, pure and simple. In one way or another, I've been deeply involved with how beer has evolved in my particular market. Travel and an international presence both provided a demand for products from many places. There was an implicit desire for new beers after Pop the Cap raised the limit to well beyond 6%. The beers we see now are amazing, but I really do think some retailers have taken on too much inventory for the demand of varied flavors. In my mind a well selected offering of great international beers is always a good strategy.
  22. scream

    scream Meyvn (1,032) Dec 6, 2014 Wisconsin

    I for one have never been remorseful about being spoiled. If one feels that way they could stick to MBC ?
  23. zeff80

    zeff80 Poo-Bah (9,632) Feb 6, 2006 Missouri

    Didn't read the OP, but the answer is "Yes". About pretty much everything. I mean have you heard about history...
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  24. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,810) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    It’s unfortunate that I suffer from the freshness disease, I wish I didn’t.

    In a perfect world we’d have unlimited beers in any style 30 days old. Looking at hoppy beers we’re over saturated to hell and back, some really great beers are dying on the shelf.

    I haven’t a clue here, it’s great and it’s a fucking mess all in one stroke, it has been. I’m not much on experimentation, and at $12 a six it’s tough. You go single shelf and age bites you in the ass. So I go to whatever comfort beer works for me in my area, I suspect I’m not alone.
  25. Doma

    Doma Initiate (29) May 19, 2019 California

    That is what I like about PNW, you're getting practically all the styles brewed to the best standards locally (WA/OR)
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  26. rtrasr

    rtrasr Disciple (307) Feb 16, 2009 Arkansas

    Of course we are. Never have we had so much choice, truly a golden age of beer. If you don't think so, just remember the 1970's.
  27. DEdesings57

    DEdesings57 Devotee (493) Aug 26, 2012 New Jersey

    So true, I remember like it was yesterday when Sculpin was the #1 Rate beer on here.
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  28. guinness77

    guinness77 Meyvn (1,120) Jan 6, 2014 New York

  29. pro100

    pro100 Disciple (302) Oct 12, 2014 California

    We're super-spoiled. If you're in any type of medium to large metro area these days then your choice on what to purchase craft wise is staggering. Some threads I just ignore if they're too extreme-complaint heavy
    scream likes this.
  30. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (5,986) Sep 24, 2007 Montserrat

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  31. denver10

    denver10 Poo-Bah (2,473) Nov 17, 2010 New Mexico

    Incredibly spoiled.
  32. thesherrybomber

    thesherrybomber Aspirant (261) Jun 13, 2017 California
    Society Trader

    Have we reached Germany/Belgium status?
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  33. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (2,079) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    If you told me 5 years ago that we would see things like Sump, Abraxas, BA Fremont, all the RR, BA Ten Fidy, Bourbon County variants, KBS, CBS, and 6 different Bottle Logic stasis beers collecting dust (among hundreds of other great beers), I would have thought you were crazy. Spoiled in a good way indeed.
  34. johnInLA

    johnInLA Champion (834) Jun 12, 2005 California


    As one of those "Older BAs", I don't know a single person that "celebrates the days when there were fewer beers, fewer breweries".

    In fact, most of us "older BA's" celebrate witnessing and participating in the transformation of limited choice and beer deserts into the beer renaissance we live into today.

    Many of us have spent decades, helping to transform people's perceptions of beer, one palate at a time

    Honestly, this premise sounds like some serious misinformation to me.
    #34 johnInLA, May 24, 2019
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
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  35. DrLasers

    DrLasers Initiate (106) Apr 18, 2011 California

    Yes, but only because I finally found a local brewery I can buy kegs direct from within days of release. There is no turning back. It makes everything else taste like a shelf turds.

    Even the brew pubs and tap rooms have lost their appeal since most don’t clean their lines, glassware, etc. or have the freshest beer.

    I’m ruined.
  36. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (5,986) Sep 24, 2007 Montserrat


    As the kids say.

    Wait. Do the kids still say word?

    Us "old" BA's aren't all too hip.
  37. DIM

    DIM Poo-Bah (2,661) Sep 28, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Yes, Akron specifically.
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  38. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,551) Mar 12, 2009 New York

    Many folks just like to complain.

    If every brewery made only beer styles these folks like, they'd complain that they all aren't of the same excellent quality.

    If they only made beer styles these folks like and they were all made the same excellent quality, these folks would complain they aren't made traditionally enough.

    If they made only styles these folks like, all to the same excellent quality standards, with both traditional and modern takes on it, they'd complain they aren't all equally fresh enough.

    If they made only styles these folks like, all to the same excellent quality standards, both tradtitional and modern takes, all of them fresh and in the fridge at the store, these folks would complain that brewers don't innovate enough.

    Some folks just like to complain
  39. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,612) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    When you've been around long enough you tend to get the opposite of spoiled. After a few rounds of seeing things come and go, and the regret that goes along with not taking advantage while you could, you don't take anything for granted any more. And you get a much better handle on how to balance things out in the long run.
  40. rozzom

    rozzom Champion (807) Jan 22, 2011 New York

    I genuinely don’t meant the following facetiously.

    If what floats your boat is being able to try single dry hopped, ddh, tdh NEIPAs, with or without lactose, some with wheat, some oats, some spelt, some a combo, some with citra, or mosaic, or galaxy, or motueka, or medusa, or any number of new sexy hops, perhaps with fruit additions, perhaps with a sour element. Or if you like big stouts, barrel aged or not, with any combo of peppers, chocolate, coffee, cinnamon, coconut, almonds, pecans, caramel, doughnuts etc - then yes we are totally spoiled. Here in NYC (as I’m sure is the case all over the country) there are a seemingly endless number of local breweries churning our their takes on the above. Perhaps they also do a kolsch that’s hopped with citra and topped off with guava to mix things up. So in that sense there is so much on offer.

    But outside of that segment are we spoiled? Again using NYC as an example - the international and non-vogue style selections have completely dried up. Several of the larger stores who used to have a very wide selection have gone out of business. Smaller more curated places predominantly selling the stuff above have taken their place. Places like Whole Foods have downsized. There are a couple of outlier semi-local breweries that buck the trend and focus on other styles. But they’re far from ubiquitous. There’s probably a 10:1 ratio at best, and as is the trend these days mostly sell direct from the brewery. It’s hard to find a bar with more than one or two sub 6-7% options.

    So the answer for me is that it depends.

    Perfect world for me would be a situation where I can buy direct from the new breweries what’s on offer in 2019, with the store selection that more reflects things a few years ago
    #40 rozzom, May 24, 2019
    Last edited: May 24, 2019