Craft Beer Surprise: Midwest, New England Beers Are Best

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Todd, Nov 4, 2022.

  1. Todd

    Todd Founder (13,172) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Super Mod Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    BeerAdvocate in Forbes...
  2. md3kcn

    md3kcn Savant (1,024) Feb 4, 2021 North Carolina

    Lots of French/German influence in those regions, so I can see why!

    (Still loyal to WNC though)

    REVZEB Grand High Pooh-Bah (6,705) Mar 28, 2013 Illinois
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    In before complaints about hype!
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  4. beer_beer

    beer_beer Pooh-Bah (1,945) Feb 13, 2018 Finland
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    Isn't the New England revolution newer than the West Coast revolution? And it's not that new. So the surprise element isn't that strong.

    Even revolutions grow old with time, and resurrection may be the next thing.
    #4 beer_beer, Nov 4, 2022
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2022
  5. steveh

    steveh Grand Pooh-Bah (3,988) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    #5 steveh, Nov 4, 2022
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2022
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  6. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Grand Pooh-Bah (3,520) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    Seems like we've talked about this on this site before. Just anecdotally, it seems like the Midwest and northeast regional forums are super active compared to the west or south.

    REVZEB Grand High Pooh-Bah (6,705) Mar 28, 2013 Illinois
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  8. Rug

    Rug Pooh-Bah (2,778) Aug 20, 2018 Massachusetts
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  9. QuakeAttack

    QuakeAttack Pooh-Bah (1,877) Mar 19, 2012 California
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    Yes, we covered this before. When I got into craft beer a little over ten years ago, RateBeer was the primary "beer site" mentioned in NorCal (periodicals, beer stores, etc.). However, I found BeerAdvocate better met my needs and away I went...

    Additionally, I think the "marketing" and beer fests driven by BA in the Northwest drove more to use the site. Of course, this is all anecdotal and I have no data to back my position, but that won't stop me from expressing my opinion!
  10. rodbeermunch

    rodbeermunch Grand Pooh-Bah (3,684) Sep 30, 2015 Nevada
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    Its cool when clickbait is there to generate comments of subjective taste.

  11. mrmattosgood

    mrmattosgood Maven (1,289) Nov 6, 2010 Canada (BC)

    If I lived in San Diego, I’d spent approximately 15,000 times less on BA than I do since I live in New England. I would be eating burritos and drinking Pacifico instead of hibernating with bad coffee and hyping Allagash.
  12. paulish

    paulish Pooh-Bah (2,878) Feb 2, 2014 New York
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  13. Domingo

    Domingo Grand Pooh-Bah (3,884) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado

    You'd think that breweries with deep pockets and decades of knowhow should have stumbled upon the greatest beer ever by now. Yet it's mysteriously always smaller places making tiny batches that people have to make a lot of effort to get. Hmmmm.
  14. brentk56

    brentk56 Grand Pooh-Bah (4,831) May 13, 2004 North Carolina
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    When 20% of the top 250 beers are NE IPAs brewed by Tree House, Trillium, Hill Farmstead and Other Half, what do you expect. Just another way the NE IPA trend (and I don't dislike NE IPAs) has really hurt craft beer. Minor variations of top ranking beers are now hogging the top 250 space that I would rather see occupied by a variety of styles.
  15. Sabtos

    Sabtos Grand High Pooh-Bah (6,984) Dec 15, 2015 Ohio
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    Been going to New England for their superior beer scene (and beautiful hiking) for years. Can heartily confirm.

    And considering where I live, beer is definitely the best thing we have going for us in the "Midwest"...

    (though I can't bite my tongue hard enough to clarify that Appalachia and Great Lakes are lumped into that massive "region" and should no longer be, now that it's no longer the 1800s and people realize just how far away the West is).
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  16. Jacob_Schneider616

    Jacob_Schneider616 Initiate (0) Aug 29, 2021 Michigan

    Come visit Grand Rapids, MI! We have so many great breweries, and cannabis is legal!
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  17. steveh

    steveh Grand Pooh-Bah (3,988) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    Doesn't that kind of define "craft" in all things?
  18. thuey

    thuey Pooh-Bah (1,609) Nov 13, 2015 California

    I thought craft lager was the new in-thing? (Not complaining...)
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  19. GratefulBeerGuy

    GratefulBeerGuy Pooh-Bah (2,672) May 20, 2006 New Hampshire
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    New England and it's Titan monster IPA styles have dominated the market and my taste buds.
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  20. steveh

    steveh Grand Pooh-Bah (3,988) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    ABV seems to (still) be the in thing.
  21. defunksta

    defunksta Pooh-Bah (2,488) Jan 18, 2019 North Dakota
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    This article would be like trying food at 20 restaurants and concluding what region has the best food based on those 20 restaurants. There are many beer styles out there and many more breweries, just like there are many varieties of cuisine. I actually might agree that the Midwest and Northeast have some of the best beers. Chicago gives most cities a run for the money. However, the reasons in this article seem like anecdotal good beer here and good beer there. It's far more complex than that. They should be asking: What region makes the best beer style of X, etc... Now that starts to get more detailed and worth discussing.
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  22. Sabtos

    Sabtos Grand High Pooh-Bah (6,984) Dec 15, 2015 Ohio
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    And both New England + "Midwest" excel at it, moreso than other regions in this humble man's opinion. Even keeping the beautiful Bierstadt in mind.
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  23. Todd

    Todd Founder (13,172) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Super Mod Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    It definitely bumped our site traffic today, but it wasn't fixed. :wink:
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  24. bcm119

    bcm119 Savant (1,009) Feb 17, 2001 California

    Beeradvocate started in Boston and initially was very much northeast-centric. I think it still retains a bit of an eastern slant. I think this beer ratings analysis says more about the distribution of BA participants than regional beer quality.
  25. ATL6245

    ATL6245 Pooh-Bah (2,688) Aug 16, 2018 Georgia
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    Congrats @Todd and BA for getting a big shout out in Forbes! Nice! We're trying like heck down here in Georgia to boost our rating volume but got a long way to go. BA's keep rating those beers when you're in town - good, bad or indifferent! Cheers! :slight_smile:
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  26. bubseymour

    bubseymour Grand Pooh-Bah (4,374) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
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    I’ve always felt you judge the quality of craft beer for a city, state, region or country by random selection and then with a sufficient sample size of tastings of random beers from random breweries in that area you make your conclusions.
  27. thuey

    thuey Pooh-Bah (1,609) Nov 13, 2015 California

    ... right but the article is talking about stuff like Heady Topper and King JJJulius.

    In other words, the author is writing about trends from 4 years ago. "Oh my, what is this newfangled hazy IPA thing?"

    I know the general public isn't as beer nerdy as this populace but haze has been in the mainstream for years too. Hard hitting journalism this isn't.
  28. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Grand Pooh-Bah (3,520) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    There are obvious shortcomings to making assertions like this based on this particular list, after all does the mere presence of Treehouse make Massachusets the best beer state? Does Toppling Goliath give that honor to Iowa? But I'm not sure what a better way to judge this kind of thing would be.

    We're all pretty lucky to live in an era where great beer is nearly ubiquitous in this country. If Forbes wants to claim that the best stuff comes from the Midwest and northeast (a region that must cover at least 1/4 of the continental and an even higher proportion of the population) that's a totally reasonable opinion. Not sure it's much of a surprise to anyone who has been paying any attention to beer over the last 20 years, though
  29. ManBearPat

    ManBearPat Pooh-Bah (1,751) Dec 2, 2014 Colorado

    Agreed… but why?

    I’m pretty confident it has to do with these regions having a combination of shit weather/lazy people that aren’t recreating outdoors. Hence more time to feed the hype machine.
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  30. steveh

    steveh Grand Pooh-Bah (3,988) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    Isn't that pretty much what created the brew-pub scenes in Seattle and Portland?

    Shit weather = better beer. Has to be a consolation somehow. :slight_smile:
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  31. BigIronH

    BigIronH Grand Pooh-Bah (3,526) Oct 31, 2019 Michigan
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    This is something I think everyone can agree on. There seems to be less and less places where you can’t go and find a decent beer. It’s pretty natural for people to favor cities near their home because it’s obviously what they drink the most of. Very few of us have enough travel under our belts to make a truly educated statement as to where is the “best”. With that being said, if you think a location is the best, and that location has in the past or is currently yielding you good beer and good drinking experiences, then I agree wholeheartedly.

    I’ve done my fair share of debating for why a particular area is better than others but I’ve come to realize that’s pointless and the fact that I’m enjoying what’s in my glass is good enough with regards for a reason why I appreciate the environment that I’m a part of.

  32. ManBearPat

    ManBearPat Pooh-Bah (1,751) Dec 2, 2014 Colorado

    While you’re right in some aspects I’m sure, that’s a separate conversation from the internet beer hype that’s ubiquitous in some places now some 30 years after the brewpubs became a thing:
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  33. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Grand Pooh-Bah (3,520) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    There might be some element of that going on, but it's not as if there isn't plenty of internet hyping of breweries in CO or on the west coast on other platforms.

    I tend to think the reasons that particular breweries are so much more highly regarded on this site are a little more idiosyncratic and related to the particular intersection of this site's history with the arc of American craft beer hype culture.

    Reviewing has fallen off here over the years, so the top 100 list reflects more heavily on this site's user base from some number of years ago than it does the immediately current trends.
  34. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Grand Pooh-Bah (5,159) May 30, 2005 Michigan
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    So Treehouse has 10 IPAs in the Top 50. I've never had anything from them, therefore I'm curious if you can define 'juicy' 10 different ways so that there's some difference in taste between them? :wink:
  35. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Grand Pooh-Bah (3,169) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    I have had a few Tree House beers and they were quite different but I have not had a breadth (e.g., 10ish brands) to specifically respond to that brewery.

    What I can relate is that in the Ask Me Anything thread with Jamil Zainasheff (former owner of Heretic Brewing) he used a term I did not recognize: SBDL. I asked him what this acronym meant and he responded it was a beer industry term meaning Same Beer Different Label. As I understood his further description it is a beer where the brewer may tweak the hop bill a little bit and then use a different name to brand the beer. I personally do not buy Other Half beers (too pricey for me) but I suspect they utilize the SBDL strategy quite a bit.

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  36. Sabtos

    Sabtos Grand High Pooh-Bah (6,984) Dec 15, 2015 Ohio
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    Oops, I didn't even read the article. My eyes went to the quote and must have skipped entirely over the link...just thought this was a discussion.

    Funny you should mention that. My haze days are largely over but I recently went to Other Half Finger Lakes and considering almost all the options are haze I did a couple flights with nearly all haze and the variation between them, especially side by side, was tremendous.
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  37. kevanb

    kevanb Pooh-Bah (2,427) Apr 4, 2011 Illinois
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    people really need to use the Beers of Fame list more often!
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  38. alucard6679

    alucard6679 Pundit (865) Jul 29, 2012 Arizona

    They come around every few years when palate fatigue for hip bolder styles sets in. They’re always there though, in some capacity, waiting for when they’re needed like the unsung heroes that they are
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  39. Troy-Hawaii

    Troy-Hawaii Maven (1,379) Jun 15, 2015 Hawaii

    How exactly is the weighted ranking done? There are 901 ratings that average out to 4.83 that makes Kentucky Brunch Brand Stout number one while in the same category of American Imperial Stout the most reviewed beer is Founder's KBS with 14,089 ratings with a 4.6 rating. How can such a small fraction of people have a bigger say in what is good? If it is based on the number of 5.0 ratings or 4.0 to 5.0 then I guess it could make sense, but I don't see anything that explains it. Seems like there are a lot more people who think highly of KBS than KBBS.
  40. LesDewitt4beer

    LesDewitt4beer Grand Pooh-Bah (3,144) Jan 25, 2021 Minnesota
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    Very interesting. I get the SBDL vibe from Toppling Goliath. Cheers!
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