Dear Founders: What has happened to you as you have grown?

Discussion in 'Great Lakes' started by geneseohawk, Mar 20, 2013.

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  1. geneseohawk

    geneseohawk Initiate (0) Nov 4, 2008 Illinois

    Recently I visited your facility over this past weekend. I have been coming to your place for the last 5 years on an annual basis. I remember sitting at the bar with about 10 people in the entire place. I remember having conversations with the coolest bartenders who knew about craft beer, styles, and were decked out in cool dreads. I remember ordering a KBS and a Sappy Slappy on draft and drinking both side by side while being able to have a conversation with my BA buddies.

    Wow have you changed. Now- I can no longer sit at a table (if you can get one) without having to scream to talk to my BA buddies. Now- I am lucky if there is a class 2 beer on tap that is exclusive to the beer bar itself. Now- I have to be part of a crowd that reminds me of a college sorority/frat scene, or wrigley field where half the people there don't give a shit about craft beer. Now I have to wait 10 min or more in line to order a beer- because the wait staff can't keep up with the crowd and the bartenders can't even explain the style of some of the beers. WTF?

    This is not about me or others being entitled to anything. This is now who you are whether myself or others do not like it. I don't like it. But it is what it is. The good thing about free enterprise though- is that I can take myself to a new place where I can feel like I once did at your facility.

    Your Friend,
    True craft beer experience.
  2. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Initiate (0) May 8, 2006 Michigan

    Another overreacting thread.

    Founders has big goals, big long term goals. Long term goals sometimes require short term sacrifice. The sky is not falling, Founders is still putting out great beer and things will get better given time. In the meantime, criticism if fine but lets be constructive and fair.
    adamdd, libbey, KWMiles and 51 others like this.
  3. BeastLU

    BeastLU Disciple (326) Dec 20, 2012 Virginia

    Bet you thought it was cool when all those beers took off and you were one of the few that knew about them. Typical puck rock syndrome...
  4. geneseohawk

    geneseohawk Initiate (0) Nov 4, 2008 Illinois

    This was completely fair..... and I was being nice. Nothing I stated I was untrue for me and about 10 other BA's who make the trip every year to Michigan. I respect your opinion but respectfully disagree.
  5. CloudStrife

    CloudStrife Initiate (0) Nov 20, 2008 New York

    I was really hoping to make it up there again this weekend with a flight in and out of Grand Rapids.... First world problems.
  6. anth0ny

    anth0ny Initiate (0) Jan 5, 2012 Michigan

  7. Steimie

    Steimie Initiate (0) Jan 7, 2012 Michigan

    What's the point of this?
  8. gatornation

    gatornation Poo-Bah (3,198) Apr 18, 2007 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Founders still makes great brew more people know this and drink it
  9. JulianC

    JulianC Aspirant (203) Mar 9, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Things change, Founders has grown since 10 years ago, and good for them. Luckily for you, you're in the biggest beer boom ever, and for every brewery that doesn't meet your expectations anymore, there's 3 more to take it's place. You live in the great lakes area, once of the best possible places to be as a beer lover. So many fish in the sea.
    pschul4, aasher and geneseohawk like this.
  10. geneseohawk

    geneseohawk Initiate (0) Nov 4, 2008 Illinois

    Don't disagree- good brews and even some great ones.
  11. willbm3

    willbm3 Initiate (0) Feb 19, 2010 Massachusetts

    I'm sorry other people found out about your little beer paradise. Get over it. Maybe you wanted them to stay small and brew beers for a small group of people. I can assure you they had much higher aspirations than that.
    skinsfan, loweball727 and SadMachine like this.
  12. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Initiate (0) May 8, 2006 Michigan

    You said many things that are fair, but then you go off on a tangent that is not. You are blaming Founders for being too popular. You are making assumptions about their patrons and staff, that is not fair. The whole " I liked them before they were popular" mindset no longer works in breweries now a days. We will see larger and more diverse crowds and sometimes that will mean a more crowded bar and longer lines. You don't rip a brewery for this or frame your comments in a way it suggests the brewery in doing wrong by you. That is not fair and is not right.
  13. geneseohawk

    geneseohawk Initiate (0) Nov 4, 2008 Illinois

    Its not about staying small- look at FFF.........
  14. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Crusader (736) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    If there was a law prohibiting small breweries to get bigger, that would take care of everything. Vote for me.
  15. Steimie

    Steimie Initiate (0) Jan 7, 2012 Michigan

    Seriously...what was the point of your post? Why did you write this?

    Your friend,
    Guy who still likes Founders and is glad that they're popular so I guess I don't understand the true craft beer experience
    adamdd, skinsfan, woodchopper and 8 others like this.
  16. willbm3

    willbm3 Initiate (0) Feb 19, 2010 Massachusetts

    What's your point? FFF is small
  17. colonelforbin

    colonelforbin Initiate (117) Aug 23, 2007 California

    another fine example of an entitled BA.

    Wow, if it's not one thing, it's another. Always something to complain about, no matter what.

    Times change, especially in ten years and with the craft beer boom the way it is. Founders has almost nothing to do with your experience.

    Should they make their patrons bring in a craft beer geek resume each time someone wants to drink a beer at the brewpub?
    pmccallum86 and Beeranator like this.
  18. hoppytobehere

    hoppytobehere Crusader (719) Aug 10, 2012 District of Columbia
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    fuggin' hippies
    vivasbeer, loweball727 and Shmuffalo like this.
  19. aasher

    aasher Poo-Bah (2,515) Jan 27, 2010 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    Three Floyds is a rarity in all of this
    Casedogg43 and geneseohawk like this.
  20. geneseohawk

    geneseohawk Initiate (0) Nov 4, 2008 Illinois

    Not blaming founders for being too popular (good for them)- just stated what has changed with their popularity. There is a difference is there not? Staff- again what happened to us while there.
  21. tommyz

    tommyz Devotee (419) May 28, 2007 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    What this thread really needs is an Al Bundy Shoot me pic
    VncentLIFE likes this.
  22. geneseohawk

    geneseohawk Initiate (0) Nov 4, 2008 Illinois

    but a model for all imo.......
    Casedogg43 likes this.
  23. alexsergio

    alexsergio Defender (616) Mar 7, 2011 New York
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    sorry for you that the brew pub is crowded.

    happy for me that they grew enough to distribute all of their awesome beers to my area.
  24. yamar68

    yamar68 Initiate (0) Apr 1, 2011 Minnesota

    And what do you suggest they do about this paralyzing dilemma known colloquially as "popularity"?
    franklinn, KWMiles, skinsfan and 5 others like this.
  25. Mattmc1973

    Mattmc1973 Initiate (167) Jun 4, 2008 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    We can talk about the reasons for it all, and whether anyone is whiny or entitled, but it is a fact that they don't have the beers on tap they once did at the brewpub. I get why, but it's a fact. I went in there on a summer Sunday in August 2009 and they had FIVE barrel aged beers on tap that day. Now you're lucky if there are any Class 3 beers on tap at all. Again, I get why that is, it's a result of their growth and it is what it is.

    But sometimes we all lament the "good old days" when we could walk into a craft beer store and buy all the KBS or BCBS we wanted. This is no different. The scene has changed, and this is one example of it.
  26. augustg

    augustg Initiate (190) Sep 15, 2011 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    "Now- I have to be part of a crowd that reminds me of a college sorority/frat scene, or wrigley field where half the people there don't give a shit about craft beer. Now I have to wait 10 min or more in line to order a beer- because the wait staff can't keep up with the crowd"

    Really? Did we all really give a shit about craft beer before we had our first? I for one am thankful that more people are drinking good beer! Because of this fact we now get Oskar Blues, Firestone Walker ,Deschutes and many others here in Chicago. I recently attended a family party and where I would normally be offered Summer Shandy by my relatives, I was instead offered a bottle of Black Butte!

    GOOD BEER IS GOOD!....and you don't need to flash you B/A card to drink it.
    raymo55, harrylee773, Vav and 2 others like this.
  27. CWBlues

    CWBlues Aspirant (258) May 4, 2011 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    Lest we forget that people bitch and complain about FFF as (if not more) frequently than Founders. "My servers were mean to me," "the bartenders don't know anything about Dark Lord Day," "Nick Floyd gave me a dirty look," etc.
  28. geneseohawk

    geneseohawk Initiate (0) Nov 4, 2008 Illinois

    Exactly- thank you.
  29. mellowmark

    mellowmark Aspirant (263) Mar 31, 2010 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Great things don't stay great forever, and to expect they will is ridiculous. Regardless, I can't believe you are complaining about Founders, all they did was make great beer. Complain to the people you say "don't even like craft beer" (as if there is any way you could know that) yet still pack the rafters. They are the real reason for your disappointment.

    Side Note: I couldn't help but laugh at the "It's not that we are entitled" bit either. This thread SCREAMS entitlement.
    Duff27 and hamsterhero515 like this.
  30. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Initiate (0) May 8, 2006 Michigan

    This whole "true craft beer experience" you are touting is pure BS. You come off as blaming Founders for the number and type of people at their bar. You come off as blaming them for limiting your "true experience" Not everyone has to enjoy beer the same way as you, maybe you are limiting other "true experience".

    Were you not the one who started the "Why does Founders never have Tier 3 beers anymore" thread? Why the focus on Tier 3 beers? Tier 1 and 2 beers can be equally awesome. A "true craft beer experience" should be about enjoying damn good beer and not "Why am I not getting bigger, rarer beers".
  31. Cenosillicaphobe

    Cenosillicaphobe Initiate (0) Jul 24, 2011 Maine

    Dark Lord Day was way cooler before the tickets and bros bro. *flips hair out of eye*
  32. tommyz

    tommyz Devotee (419) May 28, 2007 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    WolvAlerine, GRDave, PieOhMy and 4 others like this.
  33. aasher

    aasher Poo-Bah (2,515) Jan 27, 2010 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    We should all hope our local spot can make beer that brings head bangers, hipsters, businessmen, preps, and lets face it all generations together solely by the quality of the beer they produce.

    Three Floyds is like the end of a rainbow, where a giant wolf suckling six zombies attacks a group of cheerleaders. It's a beautiful thing.
    skinsfan and Mjmoser like this.
  34. sherm1016

    sherm1016 Initiate (194) Aug 10, 2009 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    If they all followed the FFF model, the shelves would be devoid of craft beer. Certainly is the state of FFF in the city of Chicago.

    And we'd all have to wait 2.5 hours to get into the brewpub.
  35. Uniobrew31

    Uniobrew31 Zealot (541) Jan 16, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I get your point. Some of my favorite bars have fallen victim to this pit fall. The crowds and noise aren't the problem in these situations as much as the bartenders and waitstaffs general beer knowledge and service. Maybe you were just there on a bad day. Give 'em another try next time you get out there.
  36. KingBiscuit

    KingBiscuit Disciple (373) May 30, 2005 Illinois

    Up until now this thread was only giving me a headache. Now it's also making me thirsty.
  37. immobilisme

    immobilisme Aspirant (231) Nov 8, 2005 Illinois

    Two years ago, FFF was dead on weekday nights... Last week I went at 9pm on Wednesday and there was one lone seat at the bar open with people waiting in the parking lot for tables.

    When was the last time you saw a barrel-aged FFF beer on tap in the taproom? They used to be on all the time, but not anymore.

    Sure, FFF has better bartenders, but they are rude assholes, y'know?

    Every brewery changes, you have some serious blinders on.
    harrylee773 likes this.
  38. Schmuck82

    Schmuck82 Initiate (0) Nov 13, 2008 Texas

    Founders: you suck I would rather drink Michelob Utra than even think about you. I only like beers that no one ever heard of and can never get. I haven't even heard of or drank the beers that I like the most.
  39. sbxx

    sbxx Initiate (0) Mar 21, 2011 Illinois

    This thread reminds me of the dipshits who were like I WAS DRINKING ALPHA KING FIVE YEARS AGO BRO. Yeah? Big shit. The brewery was already 12 years old at that point.

    If you'd rather shun people for getting into good beer instead of welcoming them with open arms, you are not a Beer Advocate, just a giant, miserable tool.
  40. TheFunGuy

    TheFunGuy Initiate (0) Dec 27, 2011 Virginia

    When they were in the old rooms at the Brassworks building complex, bar on one side of the glass wall, tanks and bottling line on the other, you had to scream to be heard Thursday through Sat nights.

    The bartenders also knew their stuff back then.

    And they made cool small batches like the chocolate porter.

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