Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Good (not great) breweries

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by MetalMountainMastiff, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. MetalMountainMastiff

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2012
    Posts:
    809
    Likes Received:
    1,280
    Location:
    California
    I've been thinking lately about some Breweries, that are very good! but NOT great. This came to me when tasting with my friends some Widmer Bros. Many good beers....But none ever shock me with greatness!!!

    What others are there, or if anyone disagrees with Widmer not being great.
     
  2. bryanole27

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    Posts:
    781
    Likes Received:
    1,122
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Mine has always been Highland, Sweetwater, and I'll agree on Widmer.

    I'm sure there's more though.
     
    Keith_R, kylelenk and mecmd like this.
  3. JulianC

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2012
    Posts:
    515
    Likes Received:
    553
    Location:
    Illinois
    Two Brothers.
     
  4. Duff27

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Posts:
    513
    Likes Received:
    1,306
    Location:
    Illinois
    If I had to rate breweries based on their beers, Widmer would be lower than "good".
     
  5. ubenumber2

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2012
    Posts:
    966
    Likes Received:
    5,567
    Location:
    Arkansas
    I think the ones that I can get my hands on that make very good beer , but nothing that would be considered great are Abita , Tallgrass and Diamond Bear. I drink beers from all three of them and really like them , but they have yet to make a beer that makes people go crazy outside of their brewing region
     
  6. lookrider

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2007
    Posts:
    254
    Likes Received:
    398
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    For me, the first that comes to mind here in PA is Weyerbacher
     
    lsummers, st9647v3 and wvsabbath like this.
  7. BB1313

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2009
    Posts:
    2,732
    Likes Received:
    13,229
    Location:
    Ohio
    Thirsty Dog, Two Brothers, Ithaca, Arcadia, and Anderson Valley come to mind.. all have a couple homeruns, but have a couple strikeouts as well..
     
    Bitter_Echo likes this.
  8. jasonmason

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Posts:
    166
    Likes Received:
    276
    Location:
    California
    New Belgium has always been at that level for me. Good stuff, but can't think of anything of theirs that's been on my "You HAVE to try this" list.

    Bootleggers, just because of their inconsistency.
    Ninkasi
     
  9. CommanderOfAwesome

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2012
    Posts:
    760
    Likes Received:
    924
    Location:
    California
  10. MetalMountainMastiff

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2012
    Posts:
    809
    Likes Received:
    1,280
    Location:
    California
    Actually I should add Knee Deep brewing to this. Though Simtra is a great beer. One great won't save many good.
     
    afrokaze likes this.
  11. tjensen3618

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Posts:
    1,986
    Likes Received:
    3,109
    Location:
    California
    There are tons of them, so I'll do some controversial one's

    Ballast Point: V@S is great, Sculpin's quality has taken a nosedive, all the rest are decent but I don't think I have ever repeat purchased any of them.

    Deschute's: Black Butte is one of my most purchased beers ever & Jubelale is a buy every year. Other than that I don't really find too much to get from them. Not a fan of any of the reserve series beers aside from Jubel 2010.
     
    CommanderOfAwesome likes this.
  12. ThisWangsChung

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    Posts:
    1,036
    Likes Received:
    3,494
    Location:
    Maryland
    Flying Dog. I like a LOT of their stuff (Wildeman, Raging Bitch, Horn Dog, Gonzo, Pearl Necklace, Kujo), but nothing they do really wows me.
     
  13. cjoc83

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2010
    Posts:
    670
    Likes Received:
    2,261
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    The first thing that popped into my head when I saw the title of this thread was Victory. Sure, they make some really solid beers (Hop Devil, Golden Monkey, Whirlwind Wit), and even some pretty amazing ones (Yakima Glory, Prima Pils, Hop Wallop, Dark Intrigue), but they seem to lack a certain creativity as far as brewing varying styles and barrel aging.

    Flying Fish also comes to mind (although I'm a huge fan of the Exit 16 DIPA).
     
    ESeab and mattbk like this.
  14. hopsbreath

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Posts:
    622
    Likes Received:
    514
    Location:
    Oregon
  15. mecummins

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2012
    Posts:
    584
    Likes Received:
    1,704
    Location:
    Illinois
    I'll second Two Brothers. I really like some of the beers (Domaine DuPage for starters), but the more I taste from other breweries, the more I can see where they are just OK beers, not amazing. 5 Rabbits out of Chicago falls into this category for me as well.
     
    JulianC likes this.
  16. BigStein88

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Posts:
    755
    Likes Received:
    1,471
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    So three "solids" and four "amazing" and you are disappointed? Tough company to keep!
     
  17. Nectar

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2013
    Posts:
    504
    Likes Received:
    1,299
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Victory, Ballast Point, Blue Point, Flying Fish, Weyerbacher, Flying Dog, Long Trail.


    I would say that opinions in this thread are relative. I thought a lot of these breweries listed were great at one pount in time. However, as the obsession evolved and I found other breweries not as readily available, well, theres only so much room at the top......
     
    petah12, hutch24 and Bitter_Echo like this.
  18. cjoc83

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2010
    Posts:
    670
    Likes Received:
    2,261
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I kind of consider Weyerbacher to be closer to 'great' than 'good'. Insanity and Heresy are amazing BA RIS's and barleywines, Riserva is a seriously great and seriously underrated sour, and Double Simcoe is an amazing DIPA. That's too many great beers for it to be just a 'good' brewery.
     
  19. cjoc83

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2010
    Posts:
    670
    Likes Received:
    2,261
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Pretty amazing, as in almost-great. They just don't brew any single beer that's a "must-try" or world-class. Maybe they're on the cusp of greatness? Lol...
     
  20. lookrider

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2007
    Posts:
    254
    Likes Received:
    398
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    You're right. So we'll move Weyerbacher into the tweener category since it's better than good but not quite great.
     
  21. VncentLIFE

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2011
    Posts:
    4,129
    Likes Received:
    2,933
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Flying Dog makes a few good beers, the rest are average. Weyerbacher as well. I just havent had enough great things from them to throw them in the great category.

    Highland makes good beer, but only one great beer (Thunderstruck). Triangle Brewing here in Durham makes good beer, and a few greats (Bourbon sour Dubbel comes to mind first).
     
  22. TheMonkfish

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    Posts:
    880
    Likes Received:
    580
    Location:
    Chad
    For me Smuttynose (local to me) is a good but not great one. They have a few rotating beers that are pretty good, but most of their stuff doesn't do much for me. I'm looking at you Finestkind - I want to like you, I really do.
     
    BrownAleMale and SalukiAlum like this.
  23. Immortale25

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    May 13, 2011
    Posts:
    2,835
    Likes Received:
    3,455
    Location:
    North Carolina
    +1 for Flying Dog, Long Trail, Abita and Blue Point in descending order.
     
  24. tectactoe

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    Posts:
    1,376
    Likes Received:
    5,116
    Location:
    Michigan
    Arbor Brewing, New Holland, Arcadia Ales
     
    craigo19, abraxel and JulianC like this.
  25. incapacitant

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Posts:
    79
    Likes Received:
    270
    Location:
    New York
    Sixpoint
     
    highlifeCO and Whimpers like this.
  26. victory4me

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2004
    Posts:
    598
    Likes Received:
    950
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    That's blasphemy (no pun intended).
     
    RobertColianni, ESeab and cjoc83 like this.
  27. brewfly

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2012
    Posts:
    32
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    New York
    magic hat, custom brewcrafters, saranac. has to be 100 varieties of beer between the 3 and nothing real memorable for me in the bunch
     
  28. MetalMountainMastiff

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2012
    Posts:
    809
    Likes Received:
    1,280
    Location:
    California
    Auburn Ale house....not that that is an interesting one to add.
     
  29. BradtheGreat7

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Posts:
    125
    Likes Received:
    59
    Location:
    Ohio
    Just good? I think of Weyerbacher as in the 'big' 2nd tier of breweries. Just my thoughts though
     
  30. MetalMountainMastiff

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2012
    Posts:
    809
    Likes Received:
    1,280
    Location:
    California
    Possibly....fiftyfifty...not sure..I love BART and ICED bart. Some Eclipse, and Donner Party and Annularity ....But something about them makes me want to say them..........maybe not!
     
  31. gatornation

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2007
    Posts:
    5,158
    Likes Received:
    12,289
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Central Waters regular lineup MEH but Illumination BB stout BBBW stellar
     
    WYVYRN527 likes this.
  32. Whimpers

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2010
    Posts:
    876
    Likes Received:
    9,645
    Location:
    New York
    Sixpoint and Dogfish Head , a few fantastic beers apiece and a few not so much
     
  33. MikeWard

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Posts:
    377
    Likes Received:
    342
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Sticking to breweries where I've tried a bunch of their beers, I'll echo earlier posts about Anderson Valley, Flying Dog, Long Trail (barely makes "good" though) and Magic Hat. And I'll throw in Boulder, Heavy Seas, and Otter Creek.
     
  34. SeaOfShells

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Posts:
    286
    Likes Received:
    258
    Location:
    California
    Honestly, I'm going with North Coast. Aside from Old Rasputin, they haven't wowed me. With that said though, Raspy is one of my favorite beers. I don't care for Scrimshaw, Red Seal, or Old #38 and La Merle is average at best. I do like Pranqster though. I just don't buy it very often. Oh and Old Stock...alcohol burn city.
     
    MetalMountainMastiff likes this.
  35. CommanderOfAwesome

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2012
    Posts:
    760
    Likes Received:
    924
    Location:
    California
    I was just thinking this. I bought a few on Saturday after a long hike and was pumped to have a Sculpin. Really disappointed and didn't live up to what I remembered.
     
  36. mvdillman

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2012
    Posts:
    49
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    Indiana
    Two Brothers for sure. Nothing really wows me
     
    hardy008 and Boilerfood like this.
  37. jbertsch

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2008
    Posts:
    1,691
    Likes Received:
    1,769
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    This is hilarious. "Good", not "great"? Talk about vague... aren't we just splitting hairs?

    Makes me want to start a thread like this in the New England Forum called " Awesome, but not wicked awesome breweries"
     
    fineout, sharpski, Errto and 11 others like this.
  38. distvan

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2010
    Posts:
    15
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    +1 sixpoint
     
    JulianC likes this.
  39. cavedave

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Posts:
    7,872
    Likes Received:
    43,429
    Location:
    New York
    Russian River. Other than Beatification, Temptation, FFAC, Supplication, Pliny the Elder, Consecration, Blind Pig, Sanctification, and Pliny the Younger, their beers are merely good.
     
    mdvatab, aab, SatlyMalty and 18 others like this.
  40. BrewTasting

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    Posts:
    43
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    Nevada
    6-pack of Drifter makes everything great
     
    kuhndog and Falcone like this.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe