How long do you give a new brewery to get their act together before you write them off?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Hanzo, Feb 21, 2013.

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  1. joeebbs

    joeebbs Initiate (0) Apr 29, 2009 Pennsylvania

    A brewery opened up last year not far from where I grew up and I live and work not far away from them. Had their IPA and was not a fan. Haven't had any of their other beers since.
    yemenmocha likes this.
  2. Moose90

    Moose90 Meyvn (1,455) Nov 25, 2012 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Longer than I should. The local brewery in Greeley I have given the benefit of the doubt to on multiple occasions. Poor distribution to start out - okay fine I get it. Varying tastes in batches - okay, not great, but fine. But when they are approximately five years in, have mediocre at best distribution, and their product is somehow rarely consistent - including year round six packs.

    However, they had recently opened a new tap room, approximately 12 taps, they had their usual stuff on hand, and usually some experimental stuff, which I liked. They also offered $6 growler fills two days a week, $6 for a growler of decent beer, fine by me. But I completely wrote them off when I drove in to get a couple growlers filled and they beer on tap, one! Being that it was one I didn't particularly care for, I left empty handed. The d-bag of an employee behind the counter only made matters worse, and I haven't returned since. I should have just left the damn growler there with them.

    How if you have a dozen taps can you manage to only have one brew on it? Anyone else run into a problem like this?
  3. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,185) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Agreed - that seems to be pretty common. Here in Denver, I've noticed that a lot of places tend to start off with some flaws and iron them out after a few months. If I still get things like diacetyl after 6 months, I probably won't bother returning. In particular, country-wide that seems to be the #1 flaw new breweries seem to have, too. Buttery flavors bother the hell out of me, so I can't help but notice.
  4. nogophers

    nogophers Aspirant (257) Jun 28, 2011 Minnesota

    We have one in MN where I am 0 for 3. I gave up several months ago. Not going to pay $5 again when there are so many other great beers out there. Might give them a shot at a beerfest or as part of a tasting.
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  5. BigGene

    BigGene Initiate (0) Oct 30, 2010 Florida

    There is a new place here in Orlando (Longwood actually) called Hourglass Brewery. I went to the grand opening party and the beer was just not good, they carbonation issues and it wasnt a good experience. I have since been back a few times and have had some really good beers. Nothing I would like to crow about but solid none the less.

    So you never know what to expect.
  6. geocool

    geocool Initiate (175) Jun 21, 2006 Massachusetts

    Thanks, I was wondering when you were going to post here. Still no good breweries in Phoenix/Scottsdale?
  7. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poo-Bah (2,482) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona

    well, nothing in the same league as what is on retail shelves from California, Colorado, Pacific Northwest, etc. Depends on your context for evaluative terms like 'good', and I think the only comparsion that matters is relative to what else I can buy and drink instead on local retailer shelves.

    So many don't get the thrust of this part of the discussion because they do live in places like San Diego or Denver or whatever that has top shelf local brewers.
  8. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poo-Bah (2,482) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona

    I'm not far off from that description, except that I think of the best as being a sort of top tier or handful of options. I do give more patience in NEW local brewers to see what they produce over time because of convenience it would be nice to have more options for eating and drinking at the same time (but 99% of the time here I drink at beer bars, not breweries).

    Also I think a lot of folks are in denial with how much "discount" they're giving. In fact I really hate that phrase because it's too polite. Folks are often giving locals "a pass" and use an entirely different class of criteria when evaluating them, both in reviews and in whether to buy again.
  9. geocool

    geocool Initiate (175) Jun 21, 2006 Massachusetts

    It's understandable to give a "discount," but a "pass," well, that implies they're drinking crap beer and they're either lying or deluded. Of course no one's going to admit to that.
    For people in other parts of the country, I think you could consider that maybe their local beers are fresher for them where their "imported" beers are less fresh than what you're able to get near you. That could account for some of it.
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  10. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    I dont review any more, but I never gave locals a pass on that. (I just checked, in my past reveiwing days, I reviewed 4 local beers, two have a negative Rdev, two have a positive - all were in 2004) As to buying, yes. I realized I left out a ring in my early post, it goes on-site (generally brewpub), local, regional, national, world. I think that has a lot to do with locals typically being cheaper, at least in part, so while it might not be as good, I might get equivalent value per $.

    But I dont have a problem with acknowledging that Im supporting locals, when they are close in quality to others. There are some local beers I dont buy, because they arent close. There was a brewpub (no longer with us) that I stopped going to when the brewer changed and the new guy sucked. Then they got a new new guy and he was good and I started going again.
  11. Jacurdy60

    Jacurdy60 Initiate (0) Jan 23, 2013 Massachusetts

    Never write them off. You never know when they could release a good beer.
  12. mrelizabeth

    mrelizabeth Initiate (0) Jan 22, 2012 California

    We're spoiled in San Diego- almost every new brewery is putting out good beer. I've actually wondered why some of these guys don't venture to small college towns (Duluth, Green Bay, Mankato etc) to open up shop. Lazy Monk is Eau Claire has expanded three times since they opened a year ago- and they aren't making fancy stuff. Just solid, old world lagers. But the college kids are eating it up- literally- as Lazy Monk has found a market selling full growlers at grocery stores across the state. $10 for a gallon of a really good Marzen? Now that is a business plan.

    Now imagine if an SD brewer opened a West Coast syle brewery in Eau Claire. Folks have already been initiated to craft beer by Lazy Monk, but he won't be brewing an IPAs or Imperial Stouts any time soon. You move into town, start by brewing a standard line of ales, and slowly introduce the town to hoppy beers.
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  13. Steeeve

    Steeeve Initiate (0) Nov 16, 2010 Pennsylvania

    Depends how local they are and how they're priced. I have a place down the street that's pretty meh, but I head there every other week or so because they're cheap and close, and the brewers are always there to talk to. I hope they can improve but I wouldn't go any less often if they don't.
  14. ThirstyFace

    ThirstyFace Initiate (0) Jan 11, 2013 New York

    I like safe beers as much as I like boundary defying beers. I don't really like this thread.
  15. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Zealot (551) Feb 5, 2013 Illinois

    I dunno. It goes the other way more often, how many well established people have I ignored because their product line got boring for where my drinking happens to be. On the new side of the fence. It takes a while for the brewer to get the equipment to sing the way they want it to. If they're getting into new brewing territory, i.e. a new style or trying something new and going outside of the lines. It's another learning curve to get the goods and what they want the brew to be recipe wise dialed in to how they "should" be. They might think whatever they make looks good and solid on paper. Memory or whatever might convince them something or something. But still, it takes a few times making it and getting the particulars of that and what they have to get what it takes to get the idea of how it should be "right."
  16. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poo-Bah (12,446) Mar 18, 2010 California

    This is BA - if they aren't making whales right away they are doomed.
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